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papszoo
distinguished member (203)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/12/2019 02:59PM
So poured over maps made all the arrangements to take 3 of my kids to insula. Got a little flank pain ultimately diagnosed as cancer in the kidney. Now on chemo gonna need radical surgery in a couple of months w a long recovery that makes the bdub unlikely this year. Prognosis very uncertain at this point but guess that’s life. I don’t mean this to be a morbid post. 1 in 5 of us are going to get cancer so I am not alone in this and I suspect many people who frequent this forum are or were in the same boat. Just wondering if there are stories out there of people w big scars and memories of chemo who are still pulling in smallies and soaking up the beauty of bwca and quetico. I’m hoping I will be one of them after all this.
 
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Savage Voyageur
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03/12/2019 03:45PM
Sorry to hear this bad news. I wish all the best for you. Stay positive and hang in there.
thlipsis29
distinguished member(1174)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/12/2019 04:51PM
Papszoo,

I was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic melanoma in November 2017. I went into remission in June 2018 and did a trip last August for 5 days. Unfortunately, I had a reoccurence in December with multiple lesions in my brain. I haven't done chemo, but I've done immunotherapy along with whole brain radiation at Mayo Clinic in February. I'll stay on the immunotherapy for at least 6 months and if that doesn't work there are still some other experimental treatments that are showing signs of hope. I got a permit for a June 5 entry, but things are up in the air. I won't have another PET scan and MRI until early May so I don't know what's actually going on in my body. The biggest side-effect for me is radiation fatigue which has been a killer. I've been able to keep working a desk job, but some days I need two or three naps. I think I've gotten through the worst of it, and I'm hoping come June I have the physical stamina to do the trip with a friend and my kids. Cancer sucks. There's no other way to put it. Sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Pray that your oncologist is able to get all the cancer and any additional treatments are effective. While it is no guarantee, the one thing I can tell you makes a difference is a positive attitude. Cancer sucks, but it doesn't have to rob us of enjoying life and the people around us. Truly wishing you the best and many more trips to come! Blessings.
Pinetree
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03/12/2019 04:59PM
Take care and stay in touch.
papszoo
distinguished member (203)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/12/2019 05:11PM
Wow I’m sorry to hear that and u have my prayers that u will be up there in Gods country again. I’m a crummy stern paddler maybe we will run into each other
andym
distinguished member(4324)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
03/12/2019 06:37PM
Sorry that you have to face this too. And yes, you are right that there are plenty of us that have been in this situation. I was diagnosed with a form of lymphoma that is known to keep recurring in 2003. I've been through 8 treatments including three clinical trials and a bone marrow transplant. There were years when the BW was out of reach and we had to deal with that. Some of those years we could do an overnight camping trip. Others were limited to a nice walk around the neighborhood and to a local pond. It is hard but people are strong and you will find that strength too. Just do what you can do and enjoy that.

Here's one of my favorite stories. I was in the infusion center at Stanford and there was another guy who was pretty old and was going through simultaneous chemo and radiation that was so intense that they had given him and his wife an apartment at the cancer center. He lived a few hours further inland and it was too far to drive when he needed to be there every day. He was very proud of his Portuguese heritage and you may know that the Portuguese are all over the world from being fisherman. I live in a coastal town that has a big Portuguese community for that reason.

So we get to the end of the day and they tell him that they will leave the IV line in the back of his hand for the next day. But he stops them and says that he needs to go to the town where I live because crab season has opened and he is going into the ocean. OK, his English wasn't that great. He wasn't going into the ocean but he was going to the ocean to shore cast for the crabs. He had realized that he would be at Stanford for crab season and that's a big deal out here and it was a big deal for him. So he had brought his fishing and crabbing gear to his cancer center apartment so he was all ready for it. So they pulled the IV line and showed him how to keep it dry and clean and he and his wife went off to get some crab. I think he showed how fully we can live even when times are really tough.

And maybe there are times when less than that is possible. But there's always something to enjoy.

Here's to great success with treatment and getting back to the BW next year.
03/12/2019 06:53PM
I am a survivor and have been back to the BWCA. My cancer was gone in three months but it took more than three years to be healthy enough to do a trip. I did one day at a time and never doubted I'd be healthy again.
Cretbo
senior member (58)senior membersenior member
 
03/13/2019 03:59AM
Keep the Faith ... I'm inspired with all your courageous stories!!! God speed to all who battle this filthy Animal called cancer.

Cret
DrBobDerrig
distinguished member(704)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/13/2019 06:39AM
I also became a member of the Club when I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in August. Been through 12 round of chemo every other week which ended the first week of Feb. Had a setback when the stent to my gall bladder plugged up but that has been resolved. Now I meet with the radiology people in Green Bay on Friday for a schedule of radiation on the tumor (month maybe). Then finally the surgery. By that time the water will be seriously soft.... Just one day at a time. Got to go to Copia and Famous Dave's last weekend which was way fun...but made me realize how out of shape I am. So I am doing project to keep my butt off the couch.... also gotta gain 10 lbs
Kidney cancer is like pancreatic cancer. Can be slow and sneaky. The folk think my chances are good and they have had better success doing chemo before surgery. Gotta hang in there and keep fighting

dr bob
DrBobDerrig
distinguished member(704)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/13/2019 06:49AM
Church member has been through this and is doing great...been several years now. When I was first diagnosed his wife got in my face and told me I have to fight it with all I got...

dr bob
Driftless
distinguished member (218)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/13/2019 06:56AM
Hang in there Papszoo! We will be thinking of you and sending prayers. You'll be back in the BWCA.
thlipsis29
distinguished member(1174)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/13/2019 07:42AM
Dr. Bob,

Glad to hear someone with pancreatic cancer has a good prognosis; it seems to be one of the most vile forms. Pray all goes well, and you kick it to the curb for good. Hoping you're able to do several more trips; it is good for the soul.
Learningtofly
member (14)member
 
03/13/2019 07:47AM
Last year in August when we got out and returned to the outfitter there was a message for me to call my wife. I did and got the news my 4 year old son was diagnosed with a tumor on his kidney. It was a long car ride home. He's still has one more treatment to go. And he is doing really well. But i dont think I'll be going to the BWCA this year. Will be to tough on my wife.

DrBobDerrig
distinguished member(704)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/13/2019 09:08AM
A guy can plan little trips.... that is the plan here.... 4 yrs old...that hurts.

dr bob
papszoo
distinguished member (203)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/13/2019 09:53AM
Very compelling stories show how we all have crosses to bear and there is nothing more painful than having a sick child. We have 7 kids. Our 5 th kid got type 1 diabetes age 3. 15 blood checks 5 shots a day got him to 27 but it’s a struggle. About 2 years our youngest son got a headache was found to have a stroke due to a torn blood vessel needed air transport for emergency surgery had a cardiac arrest in the room en route to the or. He’s doing ok now but every little sx is scary. He’s having all kinds of trouble handling this new problem. Guess one thing cancer tells us is don’t sweat the small stuff recognize and enjoy the good times when they come around and don’t waste time. U can’t ever get it back. I hope and pray everybody facing struggles have the strength to persevere. Thx for the support
A1t2o
distinguished member(720)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/13/2019 11:20AM
My grandpa had prostate cancer, my uncle had prostate cancer, and now my dad's PSA level is up a lot compared to 3 months ago, which was up that time too. On the bright side, my grandpa and my uncle are both still alive, and have had little to no quality of life differences after having their prostates removed.

I pray that your struggle with cancer is as brief and painless as possible so you can move on with your life. Know that many people do get cancer, like in my family, and go on to live full and fulfilling lives. My uncle is a CEO for a big company (that I'm not familiar with), goes jet skiing, slalom skiing, snowmobiling, and various other outdoor activities at the age of 60 after surviving cancer. I have confidence that this won't slow you down long term either.
missmolly
distinguished member(9214)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
03/13/2019 01:04PM
Thanks for that story, Andy.
DanCooke
distinguished member(994)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/13/2019 01:07PM
Best wishes on your tough journey into cancer treatment.
moray
senior member (57)senior membersenior member
 
03/13/2019 04:16PM
I was diagnosed with stage IV prostate cancer last April and had to cancel my May BW trip. With the help of good doc and positive attitude I was back in BW in September. I’m still doing well and have 2 trips planned this year. I hope all goes well with your treatment and hope to see you in BW soon!
thlipsis29
distinguished member(1174)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/13/2019 04:29PM
Congrats Moray! One more story of turning the tide against cancer.
ozarkpaddler
distinguished member(5171)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
03/13/2019 10:59PM
You'll be in my thoughts and prayers as you begin this tough journey. I don't want to "Glamorize" it or make light of it, but you will learn to see things in a whole new light. Sunsets are more vivid, those flowers smell sweeter, time with loved ones feel more precious....experiences just "Feel" more intense.

When I was 19 I was first diagnosed with Stage IIIB Hodgkins, then revised because I had both Hodgkins and Non-Hodgkins cells. Interestingly enough, a classmate of mine had the very same disease. We both spent the last two years of HS every afternoon from 1pm-2:45pm in a Landscape-Horticulture-FFA class dabbling in Monsanto's finest pesticides and herbicides! Unfortunately we often met at our Oncologist's office for chemo sessions. Unfortunately, only one of us survived after a year and a half of chemo, radiation, surgeries, setbacks, etc.

That was 1980-1981. I've had some cardiac issues over the years secondary to my treatment. But that was decades ago when treatment was much less perfected than it is now. I remember in 2004 my Oncologist joked "Terry, you never were supposed to LIVE long enough to deal with any of these cardiac issues!"

So, fight with all you got and take time to smell those roses, watch those sunsets, hug those loved ones, and play tug-of-war with some smallies; you will find all those things are even sweeter now!
scat
distinguished member(669)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/14/2019 05:55AM
I beat cancer three different times. I had to cancel my 2017 trip after a 23 day stint in the hospital , but was back doing a trip last June. You are going to be fine. Just needed a little seasoning is all. I wish you the best of luck and am on your side all the way. Onward towards the fog.
03/14/2019 07:19AM
I’d call it a postponement! You need to take time and fight this beast! My best life experience was being with paddleman aka Greg Negard. We never paddled together but did first meet in Red Lake Ontario as he was going out and me going in. We met for dinner and exchanged stuff helping each other out from time to time. All the while he’d been battling prostate cancer... When he found out I had it he from day one said get it yanked! Meanwhile his got worse and after yet another round of chemo and all I watched him finally lose the battle. But those final days were the most uplifting to me... He never gave up that next trip to Woodland Caribou PP. I’m sure full aware of his condition he borrowed my dog packs as he was going to take his dog... several trips up highway 2 to Bemidji I brought my computer to share pictures. The last visit he was in his chair one minute smiling at pictures the next with mostly dry heaves with an old ice cream pail. After he was gone sure enough I was told my cancer had gotten to a concern. So still hearing Greg saying” get it yanked”! I went ahead and had that done. Because of other surgeries my surgeon had a difficult time fighting through a mess of mesh and scar tissue. Something about a lot of F bombs in the surgery room. I had a bit of nerve damage and didn’t all go well. But! I’m so far cancer free... thank you Greg!
Fight! Make good decisions.... your most important thing is your health vs canoeing. So keep planning... you’ll be back on the water before you know it.
03/14/2019 08:10AM
On a sad note... my good friend Dick lost his wife yesterday. She fought hard and long. So I’ll have to get where I can come down to the cities soon... dang that cancer!
03/14/2019 08:29AM
You are on my prayer list. I can't give you a lot of information about cancer, as I haven't had to face that battle. But you sound like a strong person with a lot to live for, even putting paddling aside. Best wishes to you.
HowardSprague
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03/14/2019 09:00AM
Damn. I wish you the best in kickin' this thing, and getting back to doing all the stuff you love!
ozarkpaddler
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03/14/2019 11:42AM
nctry: "On a sad note... my good friend Dick lost his wife yesterday. She fought hard and long. So I’ll have to get where I can come down to the cities soon... dang that cancer!"

Sorry to hear that, Ben.
papszoo
distinguished member (203)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/14/2019 01:26PM
Thx for all the responses and support. Nice to know we r not alone as we face life’s challenges. Still think the places like the bwca and quetico attract great caring compassionate people. Hope I get a chance to bump into some of u. And I’m sorry for those who have lost friends and loved ones.
scat
distinguished member(669)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/14/2019 04:49PM
I have borrowed this line from Graucho Marx and probably shared this thought one too many times here perhaps.

I don’t want to be in any club that will have me as a member.

Well, you’re in the club now bro. I won’t say welcome, but you are not alone. And once you’re in the club you have a lifetime membership. Be proud, when you beat it you’ll be an instant rock star. That’s a fact, scat
Pinetree
distinguished member(12491)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
03/14/2019 05:14PM
I see a bunch of fighters on this board whom had cancer and beat it. I also see on this board people rallying around others who have it. Also I see people on this board whom are here for you if you need it.
ozarkpaddler
distinguished member(5171)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
03/14/2019 05:31PM
scat: "I have borrowed this line from Graucho Marx and probably shared this thought one too many times here perhaps.


I don’t want to be in any club that will have me as a member.


Well, you’re in the club now bro. I won’t say welcome, but you are not alone. And once you’re in the club you have a lifetime membership. Be proud, when you beat it you’ll be an instant rock star. That’s a fact, scat"


Scat, Groucho or any other comedian has nothing on you; you ALWAYS put a smile on my face!

moosedoggie
senior member (97)senior membersenior member
 
03/14/2019 05:57PM
Found out about my prostate in December of 17. Tripped in August of 18 and am going this year in July.

You've got more buddies on this board than you realize and we are all pulling for each other.
paddlinjoe
distinguished member (297)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/15/2019 08:18AM
papszoo, thlipsis29, andym, Bannock, DrBobDerrig, moray, ozarkpaddler, scat, nctry, moosedoggie....

You are all fighters and an inspiration to those on this board and your loved ones around you. Thank you for sharing. Keep planning trips and hope to cross paths with you some day.
DrBobDerrig
distinguished member(704)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/15/2019 10:52AM
WE only have 2 choices....keep fighting it or give up....Gonna meet the radiology guy in an hour and see what they have in mind for me next. As long as they don't burn a hole in my stomach while they are zapping the tumor on my pancreas.... Hard to eat if a feller has to deal with that. I am under orders from my surgeon to gain weight ( after they try to do me in with 12 rounds of chemo every other week....finished that in early Feb) or they won't operate....so eating and moving around. dr bob
yellowcanoe
distinguished member(4606)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
03/15/2019 05:12PM
When I got endometrial cancer I took up noticing things outside with my camera on days I felt well enough I could get out.

I did try to laugh as much as possible ( thank goodness for I Love Lucy DVD's) and sometimes felt I should be doing more like yoga etc.. But I didn't "fight" after my oncologist pointed out he was doing his best to almost but not quite kill me so the cancer would be killed. There were days I was just grateful for the sun
We did a small Lake Superior trip three months post chemo but no portages..

With time you will be back in the boat God Willing. Papszoo and Dr Bob keep your eye on the BWCA prize
arm2008
distinguished member (117)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/16/2019 09:00AM
DrBobDerrig: "WE only have 2 choices....keep fighting it or give up"
There are many choices, and timing often determines which is best. Aggressive treatment is a choice that has varied results, typically unknown. Palliative care supporting the best life possible for the longest time possible is another choice when aggressive treatment offers little reward. Ceasing treatment when it's no longer effective and choosing to spend any remaining hours, days, weeks, or months at peace is an alternative. It's not giving up, it's choosing to move toward a different goal.

I have respect for people who evaluate a health crisis and make a decision based on quality of life. Taking on a difficult treatment is brave, but so is declining one. Many years ago my grandmother chose to stop treatment when amputating her toes, then part of her foot didn't halt an infection. The next step was to take her leg below the knee, and she said, no, I'm done. She did spend her last hours in the hospital, but up until then she lived in her own apartment in an assisted living complex. If she had the amputation she most likely would have lived her remaining weeks or months in a nursing home before returning to die at the hospital.

Choose treatment if it's the right choice for you, but I wouldn't give up my entire life for it.
missmolly
distinguished member(9214)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
03/16/2019 11:16AM
arm2008: "DrBobDerrig: "WE only have 2 choices....keep fighting it or give up"
There are many choices, and timing often determines which is best. Aggressive treatment is a choice that has varied results, typically unknown. Palliative care supporting the best life possible for the longest time possible is another choice when aggressive treatment offers little reward. Ceasing treatment when it's no longer effective and choosing to spend any remaining hours, days, weeks, or months at peace is an alternative. It's not giving up, it's choosing to move toward a different goal.


I have respect for people who evaluate a health crisis and make a decision based on quality of life. Taking on a difficult treatment is brave, but so is declining one. Many years ago my grandmother chose to stop treatment when amputating her toes, then part of her foot didn't halt an infection. The next step was to take her leg below the knee, and she said, no, I'm done. She did spend her last hours in the hospital, but up until then she lived in her own apartment in an assisted living complex. If she had the amputation she most likely would have lived her remaining weeks or months in a nursing home before returning to die at the hospital.


Choose treatment if it's the right choice for you, but I wouldn't give up my entire life for it."


My family was looking at palliative care recently and their point person said that it can extend life in some circumstances, that living better can translate to living longer.
scat
distinguished member(669)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/16/2019 11:48AM
I love the I love Lucy reference. I got addicted to Hogan’s Heroes during my stint in the hospital. Every night, @ 9 & 9:30. I still have to watch Colonel Hogan outsmart the Nazi army every morning with my coffee before I dare confront the real world. Don’t even get me started about the crush I have for Marya, the White Russian counterspy or whatever she is. Love that, whatever it is. Well researched facts do come in handy when the conversation gets slow at the pub. So, if you land yourself in a hospital bed for a stretch, there can be fringe benefits. Did you know that Klink, Burkhalter, Hochstetter, and Schultz were all Jews, playing Nazis on a tv show? See, throw that one out to the boys sometime and you’ll get a nod maybe, as if they knew, but they didn’t, cuz they didn’t pay their dues. And it don’t come easy.
Cheers, scat
 
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