1

(5 replies, posted in Grief Management)

Lainy,
Thanks for your concern. I really didn't mean to give such a dark impression of my state of being. Some days are fine, but others are quite hard. I think that when a person has a situational depression, the best way to deal with it is to just grieve your way through it and the pain will surely ease up hopefully sooner than later. Of course, if it interferes with a person's functioning normally, then a doctors visit is in order. I'm ok in this regard, just certainly no where near my best.  Thanks for the poem, it's lovely. You really are talented.
Dianne

Dear B,
I'm so sorry to hear of your boyfriend's passing.  It's such a tough time and to have to recover from major surgery at the same time! I'm in awe of you handling all that stress at once. Thank God your surgery went well and the prognosis is good. Hope your recovery is quick and uneventful. My heart really goes out to you. You've really had a lot to contend with in such a short period of time.  I hope you have a really good support from family and friends. You certainly have your friends here pulling for you.
Dianne

3

(5 replies, posted in In Remembrance)

What a lovely tribute!
Dianne

4

(5 replies, posted in Grief Management)

Hi Gigi,
I'm sorry you're feeling so bad today. I've had those days too. My husband of 23 years passed away almost 5 months ago and sometimes I think it's getting harder.  My sister told me today she thinks I have a "low-grade" depression going on.  No doubt about it! I don't seem to care much about anything these days.  Here's hoping it gets easier for both of us as time goes on.
Dianne

5

(16 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Hi Kris,
I mapquested it cause I'm not familiar with New Hope. Looks like its about 4.5 hrs. from Tyrone, which is close to State College and Altoona by the way.  PA is a big state isn't it?  Would love to meet you someday and I don't mind driving.  I used to live in SC and drove up here pretty frequently, and that's 10hrs. Seems like much less with a good book on CD!
Dianne

6

(16 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Hi Mary,
Wow! I'm very impressed with how organized you are, and I strive to do that too.  I understand completely your not wanting to stress your daughter out by talking too much about your feelings, fears, etc. but you should be able to talk, cry, or express yourself as much as you need too. For crying out loud, if you don't have the right, who does?  When my husband was very ill and he would start to cry, his brother would say to him not to let the dark thoughts in and try to focus on the positive.  I knew he was trying to be helpful, so I kept my mouth shut but it made me so mad. My husband was dying, he knew it, and he wasn't allowed to mourn?  Geez, no ones ever said that to me when I cry and its a good thing too cause I might pop them one if they did!  Chris and I had some of our most meaningful discussions during that time and I'm thankful for them.  The point of all this rambling is that you deserve to be heard and be able to express your feelings. I saw Kris gave you her number and I'd like to add mine too. You can feel free to say anything you like. No judgements.  803-730-9041.
Take care,
Dianne

7

(16 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Oops, sorry about that.  I just retread your post and see that you're home from vacation.

8

(16 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Hi Mary,
First let me say how sorry I am that you are going through this tough time. Hopefully things will improve for you very soon.  From your post, it sounds as if your family is firmly in denial and this comes at your expense.  No one really wants to talk about the end of their life or that of their loved one, but when someone has a life- threatening illness, it's just the reasonable thing to do. If I were you, I would choose the family member I feel most comfortable with and  trust the most and tell them what it is that you want should you be unable to make decisions for yourself and then fill out the legal paperwork that gives them the power to carry out your wishes.  I've done it and I'm perfectly healthy (as far as I know anyway).  Anything can happen to any of us at any time after all.  My living will is as specific as I could make it, so that no one who reads it can be left with any doubt as to my wishes. This takes an enormous burden off the family at a very stressful time and it gives me peace of mind to know I have that base covered.
You know, perhaps a counselor would be helpful to you. Maybe speaking with someone who really does want to hear what you're truly thinking, worrying about, etc. and can respond objectively would be beneficial.
Take care and hope you enjoy the rest of your vacation.
Dianne

Tiffany,
So happy for you! Have a wonderful time at the beach. You are an inspiration!
Dianne

10

(7 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Jeff,
I totally agree with you.  We strive to live our entire lives with dignity and we shouldn't have to give that up at the end.  My husband and I were in total agreement about that and I worked hard to maintain that for him until the end.  The key I think is to have your health care POA on the same page with you and a doctor that agrees with the plan.  This is an extremely important issue that's unfortunately also extremely sensitive. I wish you luck in your endeavors in this area, the progress has been frustratingly slow in my opinion.
Dianne

Hi Shelley,
First of all, let me say how sorry I am that you and your husband are going through this. It is a tough time no doubt.  My husband passed away in March and he felt the same way for about the last month.  He would sometimes say "I think today's the day", but it wouldn't be.  At the end, his ammonia level was so high, he was almost non-verbal.  It's so hard seeing someone in liver failure.  I knew what was coming as I'd seen patients in this condition (I'm a nurse), but never anyone I was so close to. When the end came, I was devastated for myself, but happy for him.  Stay strong, get as much outside help as you can, and do everything in your power to make him as comfortable as possible. Feel free to come here and vent your frustrations, it helps.
Dianne

That's awesome news! Congratulations. 
Dianne

13

(20 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Hi Linda,
I did a google search of ascites and antibiotic treatment.  I found out that if a patients WBC count is high, a bacterial infection may be responsible and antibiotics are indicated.  I didn't know about this either, and you got me curious. Wishing for the best for you guys.
Dianne

14

(26 replies, posted in Introductions!)

Susan,
Don't stress over the biopsy and the loss of the transplant option. It's likely that the cancer had already begun to metastisize even though it was too small for the PET scan to pick up and this would have ruled out that option anyway.  The treatment choices made did not close that door, the cancer did.  Forge ahead, and don't look back.
Dianne

15

(26 replies, posted in Introductions!)

Hi Susan,
Please don't let that prognosis freak you out.  There are several members on this board that are living with stage IV CC for a lot longer than 1 year.  That chemo cocktail can be very effective at shrinking the tumors and sometimes opens up other treatment options that were not thought possible in the beginning.  The most important thing is to do your very best to keep a positive attitude and take excellent care of your husband. The rest is up to God and the doctors.  Sounds like you're seeing the best.
Dianne

16

(3 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Christine,
My husband had this problem also.  He was being tapped once a week for 4-5 liters. Then, unexpectedly, the radiologist suggested a pleurex catheter.  The doctors had discouraged this for months.  We quickly agreed before he could change his mind.  It was wonderful.  I drained him for 2 liters every couple days and he was SO much more comfortable.  Highly recommend it.
Dianne

17

(167 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Pam,
I 'm so sorry to hear of Lauren's passing.  She fought this illness with such patience and bravery, I was in awe of her.  Your family and her fiancé (whom I know is part of your family as well) were truly amazing throughout this ordeal. You all have my deepest sympathy.
      Dianne

18

(3 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Glad you are doing well Tiffany.  Thanks for the update.  I've been wondering how things were going for you.  I read up on the domino transplant; what a fantastic idea!  I'm so impressed with the brilliant people who come up with such clever solutions to our most difficult problems. 
Dianne

19

(3 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Hi,
Saw your post and although I can't give you that info directly, I can tell you that you can get his contact info quickly by just googling him. There's no email address there but there is a phone number.  Best of luck to you and your family.
Dianne

20

(167 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Pam,
Just read your update.  I know this is such a hard time for you and your family. Glad you are staying positive. I used to be an ICU nurse and have seen slow wake-ups after major surgeries, they are sooooo unnerving.  Hang in there. I think your husband's right.  Tomorrow's the day.  Can't wait to hear the good news.  Thanks for keeping us posted.  We'll keep praying.
Dianne

21

(8 replies, posted in In Remembrance)

Susan,
So sorry to hear about your Mom's passing. You have my deepest sympathy. Try to take comfort in the knowledge that she suffers no more. 
Dianne

22

(23 replies, posted in General Discussion)

I can tell you why my husband didn't enter a clinical trial.  When he was first diagnosed, we were both so freaked out about the prognosis that we wanted to get started with chemo right away to start fighting the cancer. When that drug regimine stopped working, we found that he didn't qualify for some clinical trials having already had treatment of some sort.  I also found the process of looking for one very complicated, trying to judge whether he fit the inclusion criteria which was in some cases pretty extensive.  Bottom line, I think you need a doctor who encourages participation and would be willing to help you find one whose criteria you matched.  We didn't have that.

23

(167 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Pam,
Wow! I know you and your family have been through the ringer over the last few days.  Stay strong.  Lauren's got youth on her side and a heck of a lot to live for. I'm sure she's fighting as hard as she can and sounds like she has an awesome medical team.  I continue to pray for you all.
Dianne

24

(38 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Pam,
May God bless Lauren, you, and your family.  Sending many prayers your way.
Dianne

25

(12 replies, posted in Chemotherapy)

I am SO excited for you Tiffany!!  I'm really glad they've expanded the criteria so that more people have a chance of beating this disease.  BTW, whatever happened to the option of a living donor transplant?
                                    Dianne