Friday, January 25, 2013

Good, Well Mostly Good News:

Hello Everyone
I hope you are all well and mother nature is being kind to you where ever you are.
Yesterday I met with my radiologist. He answered almost all of my questions. I told him I was thinking of asking for another oncologist because mine has not been answering my questions. He says that may delay my treatments. He’d like me to stay with him because they work so well together. He has encouraged me to insist on answers from the him which I more then intend to do. He had better answer because B doesn’t only stand for Bernie and Jim can tell him he DOES NOT want to see what else B stands for. Remember I was in the Army and I remember the language. LOL!

I asked why it was taking so long to start treatments. He claims that this is normal step by step procedure designed to insure I get the best possible treatment when it does begin. He admitted if he was in my shoes he would be just as frustrated as I am but at this point I am right on schedule.

I had another CAT scan. This time designed to pin point the exact area to be radiated. The point is to hit all the cancer cells but as few healthy cells as possible. They made me lay on a bean bag sort of thing. When they got me as comfortable as possible and in the perfect position for radiation they sucked all the air out of it which left it rigid, sort of like a cast. From now on every time I go in for a treatment they will lay me in that cast. Once the cast was formed around me they did a CAT scan. I now have two tattoos (Geez at me age!) Shucks, I was hoping for tiny butterflies but they are each only the size of a period. LOL! There is one on either side of my chest which will be guides for the radiology techs. 

I don’t have an appointment yet but next week I will go in for a ‘dry run’ of the radiation therapy and to get another tattoo in the center of my chest. AND if all goes to plan I will finally begin treatments a week and a half later! It will consist of 33 radiation treatments and 6 or 7 low does Chemo treatments. Meaning Radiation five days a week for six and a half weeks and at the same time a Chemo treatment once each week. The radiation will each last five minuets. We are looking at starting about two weeks from today. I am thankful we finally have a date to shoot for. This all hinges on the oncologist getting his act together and getting the Chemo pre-approved in time. Dr. Choe REALLY wants the Chemo going at the same time as the radiation. He says with this type of cancer it really makes the radiation work best.  I will see the oncologist on the 31st and give him a kick in the B hind if need be.

Last week I lost two pounds in spite of every effort to keep from doing so. Very disappointing.   Yesterday I got on the scale and was ecstatic to see it I'd put on three pounds in one week! Yahoo!!! Hopefully I will be able to do the same next week and get my strength built up.

As my post tittle suggest it's not all good news. A part of the tumor has grown back and is once again beginning to obstruct my bronchial tube.   It's only been five weeks since I had the bronchoscopy to clear my bronchial tube of all tumor and it's already blocking half of it again.  If it blocks that airway it would most likely cause a collapsed lung.  The treatment for that would be a chest tube.  That would be painful and require a three or four day hospital stay which would definetly delay my treatments.  Monday morning at 6 AM I will report to the hospital for another bronchcoscopy and have that tumor removed again.   Radiation will shrink it and keep it from returning.  The good news is the rest of the tumor has NOT gotten any bigger at all. Thank God!

Even before the CAT scan I knew the tumor had grown.  I could feel it.  I have to admit to really being frightened  and an emotional wreck.   Jim knew I needed an big emotional boost so he called Kai, my oldest son, and asked him to come over this weekend. Kai said he couldn’t wait and took the day off and drove over to spend the day with me. No small feat as it was three long hours of dangerous snow covered roads here and even worst it took him four hours to get back home. It usually only takes him a little over two hours to get here. I can not begin to tell you how wonderful it was to have that time with him and to get those fabulous hugs. Oh my I crave hugs these days, each one is so comforting and gives me such strength. I must admit to stealing more then just a few of them from him and shedding a few tears of joy to feel his arms around me. He plans to return soon and will bring his amazing wife Vona with him. Something to really look forward to. Vona is a nursing student and has been so very helpful answering my questions, asking her teachers for advice and help when she needs it to help me. She has been a real blessing.

Before I leave you I want to thank you all for your lovely comments, e mails, phone calls and fabulous cards. I am sorry, I have tried to thank each of you as your cards have arrived but I know I have missed a few of you. When all this started I asked Our Heavenly Father to send me an angel to help me thru this. He didn’t send me one, instead He has sent me dozens upon dozens. Angels do exist, some don’t have wings and we call them friends. Each and everyone of you is an angel to me and you can be sure you are truly making a major difference in my life when I need you most. I find there are people out there just waiting to drag me down but one glace at the stack of cards and the page after page of your comments and e mails keeps me positive and determined and the words to the song I Will Survive often comes to mind.

Oh, no, not I, I will survive

Oh, as long as I know how to love,

I know I'll stay alive

I've got all my life to live,

I've got all my love to give

And I'll survive, I will survive.

I thank you all for that and I hug each of you in my heart.

Love and Blessings



  1. Sending a bucket load of hugs Bernie and keeping you in my thoughts. I'm sat here with tears rolling down my cheeks, smiling at your words and singing along with you - neither a pretty sight nor a pretty sound!!
    Here's hoping the oncologist gets off his butt on the 31st and your treatments can begin.
    Keep strong. Carol x

  2. Hi Bernie---remember things will get worse before they will get better and also you have a 'team' and not just one dr so things all have to be planned and in place so once you begin you will continue and they will all work to get you back to B is for Bernie -- it is frustrating but remember you are not alone. It is physical and don't let it take away your spiritual!! Good luck and wishes for bestest news sending your way and will keep you in my thoughts -- we had an inch of snow in Raleigh, NC and they closed schools at noon and everything is closed and cancelled.... how well I remember my last winter in upstate New York when we used the snowblower THREE times in one day to keep the driveway clear... haha... Take care and do what you are told and remember you are never alone through all of this --- best wishes -- Candee P

  3. Bernie, This is truly GOOD news. I can guess the broncho's are not fun at all, BUT part of the 'good news/bad news' about that part, is: They CAN fix that deal. What you described sounds like what a lot of my friends have described in their treatments. The cast, number of sessions, etc, so I'm thankful that your team is on the ball. And YES you must insist (and it's hard!) that your oncologist answer your questions. They get busy, have patients waiting, but answering YOUR questions is a part of HIS job, just as much as getting to the next patient. Maybe at your next visit you need to remind him of that, while you are still Bernie, not the other B person. (had to laugh at that one. I worked in nuclear power with a lot of exservice guys, so I DO know about the different vocab!)It was so good to see an email in the post from you. DO NOT WORRY about answering emails or responding to folks. If you just feel like you could do one update here is good, cause all of us are checking. And if you don't feel up to that post, at times, well then - again, Not to Worry, because the prayers & cyber hugs are still coming your way. If you get emotional at points, please keep that in mind if will help. And you have the greatest Help of all, just a Prayer away. And I liked the song too. It's a good Mantra for you right now, at this place in your road. Hugs, Hugs, and prayers too. Oh yes, so happy also your boy got to come give you those hugs in person.

  4. Bernie,I'm so pleased that things are happening for you and that you have a date to aim for,you make sure to get all the answers you need on the 31st...My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and sending lots of big hugs for you all to share...
    Mandy x

  5. It's so good to hear from you, Bernie, and get your generous update on what's been happening. Don't worry about thanking people and answering anyone right now unless it helps to take your mind off worrying. We are all standing next to you, arm-in-arm, taking turns for long hugs, whether we hear from you or not. I'm sure you'll give the doctor your B'atch side if he needs it and sometimes they do! I'm so happy you got to have the real hugs from your son, bless him!! And bless you and Jim! Keep on singing, girl, and keep on keepin' on!! Mwah! Darnell

  6. Hi Bernie, Great to know your keeping us informed and glad to know you have a date and you get all the right answers that you wish for, l'm sending lots of love to you and hubby you sound a strong persons so keep up spirits up my thoughts and prayers are all there for you xx

  7. Sending you huge hugs and hoping your treatment can start on time.

  8. Wish I could give you a hug in person, but over the airways will have to do! Hang in there Bernie! Better days are coming. I'll be praying for the doctors too! BEAR HUG! Grrrrr!

  9. Hi Bernie,
    I was wondering how things were going been inundated with visitors so not had much time on here though.. good new bad news -- always a balance in life.. praying for all things to click into place at just the right time of need for your personal situation ..
    The LORD understands all this far better than anyone else does.. He is like that - omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent He say I will never leave you nor forsake you..

    God bless and keep you moment by moment, and sending HUGE blog hugs from soggy Oz, dear Bernie love Shaz in Oz.x

  10. Hi Bernie, it's so good to hear that you've put on weight and that although one part of the tumour has grown back a bit, the rest hasn't grown at all. Hopefully you'll be having the bit in your bronchial tube removed today and your body will get new strength to fight it. I can hear the determination and strength in you through your words and it sounds as if you have lots of support in your family too - as well as the Blogland Angels of course! Hugs and prayers from me Bernie, Vicky xx

  11. Bernie, you have such a good attitude toward this and that is such a plus.
    Oh, I know there are down times and that is when you talk to God so he can lift you up. I am so hoping your treatment starts on time.
    I'm sure you were thrilled to have your son with you for a while and get those wonderful hugs.
    Take care, Bernie. You're in my prayers.

  12. I hope the Bronchoscopy today has been successful, and I pray that the chemo and radio can be sorted out as quickly as possible! God bless you!


    love Mags B x


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