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Cancer Sucks...

Discussion in 'Outreach Forum' started by danmarino, Jun 27, 2019.

  1. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Yesterday my family learned that my brother-in-law has stage 3b lung cancer. He's 47, married, 2 young kids, eats very healthy, rarely drinks, never smokes, and is a workout stud. Honestly, the guy is in phenomenal shape. Ever since I met him he and I became great friends. When I married his sister I was elated to have a "brother" like him. He's a fantastic husband, father, brother, and friend. He's just a really good person. His type of cancer is "treatable" but not curable. 5% of people are alive 5 years after diagnosis. 50% of those diagnosed die within 13 months. The stats aren't good, but he's a fighter and has a great support system around him. If anyone can beat this ****...he can.

    Anyhow, if you pray, please throw one up for him....If you don't, please throw out some good vibes. He's a great person...
     
  2. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    Man, that is so terrible. I'm very sorry for what your family is going to, and wish everyone the best.

    Did he spend a lot of time working or living with others who smoked? Its so sad when the actions of others end up killing someone innocent.
     
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  3. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    I know this isn't about me, but I lost my first wife at age 54 to lung cancer and she wasn't a member of any risk group including being around smokers. You are correct, cancer sucks.
    My Mom and her Dad, my grandfather, also died of cancer.
    You and your family have my prayers. If it is non small cell, adeno carcinoma, there are some promising new drug therapies which may not cure the disease but manage it better than ever before. Don't be afraid of checking online for new ideas. The doctor is likely excellent but staying up on all the research and drug trials is hard even for them.
     
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  4. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Absolutely no risk factors. I actually used to work with the pulmonologist who performed his bronchoscopy. He said he was extremely surprised when the biopsy showed cancer. In fact, his case is so out of the ordinary that he brought him up to a cancer conference he attends regularly to discuss his options etc.
     
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  5. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Thank you, man. And I'm sorry to hear about your wife. But you are exactly right...over the last 5-8 years lung cancer treatments have grown exponentially. Immunotherapy looks to be very promising, but it's still in the very early stages. It is non-small cell, but the exact type isn't known yet because the pathology reports haven't come back yet.

    However, after the post I made we got back his PET scan results...it's already spread to his pelvis. He will meet with his oncologist team on Monday and I suspect they will re-grade his cancer to a 4....Which means his outlook is even more bleak. It's just so horrible and sad.
     
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  6. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Metastasis makes both the outlook more grave and the treatment more difficult. My prayers continue. Keep us updated as you are able. Don't hesitate to use PM to talk if you wish. I'm around a computer a lot and keep pretty close tabs on this forum.

     
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  7. Galant

    Galant Love - Unity - Sacrifice - Eternity Staff Member

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    Praying too.
     
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  8. Bumrush

    Bumrush Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    **** man.

    Just terrible news to hear. I hope it works out well for him.
     
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  9. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    So...Yesterday my brother-in-law (Dave) had his oncologist appointment. He is also getting a second opinion from oncologists at Mayo and the University of Iowa to ensure that he's going with the right plan of action.

    Anyhow, this oncologist recommended he do radiation to the primary tumor Mon-Fri for 6 weeks along with chemo. The chemo treatments will be a 2 hour process 1 day a week for 6 weeks. After the 6 weeks are up he would get another PET scan to see the progress. If needed (most likely will be needed) he will then go through immunotherapy treatments. Which aren't nearly as harmful as the chemo/radiation. There is a possibility that he may need to be on that therapy for years depending on the outcomes. Surgery is not an option for him.

    Due to his young age, otherwise good health, and willingness to fight, the doctors give him a 50% shot at making it 1 year and a 30% chance of making it to 5 years. Not the best of odds, but considering what the averages are (typically 50% make it 8 months and less than 1% make it 5 years) I think they are encouraging.

    Again, everyone on this forum would like this guy. He's just a very good person all around. It really sucks...
     
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  10. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Thanks for the update and my prayers will continue.

    Not only is the time he gains from the Chemo/rad important in its own right, it gives time for more immunotherapy agents to come online. My late wife's cancer was treated that way by a drug which didn't work for her but did for Japanese women. A few years later a drug for her variety came up and gave much longer survival lengths. It may be that cancer becomes like diabetes or heart disease, you don't "cure" it, you "manage" it.

    I pray he gets to watch his kids grow a long time!
     
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  11. Den54

    Den54 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Cancer sucks indeed. I lost my sister last year to kidney cancer, she was 59 years old. I have fears of my own knowing the rate is high for a sibling to acquire this type of cancer. I feel for anyone that has to watch a loved one go through this.
     
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  12. Tone_E

    Tone_E Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Hey man I am terribly sorry to hear about the entire situation. I hope all the best for you and your family during these trying times.

    I lost a friend to lung cancer 6 years ago. At the time he was a 51 year old playing hockey in a high level league with us 30 and 20 somethings and kicking our asses. He was ripped and healthy and never smoked a cig in his life. From diagnosis to the end was a matter of 6 months or so but he didn't tell anyone and kept it to himself until we all got a call from his GF. By then it was too late to visit him or anything. It really is indiscriminate and is a f'n b!@ch. F cancer.
     
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  13. danmarino

    danmarino Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. It means a lot and helps. As I mentioned earlier, over the years he and I have become great friends. He's a huge NFL fan (Giants) as I am and so every chance we've had we've gone to NFL games. Most years he has a Super Bowl party at his house and I was as big a fan of the Giants as he was during their wins over the Pats. Tailgating at the University of Iowa for most home games, traveling to Tampa to watch the Hawkeyes in the Outback Bowl a few times. Great memories...

    My in-laws are extremely close. My wife is the youngest of 4, 2 girls and 2 boys. It's really taking a toll on them. We all live a few miles from one another, which is kinda of rare in today's day and age. My father-in-law passed away almost 5 years ago of an un-diagnosed brain aneurysm. He was literally walking and talking with no symptoms and fell over dead one day. My poor mother-in-law...losing your husband in your 60's is bad, but losing your child should never happen.

    Anyhow, he's had his second opinions. Some bad, some not so bad.

    Basically, the first oncologist said his right lung had a primary tumor, and the cancer had spread to 5 lymph nodes in both his right and left lung and recommended chemo and radiation. However, the oncologists at both Mayo and the University have said that his tumor doesn't have a defined border and is more like an octopus with tentacles reaching out and actually infiltrating blood vessels. They said that the linings of both lungs are also full of cancer....and they found a tumor on his hip. So instead of stage 3b he's at stage 4 now. Non-small cell lung cancer, adenocarcinoma, with metastatic changes to his pelvis. In other words....it doesn't get much worse. Both the docs from Mayo and U of I said that radiation is off the table because of the no boundary of the tumor thing, and instead are recommending targeted therapy if his blood work comes back showing certain genetic markers. Basically, they have found that lung cancer happens due to a handful of different genetic mutations. Not some hereditary thing, but just something that happens to individual cells in the body that cause them to grow uncontrolled. (Which is basically what cancer is...uncontrolled cellular replication) They said that 80% of people who get lung cancer have a mutation that the targeted therapy drugs can work on. If he's in the 20% percent of people who have a different mutation, then he will need chemo and then maybe immunotherapy.

    The good news is that new targeted therapy drugs have been showing a lot of promise in recent years, extending the life of stage 4 lung cancer patients, and also they have very little side effects unlike chemo and radiation.

    However, the extension of life is usually measured in months and not years. But they are typically good months. The docs said that if he can start the targeted therapy they give him about a 35% chance of making it to 1 year and a 6% chance of making it to 5 years. All would be relatively normal, with little side effect years. If he has to go the chemo route he has a 12% chance to make it 1 year and less than a 1% chance to make it 5 years. With the first 6-8 months of the first year feeling like **** due to chemo.
     
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  14. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    My wife was a polio survivor, came down with it just six weeks before the vaccine became available back on her fourth birthday. She received LOTS of x-rays back in the day and doctors told her the excessive radiation probably caused the mutations which led to her cancer.

    54 weeks after she died, her older brother was killed in an ultralight plane crash. My then in-laws lost two kids in a year and though they lived another 12 years, were never the same.

    Once he starts the drug therapy, he and his wife (and family) need to do whatever they want to live those last months. They might inquire if his life insurance allows some kind of fractional payout/loan in these circumstances if they want to take a big trip or something.

    This story reminds us all of the uncertain nature of life and the need to take care of the truly important things and not just the urgent ones.

    My prayers continue.
     
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  15. Den54

    Den54 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    It's hard to come up with responses to these types of discussions at times for a lack of answers or insight.
    I can't help but think we've brought these types of illnesses on our self through the pollution of our water, air and food.
    All the chemicals we put into the environment it's no wonder to me that you can do all the right things and still be stricken down like this.
    Just my opinion of coarse. I exercise and eat right daily but I have no false illusions that I'm exempt in any way from winding up like your brother in law.
     
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  16. Ohio Fanatic

    Ohio Fanatic 30 years and counting Club Member

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    that sucks. a lot of cancer is just genetic predisposition. a healthy lifestyle certainly gives you hope you can survive longer but until the new oncology treatments come through, it's tough outcome for many of these cancers. My coworker died last year. similar situation, great guy, incredibly fit, healthy eater, no drinking or smoking. died at 48. I do believe his lifestyle helped. he was supposed to die within a year, but lived 3 years. Not sure what city he lives in, but getting access to the best cancer centers can sometimes get you access to some of the newer cancer clinical trials.
     
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