I have multiple myeloma, which generally is considered an incurable cancer, though some people stay in remission for decades. I am in the US. My doctor tells me that, once people are in remission, American doctors tend to put them on low-dose maintenance chemo for life, while French doctors, using the exact same data, have concluded that maintenance therapy is appropriate for a year, but after that, it has too negative an impact on quality of life for the benefits to be worth it. What gives? [more inside]
My roommate's partner, who is a close friend of mine, has stage III terminal brain cancer. He has been symptom free for almost a year but he has recently been showing signs of the cancer advancing, including seizures. He is terrified of dealing with the system of getting treatment, and has been turned down for disability even though he is unable to work because of the cancer. How can we help? [more inside]
I have multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer) and though I want to do everything possible to regain my health, I'm not a fan of the military metaphors people use. Several studies have found that people who use military metaphors have more trouble with making changes that might prolong their lives. Can the hive mind come up with better ideas? [more inside]
So I was just diagnosed with an incurable blood cancer. Life expectancies are all over the map - from a few years to decades - and I should probably stop Googling them. My family is far away, but my friends are falling over themselves to ask how they can help. I need suggestions for starting to get a handle on this. [more inside]
I am looking for ideas to support and comfort him. It's stage IV prostate cancer, which will give him several more years, at least with treatment. [more inside]
A musician friend received a serious cancer diagnosis last week and his network is quickly mobilizing with a bunch of benefit concerts and a GoFundMe for medical expenses that has been doing well. Now that the pool of donations is hitting some real money, the family is trying to prioritize expenses and make sure they're not stepping into a potential tax liability down the road. [more inside]
In the past year, I have been treated for cancer and my husband died unexpectedly. With the exception of 4 weeks of FMLA earlier this summer, I have continued to work at my professional job with only a few days off here and there. I increasingly want to take some time for myself to figure out who I am now and what I want the second half of my life to look like. Is that terribly indulgent? Is this a thing people do? Will it completely torpedo my career? [more inside]
How do I have cancer alone? [more inside]
The hair and I are parting ways. It’s freaking cold outside. The chemo will probably go on through spring-early summer, so I'll need some lighter stuff as well. I’d like to try and hide the hair loss as long as possible, if that is possible. I have looked at a lot of hats online already, but would like some recommendations as to what worked best for you. [more inside]
Asking for panicking friend who has had a painful swollen lymph node on one side of her neck for a few weeks. Antibiotics didn't help, so last week she had a CAT scan done and the doctor wants her in today for a follow up. [more inside]
I'm asking this for a friend who was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma. She's getting monthly chemo starting next week for 4 months. Following that will be radiation for 6 weeks and then Tamoxifen. She has an 18-month-old son born 3 months premature who cannot stay in daycare (he's immuno-compromised and has short gut syndrome, so the pediatrician has ruled it unsafe until he's at least 3 years old). We are looking for resources to help with child care during her treatment and recovery. [more inside]
My 2-year-old cat is at the veterinarian’s office overnight. I’m afraid she may not have much time left. I’m looking for more information than I’ve got so far so I have a better idea of what I’m dealing with. [more inside]
I've been dating a great guy for a few months now. About a month in he told me that his mom was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor 8 months before we met. His mom has done radiation and was seeming to get better in the last few months. He was making plans for me to meet his family for the first time on Thanksgiving. He just found out his mother has taken a turn for the worse (she's having difficulty walking), and I'd like to know: 1) how I can support him and 2) how to navigate meeting his family during this difficult time. [more inside]
My spouse is having a milestone birthday. She's been fighting cancer for the better part of a year. I'm strapped as to how to show her how much I care. [more inside]
So, my wife was in a bad wreck last monday, and during the course of MRI etc, they found a tumor on her brain. In spite of the hopeful, initial thought, it turns out to be a Grade 3 Annoplastic Astro Cytoma. Which pretty well sucks. The good news is, they were able to excise the entire tumor, plus a bit extra since it's location (right temporal lobe) lent itself to that surgery. [more inside]
You are not my vet. However, I have seen a regular vet and a veterinary oncologist and now have some difficult choices to make and I would be very grateful for first hand accounts from people who have tried metronomic chemotherapy with their pet (especially cats) or other people's pets (if you're a vet or if you're close to someone who has gone through this sort of thing before). I am seeking advice and real-life experiences to supplement any advice regular vets or oncologists may give me. [more inside]
How long do I have to be exposed to 'bad UV' to be at risk of negative effects? [more inside]
Dad's got cancer and the whole family (readers all) are looking for some book recommendations that are light, humorous without being wacky, and immersive. We've got a lot of time to sit around and worry. Thanks!
I've heard that consuming products that have been smoked can increase cancer risk. I've recently started to regularly drink several cups a day of Lapsang Souchong, a smoked tea. I am an ex-smoker so I am concerned that my risk for certain cancers is already elevated. I am having difficulty finding information on if there are any potential cancer risks from drinking this tea and if so, if they are significant enough that I should consider cutting back the amount I am drinking.
My girlfriend is at Sloan Kettering in New York for some surgery and i want to send her a shitload of flowers (and for those of you familiar with Sloan Kettering/cancer in general, she is on a ward where flowers are OK) I am willing to spend a little cash to make it special since I am not with her. She has a lot of other friends wanting to do stuff as well, so I will share your recommendations with them. As always, thanks in advance for your help.
I'm exhausted and burned out from a work project that's been going on for the past six months and won't be done for another 2-4 weeks. A week and a half ago, my dad was diagnosed with cancer, and his prognosis is not good. I need some strategies for dealing with all of this when I already feel like I'm close to the breaking point. Details below. [more inside]
Some one very close to be has been diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the lungs. What can I expect over the next five(?) years? [more inside]
I just started a new job last week and am in a workplace with only one other person. She was crying the other day and it turns out her father was just diagnosed with brain cancer. [more inside]
In this Time magazine interview, Google founder Larry Page talks about the new Calico project. One particular quote jumped out at me: "Are people really focused on the right things? One of the things I thought was amazing is that if you solve cancer, you'd add about three years to people's average life expectancy," Page said. "We think of solving cancer as this huge thing that'll totally change the world [...] but in the aggregate, it's not as big an advance as you might think." Err, really? Can this be true? Or is this one of those statistical tricks - like the one with life expectancy in the middle ages, where we think people died in their mid-thirties, but in reality, once you adjust for infant mortality, people actually typically lived well into their sixties? I tried asking Mr. Google but his answers were confusing.
I am hoping that someone will be able to point me in the direction of any programs that cover room and board in an inpatient hospice care facility in Michigan. The patient is my boyfriend's mother, who has refused chemo and is ready to call hospice to make her remaining time comfortable. She was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer in May and has just been given the prognosis of ~3 months. [more inside]
As previously mentioned, my best pal has a really ugly case of ovarian cancer happening right now. The situation is terrible, the outlook grim. But I know how to make her laugh, which is one of my official jobs on Team Sick Friend. But I need more material! [more inside]
I am going to be interviewing cancer patients on step 3 opioids for pain management (morphine, tramadol, etc.), and I want to understand how that might affect them. It's not clear to me how much it might slow them down, make them easily confused, or anything else. I realize there might not even be an average for this sort of thing. But I'm hoping that people with relevant first-person or clinical experience could help give me an idea what to expect.
So my best friend has ovarian cancer. And we're in our "out of the frying pan, into the fire" moment because she's stage 4 and shit's already going poorly. How do I tell my kid? [more inside]
So my best friend has ovarian cancer. And she's a divorced mom with no family. All of the support is going to come from friends, and I'm the Friend Leader. I'm going to be asking a million questions about this, I bet, in the coming months, but here's where I'm starting: if I say anything sweet or sentimental to her, she's gonna give me a black eye. I need snarky, sarcastic humor & presents for one of the smartest cancer patients ever. [more inside]
My sweet 8 1/2 year old golden retriever has been diagnosed with an aggressive peripheral nerve sheath cancer this week. She can hardly walk on one leg and is on a lot of pain medication and she still is quite uncomfortable. We have been offered palliative radiation as a method of reducing some of her pain, not extending her life. Have you ever chosen palliative radiation for your dog? Was is a good decision for your pet or in hindsight would you have chosen euthanasia instead? [more inside]
A close relative recently had a double mastectomy and is awaiting breast reconstruction surgery. She is still in recovery phase, and is surrounded by her loving and supportive family. Because of work issues I'm unable to visit for a while. I've sent flowers, and made phone calls, but I would like to get something delivered to her either brighten her day or make this time easier or any more comfortable for her and her family. [more inside]
My dog has bone cancer, and spends most of his time gimping around on three legs due a gross tumor on one of his hind legs. He's already a pretty striking dog (obligatory photos here and here and here), so people already often stop to talk to me about him and comment. Now, he has a very pronounced three-legged gate, and people comment on that too. I'm having a hard time dealing with explaining to people "he has cancer" multiple times a day, and watching their faces drop. Any suggestions as to how I can handle this better so I don't ruin my own and other people's day by making everyone think about awesome dogs dying? [more inside]
Do nutritional supplements for dog cancer work? [more inside]
I took my dog to vet to get his teeth cleaned today. They saw a very obvious bump on his nose that I hadn't noticed before, told me to see a specialist ASAP, and the dental cleaning did not happen. And then I cried in the car for twenty minutes. Obviously, I'm not asking for a diagnosis via Metafilter, but how can I negotiate/maneuver with veterinary costs? [more inside]
I was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer and will be having surgery next week to remove the testicle with the tumor. Should I be thinking about preserving sperm yet? [more inside]
My extremely-gifted best friend halfway across the world was depressed and then recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Now she's nearly suicidal. I'm in over my head and I don't know what to do... [more inside]
Looking for good books on cancer. [more inside]
Please give me recommendations on good Bay Area cancer treatment centers. [more inside]
My husband has a few more months before cancer takes his energy, and then his life. We have a 17 month old son. My husband plans to write some letters to our son, but beyond that, I am not sure what to do to help my son know his father. Any ideas? [more inside]
Having a potentially cancerous skin growth removed by a plastic surgeon. What should I expect? [more inside]
Mohs surgery, end of next month. What should I be asking the surgeon in the meantime? [more inside]
My boss is using fiberglass insulation to block an air duct. Am I going to die of cancer because of this? [more inside]
Knowledge-based hope is much needed. Since my first plea -- which helped a lot, really, this month of May has been sorrowful for Maria João and for me. A metastatic brain tumor (around 3 cms) was detected and removed. Gamma-knife surgery is next. Tomorrow starts the search for other cancerous tumors in her body. We both feel, against all odds, that we will be lucky. But what should we do? What should we hope for? Statistics are againsts us but we love each other truly. Two months ago we found a beautiful house to move into. We could move in come July, after all the tests are made. What should we do? What should our attitude be? Should we move or stay put? Should we change country? Should we prepare to die? Or live as much as we still can? Desperate questions need realistic answers. We're fighting for our lives here. Please tell us, knowingly, how to behave. For what it's worth - usually nothing - I think this time we'll be lucky enough to survive. Whatever happens.
Looking for cancer survival statistics by individual hospitals in England. [more inside]
My father is in his late 60s, former smoker (20+ years, quit about 25 years ago.) was recently diagnosed with bladder cancer. Where and how to get the best treatment? [more inside]
My urologist suggested I read an article regarding prostate cancer in the February 2012 issue of Esquire (the one with Bill Clinton on the cover). I just went to three stores and of course the February issues are gone. Can you help me find it online. My "google fu" isn't great! I would like to read it online before my a.m. appointment. It doesn't have to be free. Please hope me! No special snowflake stuff inside!
Does gastric cancer always bleed? [more inside]
Catfilter: I'm looking for experiences from cat owners who have had cats with mast cells in their spleen. What's the survival time following a splenectomy ? (This is assuming lab results and the vet suggest that procedure.) [more inside]
What is chemotherapy like for a young man with melanoma? Can anyone direct me to a good primer, fiction or nonfiction, on what it's like to have this kind of cancer? [more inside]
I don't want my sister, hospitalised in the U.K. to die in pain. She will die soon of anal cancer and surgical complications including an extremely painful fistula. I would like to know if she has legal rights to be kept pain free, even if that leads to death. I know doctors can make that choice. I would like to know if she can also make the choice. I do not live in England, and cannot stay with her until she dies, others of the family will be with her. [more inside]
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