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Dealing with "The Big C"

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Michael Echan, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. Michael Echan

    Michael Echan Member

    In case some of you were thinking this, no, I do not have cancer, thank God. But my dad's best friend, my "Uncle" Bill, was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He'll be having surgery to remove the tumor soon, but I forget the exact date.

    My pop told me about this yesterday and I was a little shocked, but it didn't really hit me until this morning. To be honest, I feel pretty awful and sad inside. I'm trying not to dwell on it, but fuck, this hit me like a sledgehammer from Hell. Dad isn't acting sad and worried on the outside. Hell, when my Uncle Bill (an old Marine, as there are never any ex-Marines ;)), my dad was telling him to be strong, fight through it and he will beat this thing. God bless him.

    I haven't dealt too much with death in my life, and have almost no dealings with cancer that I can remember. All this is new to me and it scares the shit out of me. Just looking for support, advice, whatever I can use to wrap my mind around this. I've already started to look up for any pancreatic cancer fund-raisers in the NJ area, so any tips/suggestions would be appreciated.

    Also, if anyone else here is dealing with cancer, either with themselves, family or friends, please use this space as another part of your support network. I hope this helps, even if it's just in a small way. God bless.
  2. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    my mom's an 11-year survivor of pancreatic cancer so don't give up hope. she's one of md anderson's shining success stories. would gladly pass on contact info by pm if your uncle bill ever needs to talk to someone who has been there and beaten that bastard of a disease. most important thing i can tell you is don't dwell on the bad news you'll find while researching.
  3. fishhack2009

    fishhack2009 Active Member

    Thoughts are with you, Michael.

    Here are just a few links:




    As far as a way to take up the fight yourself, your local Relay for Life would be a good place to start...One day we are going to beat this fucking disease... one dollar at a time.
  4. jlee

    jlee Active Member


    My grandmother was diagnosed with lymphoma about a year and a half ago. Melanoma soon followed, as did a tumor on her brain, which somehow -- thankfully -- is benign (I really never understood how that's possible). She was getting frail, weak, and didn't live much outside of her room or a hospital bed.

    I live 5,000 miles away, so the best I could do was call her every week and make it down for Christmas 2009. She made it until then, and a family member hinted that she'd been holding on just for my return. It felt tragic and comforting all at once.

    Then I got a call in February just two days after I had been out of cell phone range for two weeks. It was Grandma. With news I hadn't expected. Her cancer was in remission.

    I'm really just sharing this so you know you're not the only one who's felt helpless in this situation. I felt plenty helpless -- and depressed -- and pissed off. But there's always a chance, and the more you stay in touch with your uncle, the easier it is to deal with it.
  5. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    This disease is so indiscriminate, it baffles me.

    My high school football coach is now 72. We're still in touch because he was a well-connected source when I was on the college beat here (he's a booster a school not far away, very connected in the local football circle).

    Anyway, he emailed Wednesday to tell me a guy I played football with in high school was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer. The guy was 31 — he died today.

    I can't believe it because the guy went on to become a pretty accomplished body builder after high school.

    He's dead at 31. I, at age 34, and my 72-year-old high school football coach are still alive.
  6. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    My favorite aunt died of breast cancer in October. She got her first diagnosis in 2001 and it looked like she beat it, but seven years later it came back to her bones. They gave her three months and she lived 18 months, fighting every bit of the way. Her daughter was pregnant when she got the diagnosis and she said, "I will live to see my grandchild." and did.
  7. copperpot

    copperpot Well-Known Member

    Michael, I can relate. My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer early this month. My family already lost my brother three years ago, so when my dad called to tell my about my mom, I lost it not only because my mom is quite possibly the most wonderful person I know, but also because I can't stand the thought of my family getting any smaller. I know it will eventually, but my mom herself said the reason she was so upset at the news is not because of what might potentially happen to her, but because my dad, sister and I are still struggling with losing our brother and she hates the thought of adding any more grief. That's my mom ... always thinking of others.

    She started chemo last week and it went OK. One of the hardest parts of this is that she and my dad spend their winters in Florida, so they're really far away. But after the first round of chemo, they're coming back up to NY, so thankfully they'll be only a two-hour drive from me.

    I stopped reading up on lung cancer after I saw that something like 40 percent of people who get it die within the first year. I was encouraged that Lance Armstrong's testicular cancer had spread to his brain and lungs, and he was able to beat all that. Plus, the doctor said for all he knows, my mom has 10 years still ahead of her, so I'm choosing to focus on that. I learned not long ago that I'm expecting my second child, so I'm trying as hard as I can to keep my thoughts on an even keel and not expose the baby to all the stress I feel.

    Thanks for reading.
  8. Michael Echan

    Michael Echan Member

    Thanks for all the support and suggestions, guys & gals. It's really appreciated. Right now, I'm thinking about doing a 5K walk in DC on June 19. If I end up doing that, I'll let everyone know.
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