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Author Topic: The good morning, good night thread  (Read 589633 times)
Geoff_N
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« Reply #4665 on: May 08, 2015, 05:35:30 PM »

Very sorry to hear that Russell, and for your troubles, Ed.
My son's wife was diagnosed with breast cancer last year when she was only 29 and with 3 daughters. Her prognosis was grim with a 50:50 chance of dying within 3 months because of the aggressive nature of the cancer and the fact she'd hidden it for 6 months before going to her doc. The family had to make contingency plans for coping after her possible demise and that was pretty stressful for all of us. However, she pulled through the treatments and is now clear!

Yes, live life as much as you can. Which is why after my angioplasty, I enjoy my grandkids all the more and charge up those hills on my bike with extra vigour!
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desertwomble
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« Reply #4666 on: May 08, 2015, 10:42:02 PM »

Life seems to be throwing a lot of curve balls around at the moment. Sorry to hear your news Russell and Ed.

Your advice couldn't have come at a more opportune time by the way, Russell.

DW
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Ed
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« Reply #4667 on: May 10, 2015, 09:41:15 AM »

Thanks for the sympathies, guys, but my problems melt into insignificance next to life and death issues. I'm in the fortunate position of having several good options to choose from, so it's not all bad. In a year's time I'll be over it and on the next non-crisis. I was looking through my work diary from about eight or ten years ago the other night, which helped put things in perspective. I was dealing with a very stressful situation at the time, which was detailed there in the book, but I couldn't even remember the names of the people involved and had no visceral reaction relating to the stress I felt at the time. Storm in a teacup. This will likely be the same sort of thing for me in ten years.
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
Russell
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« Reply #4668 on: May 15, 2015, 02:31:46 AM »

My thanks to all of you for your words and thoughts.  My wife passed away yesterday evening, just ten weeks after her first symptoms.  For her there is rest.  For those left behind, a new adventure in a world with a piece missing. 

In the terms of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey, it really does feel like we crossed a threshold. (As I looked up that reference to be sure I had it right, I notice that life in the last few weeks has followed the framework - right down to the archetypes.)

Delboy, your words match so closely my thinking...

"...through trying to ensure that financially I've secured what I can for the family. It's hard, because no matter how many sacrifices I make in the present, it seems impossible to set things up the way I want for the future. So I tend to put everything off that I'd like to do for myself."

I guess there is no right or wrong, but I don't think I'd do anything differently if I had my time again. (Unless, God did show me his plan in detail.)  I always thought that I was setting things up to make my wife and family's live easier should anything happen to me. There is some comfort to know that what I did, will make life easier in the immediate future, that it could have been.

I must go now, I hear that 'Call to Adventure'...
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desertwomble
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« Reply #4669 on: May 15, 2015, 10:36:13 AM »

My thoughts are with you and your family Russell.

Stay strong.

DW
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marc_chagall
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« Reply #4670 on: May 16, 2015, 03:25:57 AM »

Deep sympathies, Russell.
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Ed
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« Reply #4671 on: May 16, 2015, 03:44:12 PM »

So sad to hear your wife passed so soon, Russel. It must all feel quite surreal -- carrying on as normal one day and plunged into crisis the next. I remember on the day of my Gran's funeral, when I saw the world operating as if nothing had happened, I felt like shouting don't you know what's happened? How could everything carry on as normal? I don't know how I would cope in your position.

My own wife is in the midst of a cancer scare. The doctors say all the indications are bad, but we think they're wrong and they're misreading the symptoms. I hope to God we are right and they're wrong. We are now paying for her to go private and get keyhole surgery how we want it and get continuity of care instead of the runaround she has been getting with the NHS. Paying for treatment seems to get you a whole new level of care, more attention, more time, the same consultant each time. I hope it's enough. I'm mindful that I could be back here in a few weeks with a bad prognosis, though.
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
marc_chagall
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« Reply #4672 on: May 18, 2015, 01:21:56 AM »

Crikey, Ed. All best wishes to your wife.
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Ed
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« Reply #4673 on: May 18, 2015, 12:59:41 PM »

Crikey, Ed. All best wishes to your wife.

Thanks. It's been going on so long now that it seems unlikely to be cancer. My wife jokes that she would be dead by now, or at least more symptomatic, if it was the big c. It does feel a bit like we've both been holding our breath forever, though. We will be glad when she's had the op and we know what it is for sure. The problem so far has been the length of time between appointments and seeing a different person every time. I don't see how you can have a proper post investigation appointment with a different doctor to the one who did the investigation. Each time she sees a consultant they spend at least ten minutes reading through the notes and asking the same questions that have been asked and answered a dozen times before. Then they each postulate a different theory. It's thoroughly crap.
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #4674 on: May 19, 2015, 09:56:05 AM »

I know I'm a day or two late, Russell, but my thoughts go out to you.

Derek
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« Reply #4675 on: May 20, 2015, 07:07:15 PM »

Positive vibes to you Russell. I suppose we all have loved ones who nearly or actually die from cancer or heart. It was me last June who was rushed by ambulance to Liverpool's Heart and Chest Hospital but I survived thanks to the NHS. I think of that journey every day - the jokes with the ambulance crew, the flashing blue light reflecting through the smoked glass windows and the scouse accents of the young nurses. Make every day count eh?
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delboy
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« Reply #4676 on: May 22, 2015, 04:27:26 PM »

The girl who took my Littlewoods Pools renewal today had a scouse accent. I think she said I was in line to win £5 million tomorrow. Looking forward to it!
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"If you want to write, write it. That's the first rule. And send it in, and send it in to someone who can publish it or get it published. Don't send it to me. Don't show it to your spouse, or your significant other, or your parents, or somebody. They're not going to publish it."
 
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« Reply #4677 on: May 23, 2015, 03:58:07 PM »

Let's hope your line isn't among 5 million other winners smiley

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Pharosian
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« Reply #4678 on: May 30, 2015, 04:38:05 PM »

Wow, I just popped in to update folks on a health scare in my own family when I read about Russell's wife passing. My deepest condolences.

Ed, I hope your wife proves to be free of cancer.

Most of you probably remember that my husband had emergency heart surgery 3 years ago due to a dissected aorta. He recovered fully and remarked often how good he felt. He has to get a CAT scan every year since then, so we went to see the surgeon in early April to get his interpretation of this year's scan results. He said that my husband's heart and the surrounding tissue were enlarged, and he needed to have a new aortic valve as well as some vascular repair to the arteries above the original graft. During the consultations that followed, he warned us that since this would be a "do-over," the risks were higher.

So on May 26, my husband went into surgery expecting to be on the table for 8 hours, then have a 6-hour recovery, and be awake and alert the next day. If everything had gone as planned, he could have been looking at being discharged from the hospital today or tomorrow.

But while they were cutting through the sternum, they hit his aorta (due to the scar tissue from first operation and enlarged heart, it was pressed right up against the sternum). The mission parameters changed in an instant to saving his life, and while they were able to keep him alive, they were only able to replace the valve and the previous section of Dacron tube they'd put in the first time. There wasn't time to do the additional vascular work.

Similar to last time, he did not regain consciousness within a few hours of the surgery. He is still unconscious, still in the ICU. On the first and second day post-op, he suffered a series of seizures, had a fever of 102, and had potassium levels so high they had to put him on dialysis for 24 hours.

At the moment, all his vitals and lab results are looking very good, but we still don't know whether he suffered any brain damage during the scramble to stop the aortic bleeding before they could get him on HCA (hypothermic circulatory arrest, which cools the body down enough to allow the brain to go without oxygen for a time).

In the days leading up to the surgery, we knew this was going to be risky and could be the end for him. We got the last testament and living wills drawn up and tried to make sure I know where all the important documents are and what his passwords are, etc. But we also got closer as a couple. It's one thing to have a general knowledge that "we're all going to die someday"; it's quite another to have an inkling of what the date might be.

Seeing him lying there connected to all the tubes and wires and machines puts the things he did and said that drove me up the wall into a different perspective. I just think about how damned grateful I'll be if he makes it through.

Don't put off the things you love doing. Don't assume you'll always have tomorrow.
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marc_chagall
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« Reply #4679 on: May 31, 2015, 09:25:40 AM »

Pharo, I really, really hope you'll be able to update us with some better news shortly.
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