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Medical costs

Posted by garyfla 10 Florida (My Page) on
Thu, May 27, 10 at 5:02

Hi
I went in for the usual chest X Ray found a spot ,had cat scan , which led to pet scan which led to brain scan.
Which at this point is leading to the "useful" scan Lol
Anyway at this point the costs have just crossed 44,000
dollars., Fortuneately I have medicare and a supplement still my personal expenses are slightly over 3 ,000.
I do have an absolute diagnosis and a "marker" has been placed into the tumor on my left lung. Have 7 doctors
which can't agree on approprate treatment. But no treatments so far.
I was under the impression that the "average" treatment
was under 100,000 dollars.??
All 7 doctors(under pressure lol) tell me that the cancer will be fatal but one is holding out for 5 years.
Assuming this is true will still be a LOT of medical bills to the end.?? So what is a "normal" expense??'
I have 0 experience with being ill and only spent two days in the hospital in my entire life.lol
Now i don't intend to "take it with me" lol but was hoping for a buck or two for the wife lol. Thaks gary


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Medical costs

Oh dear Gary, I'm so sorry to hear this. Keep your spirits up and you can beat this! As far as cost? Guess it depends on what they decide to do. Tell them to get off their duffs!


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RE: Medical costs

Gary, this sucks.
The best thing I could tell you is to find a support group. Maybe there's one at your hospital. The people who have gone or are going through what you are, are prob the best ones to ask. There might even be groups on line. Someone out there has the expertise to advise you. I can only give you ((((((hugs))))) and advise you to outlive the 7 Doctors!


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RE:maybe start here

http://www.cancerhopenetwork.org/

or google lung support groups.


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RE: Medical costs

Hi
Thanks for the advice . Statistics on this form of cancer are pretty grim (15 percent survive over 5 years )
I'm not too concerned about death as I heard that nobody lives forever .lol My main concern is how to do this without breaking the bank. Obviously they will never run out of treatments. My mother died of lung cancer and it seemed to me the treatments were worse than the disease.
Spent the last 4 years in misery going from treatment to treatment. She finally refused and lived 7 months after that. BUT the quality of those 7 months was way above the previous 3 years not to mention the expense.lol
Now does her experience apply to me .??
There are dozens of support groups but have found none on how to control expenses. Can't understand the wisdom of 7 doctors?? Particularly since I can't have surgery (best treatment) this is the only thing all 7 agree upon.
One option is NOT covered by insurance . May or may not be second best due to experimental ,no statistics beyond 3 years though it appears fees could be waived in exchag e for "Guinea pig service. but would require moving to another state. Obviously that would jump costs considerablly. though again in may be possible to get wavers on hospital fees.. ??
3rd best is a treatment called "Cyber knife " using intense radiation in under 3 treatments. Statistics are VERY good on this treatment not so much on the effectiveness but on what it doesn't do. It WILL destry the tumor but MAY damage other organs . The tumor is located 3 MM from the heaart . Two seem very confident this is not a problem but the normal inflation of the lungs but CAN be controlled usoing computer generated tomography. This requires an absolute map but again no problem due to the insertion of a radioactive chip.
Unless there is damage to healthy tissue from the radiation (very intense 2/3 times normal dose.)
There WILL be a reduction of lung function which is complicated in that I have emphysema.
Other side effects are at least a third of normal treatment again depending on the general health but requires NO chemotherepy. which produces the greastest number and intensity of SE>
This treatment can be done locally as an out patient so I'm thinking this will reduce costs??
I can find no info ,on no treatments at all. Too many variables .
Would seem that due to complications not to mention the disease is 100 percent fatal averaging 2/3 years there is instense pain and many complications as the organs break down of course. Not really an option as far as I can tell at this point.
Anyway thanks for the interest seems writing things down helps in selecting a way to get through this.
I find it amusing that when I was young I thought I'd die BEFORE 40, arrived, 55 tops lol. Now pushing 70 and my hopes of a quick way to get out of this world are fading away.lol They forgot to add EXPENSIVE to the "Slow and painful method" lol Thanks again gary


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RE: Medical costs

I think you are doing the right thing by asking as many questions as you can. I would ask any online support group what you asked here. "Hey, what's this going to cost me???"
Throwing this out there...maybe you would want to contact Hospice to see what they could do for you. I'm for any group that lets you be the one in charge.
Aside from that, you could always open your own Meth lab.(like Walter "Heizenberg" White on Breaking Bad)


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RE:just kidding

about the meth lab


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RE: Medical costs

Gary,

I am so sorry to hear about your illness. It's bad enough to be sick but then to have the stress & worry about your prognosis, treatment options and the costs--it's really just overwhelming. Are you a Veteran? Could you go to the VA? Have you spoken with a financial advisor on ways to protect some of your assets for your wife? Have you looked into the cancer treatment centers of america? I have seen / heard of very good outcomes with the cyberknife including people with brain tumors that were told they would have 1-2 years, and are still alive 5 years with no reoccurence. So hold onto hope, Gary, and we will keep praying for you.

Helen


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RE: Medical costs

(((Hugs to Gary and your family))). My friend Dick is going through what you are, except the financial. He has VA benefits. He has stopped all treatments and wants to spend what time he has left not throwing up and feeling like a piece of cr*p. If you would like to talk with him I can arrange it for you. He's spending the summer in NH, but they live in Naples.
I had a friend who went for cancer treatments over in Tampa, she had no insurance.

Ask to speak with social services at the hospital. They know what programs are available and how to get you help.
Sending prayers and caring thoughts to you Gary.
Marion


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RE: Medical costs

Dear Gary, I am very sorry to hear about your diagnosis and everything you are going through....Knowing how much you love your jungle and working in your yard, it sure makes me sad thinking about you facing the grim news...

Medical costs are brutal. My husband early this year was diagnosed with grade II brain tumor. 32 years old, young and fit - fitter than the vast majority of the US citizens of that age...He bikes to work 30 minutes one way, rain or shine, just for the sake of exercise, 10% fat (according to the scale!), eating right, *never* drinks and smokes (my parents are in Russia and have always had a problem with *no drinking* part...) Diagnosis was a shock. Doctors were very shocked as well.

Anyway, sorry for my venting...but yes, medical costs are ridiculous. Great treatment, surgery went well - but 55,000 dollars for 5 hour surgery, that is crazy! Costs of MRI are ridiculous - and what is even more ridiculous, one hospital did MRI and Moffit would not accept it when my husband was referred to them and insisted on yet another (1,000+) MRI, to be done in house.

And it is one thing to pay up when the outcome is looking good and you are actually paying for getting better...it is so much worse to have to pay and lose your relative or significant other. While we were waiting at Moffit during surgery, a surgeon come out to talk to another person waiting, and the surgeon was telling the gentleman that their daughter's cancer spread beyond them being able to do anything...

I sure wish we can find a way to treat and overcome cancer. Right now I am doing research in medical imaging, and I am interested in research in bioinformatics, and sure hope to make my contribution if possible, to end the suffering....


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Hi
Not really complaining about the costs ,treatments or advice I've been getting . What i mean is the way they put a treatment program together For example . Why 7 drs??
Obviously you Need an Oncologist but why two ?? I have a surgeon yet I can't have surgery?? This are 400 dollar office calls.
As to diagnosis why 6 MRIs ?? Now the Pet scan is obvious as well as the diagnosis scan . Now they tell me I need another scan as well as another set of blood tests lol
Have had 5 complete blood workups since March?? Too old ?? The scans have averaged around 4500 and the blood tests around 300 each. Why couldn't they have been spaced as the treatment method evolved?? Biopsy and implant of chip are obvious no matter which treatment is used.
Looks like I could easily had 3 scans and no more than 3 blood workups
Olya I learned about tests long ago as my wife visits drs .lol You HAVE to be sure and choose the fascility within your network of drs. They wilnot (cannot ?) share info.
Now one thing I might say they went straight for a through the side biopsy while my regular Dr . wanted a through the throat. Had I gone that way would have had to have another biopsy Of course this Dr also wanted to go directly to chemotherepy without a pet scan. But pet scan has eliminated the need for chemo at all.
Helen I've opted for the Cyberknife treatment. Just barely qualify though . Tumor is right on the upper limit
of size and activity.. I feel that it's worth the risk
Have no faith at all in standard treatments lol.
My 'chief " oncologist has been so bold as to guarantee me 5 years .IF it has not spread and IF no secondary complications and I don't get hit by a bus LOL
Anyway I'm off for the scan to day and tomorrow the blood tests . Should be getting the treatments within a week barring another insurance glitch?? gary


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((Gary)), I hope all goes well for you. Just remember if you need to talk we are here to listen and maybe what your going through will help someone else.


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Good luck with Cyberknife. My father in law had it done 3-4 years ago, at UF in Gainsville (tumor in inoperable location).
It went well.


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Olya
Certainly remarkable statistics on "cyberknife "treatments . 80 percent survivable for 5 years along with 60 percent no recurrence in 2 years . Regular treatments have 15 percent and 30 percent .
I think I finally did something clever lol. Had ALL my scans commited to video discs and have copies at home.
Obviously these won't mean anything after the treatments but should give a comparison plus will give me an argument about more scans.?? The brain video has already proved useful. My wife said that I don't have one .
I now can prove that wrong !! Not only do I have one it's functioning!!lol
Must go to yet another DR today as my old herniated disc in my spine has decided to act up. Need to get some SUPER pills to control the pain and muscle twitching. So I can lay still for 1 1/2 hours flat on my back!!
Means I'm going to be in "LA LA land during the entire treatment and I won't be able to drive home. Wife driving while I'm a passenger is pretty scary without my direction . But what can you do ??? lol
They keep telling me there will no immediate side effects but will see about that. gary


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Man, Gary...if it rains, it pours!
Hope you are feeling better and the procedure works well.
When my FIL had it, it went rather fast - two hours maybe, and some prep time.

Keep us posted, and the best of luck!


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RE: Medical costs

Olya,

Hows your hubby doing?

Gary,

Do you have a date for your cyberknife procedure?


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Hubby doing well, thank you - sorry Gary to be taking away from your thread with my hubby stories!
There is of course the fear of it coming back. But, the docs did a great job taking as much as they could out, so now it is a matter of MRI follow ups and monitoring.


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Olya
No problem , Glad to hear he's doing well. has he had any side effects yet?? Was your FIL limited to one treatment??. I understand this is most effective but not for me due to emphezema. The monitoring kind of scares me the most as obviously once you have a problem will have to constantly checked . I see lots more visits to DRS no matter what happens.
WR faster . I did but I flunked the drip scan due to my back problem. Muscles were twitching and the pain was so severe couldn't hold still.
They called it off until I'm armed with pain killers and muscle relaxers. have avoided these for over 10 years as I HATE that drugged feeling. Guess thats preferable than getting shot in the wrong place ?? lol
Which brings me to my latest complaint. My treatments will be done in the CK center in Stuart yet there is one not two blocks from my home!!! Guess that's another one of those affiliation problems??
Anyway I'm glad it's moving forward
Have a SIL that was just diagnosed with Lung cancer and never smoked a cigarette in her life. BUMMEr at least in my case it took 50 years to earn my tumor lol. She's only 50 and thought to be in good health!!! gary


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RE: Medical costs

I believe my FIL only had one treatment. His had a slow growing tumor (Grade I) behind his ear which probably took years to grow and manifested itself through severely affecting his balance. So the treatment was to shrink the tumor in size since it could not be taken out surgically. During one of the follow ups the docs discovered he had a tumor in one of the kidneys and the kidney was removed.
I think it has been two or three years without any new development...

My DH has follow up MRI every three months - one is coming up. After one year, I believe the doctors, depending on how things are looking, will switch it to twice a year. Since he only had a surgery and the tumor was Grade II (slow to medium), he did not have chemo or radiation. It is customary to have it though after the surgery - the surgery is often needed to relieve pressure in the brain, since there is not much room for anything else but the brain in the skull - but the doctors decided to wait and see if they observe any growth, and then do chemo/radiation

My friend was diagnosed with breast cancer at the beginning of the year and went through 8 weeks of chemo - it is very rough on the body , apparently. She is a strong woman, but she sure did suffer all the way through it...

Crazy, all this cancer popping up. Some of it hereditary, making one predisposed, but a lot of is the poison we subject ourselves to on a regular basis - pesticides, household chemicals, paints, plastics,etc....


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Gary,

I am so sorry to hear of your diagnosis. I want you to know I am already praying for you. Although I have had no experience regarding this, I have heard the cyberknife procedure is very good in most cases. I will hope you have an easy time of it and that it is successful. Always have faith and hope. Please keep us posted on your progress.

Olya, I am flabbergasted about your husband's diagnosis. Sounds like he's had a good result. I will pray for both of you as well. Yes, it is scary how much cancer there is around us. I have a friend right now going through treatment for colon cancer and she is in her 40's. All chemos are different for each type of cancer. The chemo for breast cancer is particularly difficult to endure. I had five surgeries and five months of chemo. My body took a beating with all the poisons. I remember the fear with the followup appointments. It gets better with time and with less of a chance of recurrence. It's like you reach the mental limits of worrying, and then you slowly come to the conclusion it's in God's hands and you will accept it if it happens mode.

Anna


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Gary,

I am sorry to know you are going through this. You have a great attitude and I am sure that will help you a lot. Please keep us posted and know that we are thinking of you.

Hugs,
Carmen


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RE: Medical costs

Gary, I'm not far from Stuart, our business is in Jensen Beach. Is there anything I can do for you or your DW? I'd be happy to do what I can for you both.
Please take comfort knowing that there are many here keeping you both in our thoughts and prayers. We have to keep you well. Your garden needs you healthy. LOL


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Olya
Glad to hear things are progressing for your family.
Whenever I started worrying about chemicals causing cancer I smoked a cigarette or two to modify the toxic effects lol. I quit smoking 3 years ago and sure enough I got cancer from eating pesticides lol Okay those silly drs are going to blame the cigarettes but what do they know ?? lol
Anna Be careful praying for me !! It might cause the collapse of heaven lol I always laugh about that as when I was very young my uncle told me I had to lead a "faithful life as I wasn't near smart enough to be an athiest." Guess he was right I became an agnostic lol
Sure couldn't hurt anything to put in a word or two though (just in case) lol
Marion
What a kind offer !! Anyway you could make me more patient ,actually enjoy getting scans and blood tests??
Or even better make me enjoy sitting in drs offices
awaiting appoinments. I'm trying to believe that ONE day I'll actually have one on time and took half the time I figured it would?? Okay that's just wishful thinking !!
Okay make me learn to enjoy reading OLD magazines??
Outside of that can't think of a thing!! Thanks everyone Gary


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RE: Medical costs

Gary, you need an MP3 player. Find a kid to explain it to you. My kids helped me program mine and now I can listen to my music while waiting for the Dr (or getting my teeth cleaned)Just make sure they program YOUR music. We don't want you bustin a move to Kanye.

ps I don't even know what that means!?!


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Coffeemom
was thinking of taking some dice or cards and start a game with the other old men.!! Maybe I could make a buck or two ?? My wife always knits while waiting but the nurses laugh at me when I do it !!!
Yours sounds like a plan but what's Lady Gaga without the video??lol gary


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Hi
Thought I'd add a few words about my Cyberknife treatments. Went in to get a reading on the scan and they discovered another tumor on the right lung. Treatment was called off went to the hospital to have a marker put into the new tumor supposedly 3.2 CM They couldn't find it lol. In the location was a discoloration around 2 MM in diameter. Couldn't put a marker in it , was discharged from hospital. It was not a total waste as the computer was able to get an identicle map to the tumor on the left lung and produced an identicle image .1 st treatment has been rescheduled for the 16th
gary


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RE: Medical costs

Sorry you are going thru this. Keeping you in my thoughts.


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RE: Medical costs

So Gary, is it done on an outpatient basis or do you have to spend a night or two in the hospital? So was it a shadow or another tumor on the right? Sorry the cynic is me is wondering since it was "identical" to the one on the left, if some technician didn't flip the picture? How's the back doing?

Helen


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RE: Medical costs

helen
there is NO greater skeptic than me lol The image on the right lung was deemed ""A changing and irregular sized mass of 3.1 cm." can not be clearly defined as to density."
Chief dr thought it advisable to put a marker into it
because if it was cancerous would interfere with treatment to the left lung. The mass was clearly there even to an untrained eye.(mine) was not there in the scan necessary to place marker in it . Explanation was it was a mass of mucus. required the previous map to locate it and had shrunk to less than 3mm. Since the marker is 2mm in diameter couldn;t do it but of course will be registered on the permanent map. they are being overly cautious ??
No it doesn't require a hospital stay but it does require computer controlled treatment since the radiation used is at least 3 times normal dose. They will probably use radioactive glucose so that requires setup time and of course a test run. Not sure yet on number of visits but at least 3. No chemo at this time is planned HOOORAYYY!! lol
The back is reacting to all the weird positions I have to get into for the scans .I CANNOT lay on my stomach or on back with head on same plane as spine. This makes their work 10 times more difficult. so I MUST endure some very painful positions. So far have had no serious pains sciatica or numbness. Am resting up for the treatment by doing my excercises ,no lifting bending or twisting.
No pain in a normal position but when I bend to the left the spines yells "Don't do that stupid" lol
Hoping for the best as I don't think I'll be allowed to use pain pills or muscle relaxers. Hoping to be allowed to lay on my right side with legs straight. I sleep that way so know I can endure it for at least 2 hours??? gary


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Take notes. There's a book in this somewhere.
You're going in on Wednesday? Hang in there, keep exercising, don't bend to the left and report back when you can.
((((hug))))


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So Gary, how'd it go?


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Hi
Radiation went well but back went out lol Lasted 1 hr 40 min. and they tied me up so no moving . Right leg went dead but did return without the dreaded sciatica.
Will now have a total of 5 treatments for two reasons Dr two fears strong radiation 3 mm from the heart especially since I developed a twitch in the low back area and due to mucus buildup they are afraid I might cough.
Second treatment is today and she promises it will be under an hour but even more important that I not move lol.
I have very strong pills for my back but they tend to make me sick at the stomache . Vomiting is not allowed during treatment lol. Other 3 treatments will be decided on todays results . Going to go with a tranquillizer though that usually doesn't work on my back but fear doubling the pain pills. gary


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Hang in there Gary, it will be over soon.


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Praying the treatment will be fast and that you won't twitch.


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what about a small towel roll under your low back and a pillow under your knees to take some of the pressure off your Back?


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Hi
Second treatment went very well using the tranquilliser.
I doubled the dose which I'm not supposed to do due to side effects. Treatment was stopped once when I started to count my fingers lol Was tied up some more . I started to hum to the music which caused irregular breathing but computer was able to compensate. 40 minutes in I fell asleep causing my arms to roll inwards more velcro was applied lol. Was just having a wonderful "dream" about a waterfall I saw in Costa Rica when she said . "You made it the treatment is finished "!! Took a few seconds to realise I wasn't in Costa Rica and a couple more to realise that not a single muscle worked but I could wiggle my toes. Leg movement returned and she helped me sit up right . Only the usual dullness remained in the left hip but NO PAIN!!! Was able to stand and bring the spine to an upright position . After a scary wave of dizziness was able to walk alone though I di run into the wall lol.
Wanna run faster. That is the usual method they use difference this time was elevating the knees more but I suspect the real answer is the tranquiliser Anyway it worked !!!
Due to some shrinking and shifting of the tumor the other 3 treatments have been rescheduled for next week.
As I write this . I don't feel anything including no pain in the left hip. May try to catch up on my yardwork at least a little. No indications at all on my chest but side effect shouldn't show up for at least 2 more weeks.
But right now there is nothing!!
I wanted to celebrate by having a cigarette and a shot of Jack but dr thought not a good idea!! What do they know??lol
Thanks to everyone for the good wishes !! They help a lot!! gary


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I know most men wouldn't want to talk about shrinkage but this sounds like good news! Now, don't over do it in the yard, it's too hot. Rest up.
As far as a cig. and a shot, go for it! I would.
Wish we could come and do yard work for you but my back is almost as bad as yours!


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Did Wanda just say that! OMG! I'm laughing hysterically.
But she's right. Be careful out there. The heat is brutal.


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Gary, please forgive me for trying to give you a chuckle. Guess I shouldn't have said that.
Wishing you the best next week.


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No No don't apologize....it was brilliant.I'm still laughing(and thinking of Seinfeld)


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So Gary, did you actually get any yard work done this weekend or were you hanging out on the patio with a little JD? How are you feeling? Did you go for another treatment yesterday? Since you said you have 3 x I'm guessing it's M-W-F?


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Gary,

I just started reading this post and I hope you don't mind my giving you my two cents. My MIL died from throat cancer that spread at 52, my SIL from lung cancer at 50, my Dad from lung cancer at 85 and everyone in my DH's family dies of cancer, except for my FIL. This man beats the odds everytime. He had throat cancer, beat it. Then twice had bladder cancer and beat it, with no surgery. He'll be 88 in August.

I can't tell you of how many people I know who have beat it or gotten a lot more time by trying new things the cancer centers offered.

I will tell you that a friend's father, who is an oncologist, recommends the Cleveland Clinic in Weston, by Fort Lauderdale for cancer treatment.

I'll be praying for you and please, keep hanging in there.

Julie


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Hi
Finally got through the treatments after some more delays. So far have no side effects except for a slight cough. Now the waiting game to see how effective it was.
Two followup exams are scheduled within a month to rate the effectiveness. Chief dr describes me as "cured" but won't put it in writing lol
Wanda Coffeemom You have me at a disadvantage I never watched Seinfeld found his subjects rather silly. Surely even Seinfeld wouldn';t do a show on "cancer?? Now that's really high humor??
Julie My mother and one brother died of cancer and lost my last brother in Nov. to Leukemia. He got only 18 weeks after diagnosis!!!
I based my decision on the treatments on statistics .
Cyberknife has runaway the best results particularly with side effects. The location was decided by the insurance co. lol Unless you're Donald you're not going to pay for it on your own lol. I found "Web M D VERy usefull in considering alternatives ,contacts though you can't find statistics on individual clinics or doctors.
Also gave a lot of info. on other problems such as costs .pressure on other family members ,"Living wills" etc. etc. Particularly found the guidelines on "Open Dicussion" on last rites. Brought out a lot of things I'd NEVER considered.lol.
Anyway ,don't think I'll write anymore on the subject far to heavy for GW. The forum should be fun ??
Thanks to everyone for the concern,help, and good wishes!! To those who wrote to me personally, will certainly try to respond but gee I'm not much of a writer.lol gary


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Gary, I'm glad your through your treatments with little side effects. It's good to know about the different treatments, I had never heard of cyberknife. Good to know.


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Hey Gary, How's it going?

Helen


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Hi
Side effects aren't supposed to show up for around 4 weeks after treatment but so far have been limited to dull headaches and sore muscles particularly in the arms lots of coughing producing mucus but no blood . No burns, rashes,itching at least so far. Going in Tuesday for another scan to assess what was accomplished .
Did manage to get the hedge clipped finally!!! The neighbors were losing small children in the growth lol.
Need to do some potting but afraid of irritating the back, has finally settled to limited mobility but NO PAIN!!!
gary


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Hi Gary,

Just checking in to say hi! How are you doing?

WRF


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Hey Gary, just checking in on you. Hope every thing is good with you and your enjoying this heat! Have you had much rain, we got some today, what a welcomed sight!


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Hi
Well, had a follow up scan and it looks good. Will have a PET scan in Sept. to see if any spreading . The dreaded "Tired" side effect has shown up big time . Feel like I've run a marathon every day lol. Very tired yet can't sleep except in short naps., Some coughing and "tightness" in the chest,otherwise have avoided the other side effects so far.(fingers crossed) lol
All bloodwork came back good except for VERY low iron content. No explanation so far. Might explain the "weakness".but not an expected side effect??
gary


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So glad your first test was good. My blood work came back with high iron? Took another test and never heard back from the Dr. Guess it's back to normal. Ofcourse that's the VA.
This heat has me dragging, so just hang in there and hopefully it will get better.


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Gary,
Hope the scan in Sept. is a good one. Take it easy on yourself. It's too hot out there anyway. I know how crazy sitting around can make you, but you have to give your body time to repair itself and conserve your energy. Is it ok to have a beer (or two)?

Julie


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Hi
First bills from the radiation have hit the insurance co. 280,000 and counting lol Scary part is that I'm not halfway through treatment yet YIKES!!!
Haven't heard about my share as yet. Wonder if this includes sedatives for "Bill shock"?? lol gary


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Hi
Thought I'd add a couple of words since I was up anyway, watching the eclipse. Even broke out my small telescope!! Fantastic!!!
Anyway have now completed 5 scans and all were negative , Only a scar remains of the tumor. Feeling MUCH MUCH better though still coughing , headaches but much less intensity.. PET scan is scheduled for the 5th with glucose .
Got some bad news .SIL who was diagnosed with lung cancer around a month before me has tested positive for liver cancer !! Haven't heard what they'll do now .
She had chemo and has been constantly sick since the treatments. I'm feeling very lucky that my side effects have been so minor.!!!
Anyway for me nothing but good news lol gary


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I'm soo glad your feeling better and hopefully that will be the end of your cancer! Sorry to hear about your SIL. I'll say a prayer for her.
Glad to see you back posting. Keep your chin up and Merry Christmas to you and your wife!


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Wanda
A bit belated but thank you for the good wishes!!
Was waiting for my other scan to return before posting again. Had a torso and brain scan due to the headaches .
Both were negative though Dr.1 is arguing with Dr.2 over a right lung mass. Blood tests were good but have no report from main dr.. Next scans are scheduled for mid April UNLESS i fail X rays .Anyway things seem to be going well. looks like I selected the right treatment and apparently at the right time. Only 3 more years to go lol
Anyway that's where it stands as of today gary


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Yea Gary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is great news. Sounds like you did make the right choices. What a wonderful way to start the New Year.

(sorry about your SIL news, though)


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Gary, I'm so glad to hear that things are looking good for you. Keep us posted on your next X-ray. We're still praying for you.


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Hi
Finally feel strong enough to tackle the kitchen remodel . Hoping that goes well lol
Went to main dr and all is well at least in his opinion.
No conflicting diagnoses HOORAY!!
SIL Has taken a turn for the worse. Not only confirmed liver cancer but has a new mass on the opposite lung.
Obviously even more treatment will be necessary.
Has been suffering with very serious side effects from the chemo. have no idea as to what they'll do now.can't get a marker on the lung mass due to water in both lungs.
May have to remove one lung!!! I seem to be VERY VERY lucky?? gary


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Yeppie!! I'm so glad you feeling better and all is well Gary. Sorry about your SIL, that doesn't sound so good. I have a friend in his 50's that is going thrue cancer in his mouth, he had chemo and radiation plus surgery and it has gone down into another place. He is going over to Tampa for treatment again. We're hoping he can get another year or two more. Very sad.
Good luck on your remodel!


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RE: Medical costs

Hi
Thought I'd update a bit as I had another PET scan.
The original tumor is gone but some growth in scarring tissue but to be expected they tell me lol. No new tumors or suspect growth ANYWHERE HOORAY!! They did note a small tumor on the adrenal gland and the gall stones are growing
but feel no symtoms as yet no treatment at this time.
Insurance co. is changing the rules yet again Boggles the mind how expensive this has been and still have 4 more years to go before considered "cured" lol
At least the visits to the specialists has declimed to every 4 months and no new treatments are required so the costs should drop considerably. Thank the LORD for MEDICARE!!!! lol gary


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RE: Medical costs

I love hearing the good news Gary. I'm very forunate to have the VA and Medicare. I kept the medicare just in case something happens here I can go right to the hospital.
Keep on with the good health!!


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RE: Medical costs

Great News Gary!!!!!!


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RE: Medical costs

Wow... I have been gone from this forum way, way too long.

Gary, I'm sorry I missed all of this. I'm just reading it today and I'm so impressed with your humor and patience through the whole ordeal. I'm also thrilled that you've had good news to report. Big, big hugs to you!

Kate


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RE: Medical costs

Hi
Thanks everyone for the good wishes!!!. Insurance co has canceled my main dr . So it's either change drs. or insurance co .lol
kate You mean there's a choice?? I'd much prefer to ignore the whole thing. Still waiting on developing a working attitude on "WAITING" lol. My last visit was 3 hours behind schedule but at least I didn't get any bad news. Thanks again gary


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RE: Medical costs

Glad to hear the good news! I could write a book about what I've gone through with insurance companies. It's bad enough you don't feel well, but then you have to put up with all their crap.

I never go to a doctor's appt. without a book. It's a good time to catch up on reading.

Julie


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RE: Medical costs

Julie
I take an electronic game but find it's a good time to look around. There are a LOT of people in far worse shape than me!! lol In the last case Dr B was scheduled 2 hours after Dr A. Got out of A two hours late so was two hours late before I even got to B. I did get to see both in one day though,figured they would reschedule then I could spend yet another day waiting lol Next appointments have
3 drs' on the same day that should be a real adventure lol. At least the appts are 3 months in the future and I'm down to 3 drs rather than 5 lol
I have a dream that on one occasion during this treatment I'll actually get in and out on time??? Why is that in the realm of science fiction?? lol
gary


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RE: Medical costs

Gary, I missed all of this. I'm glad it isn't as bad as expected, and hope all is going well.


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RE: Medical costs

Hi
well, the treatments are going well Insuances not so well. They cancelled my main dr.lol I certainly don't want to change drs. during the treatments so I'm switching insurance co. What a hassle that is !!!. My next tests are schedules for sept so i do have some time to straighten things out . Dr has agreed to accept whatever he can get lol Thank the lord i don't have any treatments ongoing now. Mind boggling how expensive this has been and still 4 more years to go!! Thanks for the good wishes!!!
gary


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RE: Medical costs

Hi
Have had two more scans which Dr. 1 say look fine but Dr 2 say shows a"suspicious area " Another round of tests
scheduled for the 19th just when I was thinking I might go a whole month WITHOUT a test.,lol Guess i have to do what i'm told At least I don't have to see Dr.1 until Jan of next year gary


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RE: Medical costs

Hi
Visited my main doctor yesterday and the analysis of the last P scan shows three suspicious nodules. in the left lung. Dr. wants to start immediate chemotherepy but I'm opposed to that!!!. There are some alternatives that i'm going to check into as well as get another opinion. It is possible but not likely that the nodes are scarring from the tumor but since a biopsy is not possible the risk is high for delaying Going to be a REALLY tough decision lol. Ironicly i feel better now than at any time since my treatment.!! lol gary


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RE: Medical costs

  • Posted by tomncath St.Pete-Z10A-Heat 10 (My Page) on
    Thu, Nov 17, 11 at 19:09

Gary, how are you doing?

I'm really sorry I have not spent more time over here.

Tom


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RE: Medical costs

Hi
Not as good as I'd hoped lol. Both Drs want to give me Chemo but I think I'm going to refuse . Don't want to sprend the rest of my life sick and I feel better right now than I have in months. The cyberknife worked well for the tumor(completely gone) but the nodules are undoubtedly
cancer BUT might be pneumonia scars Am I an optomist or what?? lol
Has been the toughest decision of my life for sure!!!
gary


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RE: Medical costs

Hey Gary! Haven't been to this side of the forum for a while. I hope you are continuing to feel good and are able to enjoy the holidays. You have been through some rough times this year but have always had an optimistic view. Raising my glass of egg nog to you, my friend...Cheers!


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RE: Medical costs

I'm raising my glass of eggnog, right along with Coffeemom's!
I've been thinking about you, Gary, and stopped by the forum today just to wish you a Merry Christmas and the healthiest, happiest new year possible!

Kate


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RE: Medical costs

I know some people that have had chemo and it has healed them. I don't think I want to go through that pain. No pain pill has worked for me since I suffered a mild concussion in 2004. I know most folks would think I'm strange to not want chemo.I feel that it is almost inevitable for me to get. I smoked for 26 years and I have 3 relatives that died from it. I had a friend that tried alot of different alternative things for her husband's cancer. I can't say it helped any, except for peace of mind. I know it has got to be an incredibly hard decision for you. Please pray about it. That usually helps me make the right decision. You are in my prayers.


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RE: Medical costs

zackey
Seems that "no treatments" is the most difficult of all!! have been exploring that option but is full of problems. Give you the lecture an Oncologist gave me.
" While chenotherepy is only 40 percent effective and is fraught with many side effects in 90 percent of all cases it does expand the survivability often into several years.
as well as greatly expand the quality of life . As to the side effects there is no way to predict except in general terms BUT the greatest advances of the last ten years are methods for handling them ." No treatment usually results in the very rapid advance of the problem which has a few "Side effects of its own"
I lost both brothers and mother and father to cancer. I particularly felt in my mothers case that the chemo was more of a problem than the disease. Seemed futile effort that only prolonged the agony. Hoping that I am wrong about that. Though reluctant I see no other course.
If interested there are several on line groups that I have found invaluable in sorting it out. "Lung cancer alliance" is great for general info as well as the support group . Talking with other people with the same problems helps a lot. Another is "Web M.D." giving you info on the various treatments as well as the drugs used.
Hope the New year improves your situation. I certainly would seek help if for no other reason than to ease the transition .?? Thanks to everyone for the good wishes
Happy holidays to everybody!!! gary


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RE: Medical costs

I'm a little late for Christmas blessings so will wish you a very healthy and Happy New Year Gary.


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RE: Medical costs

Gary, I'm also praying that all will be well. Doctors are overly cautious. I had a doctor tell me that if I didn't have chemo for a breast tumor that I would die in six months. I thought that odd, since it hadn't spread, so I went to another doctor. He hit me with a few rounds of radiation to shrink it, intending to cut it out, and it disappeared entirely. He told me that the other Dr. owned part of the chemo center and had several law suits against her where she had people get unneeded chemo that almost killed them.

Have you looked into alternative treatments? I have studied herbal and natural medicine for a long time, and I'd be happy to send you what I know. You can email me at dsa2591 at gmail.


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RE: Medical costs

Hi
Thanks for the very kind offer. I asked about alternatives from the "lung cancer alliance" that I mentioned above. The reply "While there are several alternative methods that hold promise statisyicly the results are disappointing. Less than 10 percent. The statistics are somewhat flawed so are usually based on 5 year survivability. Chemotherapy is 40 percent. this is also true of several drug treatments. the highest being 15 percent." A good course of treatment would be an appropriate mix of several treatments and most important of all constant monitoring as lung cancer is notorious at spreading to other organs as well as reappearing. It is VERY rare for it to not go into remission at some point and also very rare for it not to return ."
We would certainly follow your oncologist directions .
Sounds like good advice to me?? lol
In my case I seem to be following the average prognosis .
While the Cyberknife treatment completely shrank the original tumor it seems to have reappeared in the other lung. 3 very small "nodules" seem to have come up. Since I can't have surgery the only reliable treatment is chemo.
Can't have Cyberknife again for several reasons. Another PET scan was done on the 30th to measure the growth of the nodules. Have not heard the results of this until the 13th . Have not heard the opinion of the second oncologist but the first would only recommend aggresive chemo but only IF the nodules are growing and active.
Anyway I thank you for your offer but I feel that I'm doing all that is possible in a holistic way.
I guess it's time to pay for all the abuse I heaped on my body during my youth ??!!lol gary


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RE: Medical costs

I'm so sorry for what you are going through. I'll say a prayer for you. Whatever you decide is the right decision for you. You are obviously an intelligent guy and surely want the best for yourself. You don't have a crystal ball to help you know what to do. It's a lot easier to stand outside a situation and tell someone what to do than to actually make those decisions yourself. God bless.


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RE: Medical costs

Hi
Got some GOOD news yesterday as my latest PET scan showed that two of the three nodules have declined in size while the third has moved which means it can'r be a tumor.
This means chemo won't be necessary!!! Also means I can go 3 months without being scanned ,stuck or probed lol
Only down side is that I'll get even older ?? I guess that's the tradeoff lol gary


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That is awesome! Older is better!


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I'd say that's great news Gary! Heres to a peaceful 3 months!


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Hi
Visited my chief onc. 15th and since I passed my blood tests and no new symtoms will delay another PET scan until Sept . though waiting for expected approval from 2nd onc.I'm actually feeling better than at any time since this began but obviously would feel better with another negative scan!! lol
thanks to some inhalers I'm able to do a bit of yard work
Sister in law has completed 5th round of chemo which will be the last but she has developed atumor on the liver which tested positive . She is too weak for surgery and radiation has been ineffective at best.
Wish i knew sometrhing that would help. I feel SOOOO lucky!!! though i think the cyberknife is a MUCH better treatment?? gary


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RE: Medical costs

Great News, Gary! I'm glad you're feeling good enough to play in the yard.Hope it's fun stuff and not weeding.

Sorry to hear about your sister in law, though. That stinks.


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RE: Medical costs

Thinking about you, Gary, and wishing you continued good news!

Kate


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RE: Medical costs

Hi
Second dr .ordered a PET scan but not until Aug. So will have to believe it's under control I have always been on the edge of being a "hoarder" mostly plants but animals also. Have done considerable downsizing but finding it very difficult to give up anything lol
I have been able to catch up on most of the pruning except for a "pet " tree that I have no idea how to prune

i feel particularly bad about the orchids ,have downsized two thirds the remaining I'm "repurposing' to test some grow theories. They are my favorite plants
Anyway thanks for the good wishes So far I've been VERY lucky but sure would be nice to have a negative report gary


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RE: Medical costs

Hi
Well, my sister inlaw passed away the morning of the 26th.Apparently from lung failure but she had developed several other problems. I felt a rather close kinship with her as we were both diagnosed within a month.
At least the struggle is over for her, the last couple of months were pure hell . gary


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RE: Medical costs

I'm so sorry to hear your sister in law passed. Sometimes it's for the best even though I'm sure you will miss her.
Good luck this month on your pet scan.


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RE: Medical costs

Hi
Well good news all the way around!! Lungs were clear Nothing suspicious in colon ,prostrate ,brain , throat.
Emphezema is advancing but slowly sure notice a decline in physical activity. Failed tredmill test completely so have no results on heart damage . OH GOODY that means even more tests!! lol
As I mentioned SIL passed away, apparently from liver rather than lung failure neighbor passed away last week from inoperable brain cancer. She had a hundred times the symtoms that I've experienced. She was being considered as a patient for the new Hadron center in Miami!!
Anyway thought I'd write this down will have another series of tests in Jan gary


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RE: Medical costs

Hi
While visiting chief oncologist met a fellow patient
that was celebrating 104 years Born in 1908!!
She was first diagnosed with colon cancer in in 1980
guess surviving is certainly posssible!!!?? gary


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RE: Medical costs

Hi
have not updated this because I have almost nothing to report. Will have a complete PET scan in late May Will have completed 3 years since diagnosis. Only two more years to go lol gary


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RE: Medical costs

Hi Gary,
Its been a looong time! (since the last swap I believe)
It's great to hear that you are going well.
how is everything else going?

-sb


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Hi
Well have considerably downsized my grow area though decided to revamp the water and marsh gardens G oing to add an area for a fern garden as the canaopy has returned after the hurricanes.. Given up all my birds except one parakeet.Living in the remains of my large aviary.
. have moved many of the orchids out into the yard just to see if it will work lol hate giving up all my stuff but what ya gonna do ?? lol gary


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RE: Medical costs

Hi
had my complete PET/scan and appears to be no activity anywhere!! Even the original tumor scar has disappeared!!. Will now be an entire year before the next set of tests HOORAY!!! gary


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RE: Medical costs

3 cheers for Gary!!! So glad your scan is clear!


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hi
Thanks for the encouragement!! Feel fairly confident as
it was a very complete PET scan plus Xrays.
just had a BIL pass away who went from diagnosis to death in less than 4 weeks!! he had inoperable pancreatic cancer though which had already advanced to the lymph glands . I feel VERY VERY lucky!!! thanks again gary


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RE: Medical costs

Gary, thanks for sharing the good news! Yea!!!
This is the only posting on the garden forum I still subscribe to; I always want to hear how you are doing!


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RE: Medical costs

Great news, Gary! Whoop it up this year! :)


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RE: Medical costs

Hi
thought I'd update this a bit since they canceled my scan in Dec. . reason being that all my blood tests were negative as well as X rays,!! so will wait until May.
Don't know why I've been so fortunate but am certainly grateful!!! apparently I caught it at the right time and had the correct treatment??? Still got two more years before I'm "cured" lol Obviously won't have any more info until May so going to believe everything is fine?? lol gary


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RE: Medical costs

Hi
Well lung dr ordered cat scan had" suspicious shadows"
had PET scan. Results "shadows were caused by mucus
there is no cancerous activity at this time " Will see oncologist in May another PET scan will be done in June.
looks like I might live for a while longer in spite of their best efforts?? lol gary


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RE: Medical costs

Hi
Well have had two more scans . "no cancerous activity though original tumor has changed shape and location"
These test were ordered by regular dr. See oncologist in May as scheduled . Was just reading through the posts ,coming up on 4 years . Original ?? Medical costs ?? Mind boggling . Whatever you imagine triple it !!! gary


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