I have cancer.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:19 am
2010 Ford Fusion 4 cyl gasoline car. Tensioner pulley bearing sized up and plastic pulley melted/disintegrated. Shop broke a mounting bolt off in the engine block, then broke off the flange on the engine block trying to drill the bolt out. Told me that >> I << had to go buy a new engine block.They used JB Weld (epoxy) to fix it. It's obviously not working.

Credit cards are maxed out. Used the last of our food money to pay $300 for the repair, but still having the same problems every night. Can't afford to take time off to go back to shop, so just dealing with it for now.
"If you ain't on the road, you ain't makin' money!" - gregster

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:37 pm
I'm sorry to hear that, I hope you ll get good news soon
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 6:51 pm
Davy wrote:I'm sorry to hear that, I hope you ll get good news soon


Thank you. My next pet scan is on April 4th. This is the third pet scan I've had since I was treated with eight weeks of radiation and chemo. Let's hope the third time's the charm and the cancer is finally gone!
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:00 am
gregster wrote:
Davy wrote:I'm sorry to hear that, I hope you ll get good news soon


Thank you. My next pet scan is on April 4th. This is the third pet scan I've had since I was treated with eight weeks of radiation and chemo. Let's hope the third time's the charm and the cancer is finally gone!

That's definitely my hope!!
Don't expect others to fight your Battles
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:52 pm
From my Facebook post a few minutes ago:

An update:
Below is a post from exactly one year ago. I was in a severe depression and still thought that I would likely be dead by now. What a difference a year makes! First some good news... last Monday I had my 3rd follow-up PET scan. For each PET scan I've been hoping and praying that the cancer was gone. Unfortunately it is still there, but I do have good news to share from the results. The tumor is now down to 1.5 centimeters but more importantly the radioactivity value or SUV level is significantly lower than last time and is down to 1.8. The doctors are very happy with my progress. I am too. I will have to have yet another pet scan in 4 months instead of 3. The surgeon that is coordinating all my care is happy with the progress and believes waiting an extra month is appropriate since there is no sign of the cancer spreading or growing. There was no cancer found any place else in my body. That's awesome news! Also, in case any of you have missed it in my posts, I have lost a hundred and thirty pounds and except for some back pain I feel the best I have in 10 years!

Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been posting very much lately. That's because unfortunately I am suffering from a severe case of sciatica which is from the nerve that goes from my lower back down my left leg. Unfortunately the pain got to the point where it was so bad that I had to go to the emergency room because I was crying uncontrollably because the pain was so severe. I have been in severe pain for 2 weeks now and finally have some very powerful medicine including hydrocodone and Gabapentin which is a strong drug that acts to partially calm down your nervous system which helps calm down the throbbing pain from the nerve. The pain is excruciating whenever I sit in my car so I've had to take a week off of work delivering pizza. This is helping a lot and Gabapentin gets my pain level all the way down to A 2 or 3 when without it even with the hydrocodone my pain level was at the least A 4 and many times as high as 7 or 8 for hours at a time. They also made arrangements for me to have physical therapy which I start in about a week. I wish I could start today because I'm so tired of being in constant pain whenever I am awake.

Thank you again to everyone who has supported us in the past year and continues to be supportive of us! This would have been completely unbearable without all of the well wishes and generous donations from everyone. I can never thank you all enough for helping our entire family get through this.


From one year ago:

An update for those who may have missed some details:

I'm sure many of you have noticed that I have almost completely stopped posting or commenting. I really meant to update you all a few weeks ago but between the severe depression I went into, and the whirlwind of doctors appointments, and two surgeries so far, I just haven't wanted to, or been able to get on my computer at all for the last few weeks.

To catch you all up:
I have stage 4 cancer in a two by two inch egg shaped tumor on the side of my neck below my left jaw in my lymph node. I also have small (less than 1cm) cancer nodes in some of the lymph nodes on the other side of my neck. The cancer originated in my tonsils which have been removed a little over two weeks ago.

This all started as a lump that I noticed in my neck that I ignored as a 'cyst' for almost two months. (I had a similar lump in my shoulder a year before that went away after several months.) My wife scheduled me to see my doctor (thank God!) and after examining me he insisted that I go straight to Portsmouth Naval Medical Center for further evaluation. At 1 pm that same day they decided to do a 'needle biopsy' to see what the lump was. When I went for the follow up a week later, I was horrified to learn that I had 'squamous cell' (a form of skin cancer) cancer in my lymph node. They did not know where the source was, but I was already in 'stage 4' when they found it. I would need a PET scan to find out where else in my body the cancer was, and in the chance they found it already in several places in my body. I my have been 'untreatable'. The thought of this possibility along with the weeks of pain from the needed surgeries immediately followed by two months of radiation chemo put me in a deep depression. I was secretly worried that I might not even be alive next spring. I was literally having incapacitating anxiety/panic attacks before each doctors appointment. I had LOTS of appoints.

To treat the tumor, they wanted to give me both radiation and chemo therapy for 6 weeks. Since the radiation was going to be right next to my jaw, they said I had to have EIGHT of my healthy back teeth removed, two top, and two bottom each side to prevent 'necrosis' of the jaw and a subsequent removal of it. I also had to have my tonsils removed as a 'precautionary' measure. Both were removed during my first surgery just one week after I was diagnosed.

On the morning of that first surgery while lying on the gurney waiting to be brought in, I found out my PET scan results. They found cancer in my tonsil, and in several tiny nodes on the other side of my neck. This was GREAT news and I cried and hugged my doctor! the prognosis was good and I finally believed that I might be able to beat this. but I still had a long struggle ahead.

My next surgery a week later was to put in a 'port' for chemo and a 'feeding tube' into my stomach. The port is under my skin in my upper right chest which goes into a tube into my jugular vein in my neck. The purpose is to mainline the toxic chemo drugs. Putting them into a vein in my arm would damage the vein. The purpose of the feeding tube is due to the radiation treatments to my neck. My throat and mouth are likely to get very sore "like a bad sunburn" from the radiation and the swelling and pain is likely to get so bad that i will not be able to eat, take medicine, or even drink water. I am likely to get many ulcers in my mouth. For that reason I have the feeding tube to take all of my food, water and medicine if necessary. I had that surgery on this past Wednesday.

The feeding tube wound still hurts very much. The area around the port hurts like a bruise would. My mouth is still healing from the tonsillectomy and teeth being pulled. I am finally able to eat soft foods. I was finally able to eat some Easter Chocolate yesterday. I am still unable to sleep in bed. I have been sleeping in my recliner for the past two weeks. I did so for the first week because swelling in my throat (uvula) made it difficult to breathe while laying down. I remain in the recliner because the pain from my stomach tube is still too painful to lay down flat or on my side. I have been out of work since this all began.

Yesterday, I saw the radiation oncologist for the first time. He said I will have radiation treatments every weekday for 8, (not 6) weeks. I will have my head strapped down to the table in a mesh mask for each treatment. I get my mask made next Monday.

I see the chemo doc on Thursday. Then I will find out the details of my chemo treatment. For now I have been told to expect chemo once a week for 6 weeks. The doc may tell me different once he sees me.

So now you are all 'up to speed' on what I am going thru. I expect the next few weeks to be a little easier than the past two or three, but as the radiation and chemo begin to take hold, I expect to become very sick again. Hopefully, in a little more than two months I will begin to get strong again and be done with this for now.

Thank you again to all the people who have offered well wishes, prayers, and even some delicious and well timed meals for my family. The support has been overwhelming and I am truly humbled to know there are so many people who care so deeply.
"If you ain't on the road, you ain't makin' money!" - gregster

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:46 am
I am very glad to hear that things are going a bit better for you. I also hope that in 4 months your PET scan will show that the cancer is no longer present. I also hope the physical therapy helps, I know mine helped a bit after my accident (the steroid injection to my spine helped a bunch too).
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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 3:30 am
gregster wrote:2010 Ford Fusion 4 cyl gasoline car. Tensioner pulley bearing sized up and plastic pulley melted/disintegrated. Shop broke a mounting bolt off in the engine block, then broke off the flange on the engine block trying to drill the bolt out. Told me that >> I << had to go buy a new engine block.They used JB Weld (epoxy) to fix it. It's obviously not working.
When you beat this thing, I suggest buying a few hand tools and a repair manual. There's nothing like knowing what was just done to your car, and what it may or may not need.
Credit cards are maxed out. Used the last of our food money to pay $300 for the repair, but still having the same problems every night. Can't afford to take time off to go back to shop, so just dealing with it for now.
..

Hello! I'm totally new here, obviously. And I apologise in advance if my posting here is in any way inappropriate. Though I've been going through the posts and seeing what's going on. I'm truly sorry that you've been sick. Like everyone I hope you're doing better all the time. :) But I digress. This post is really in response to your car post.

I drive a 1996 Ford Ranger "Super-cab". 2wd, 3.0L V6, no reWhen you beat this thing, I suggest buying a few hand tools and a repair manual. There's nothing like knowing what was just done to your car, and what it may or may not need.ar cap. As you can imagine, it needs repairs at fairly frequent intervals. Your story just makes me all the more angry with mechanics. I've stopped taking my vehicles to them.

The last time my truck was at a mechanic shop, they replaced the rear brake lin.es and gave it an oil change. I drove it for a day or so and noticed something wasn't right, so I got underneath it and looked around. They ran the brake lines tight in places they needed to be coiled to flex, and they ran them where they would rub against parts of the engine cradle, frame, and axle housing. They broke one of the fuel tank straps, replaced it with a shipping strap (one of those green plastic/nylon straps us.ed on boxes when shipping), and didn't tell me. And they somehow overfilled the oil by about two quarts.

I had to drain the oil, loosen the oil pan and tuck the gasket back in place (didn't rip or blow any seals thank god), and I still have to fix some of the other things they "fixed."

I feel for you man. I hope things got better for you on this front as well. Good to hear you're winning the big fight though! :D
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:01 am
I haven't posted or even looked at hardly any posts here in a long time. I can't thank my awesome moderator elric here enough for taking such good care of this place during my extended absence. And thank you to he and everyone else who post and share their thoughts and great ideas here! I'm so proud to be part of this great group of people who helped each other and educate each other through thick and thin. I'm also happy to provide a place where we can vent our troubles with little fear of being reprimanded for telling the truth about the hard jobs that we do.

Here's an update on my situation:

One year ago today I completed my chemo and radiation treatments for Stage 4 cancer. I have since failed three follow-up PET scans, and even though the cancer has been reduced from 9 x 9 x 4 cm to 1.5 cm, it still remains active in me. I pray that my next PET scan in August shows that the cancer is finally undetectable and I can finally say that I'm "in remission" instead of still having cancer.

It has been a truly horrible year a half. In that time, we not only fought what I believe would kill me by now, we found out two weeks before Christmas that my wife Beth was getting laid off after 26 years of working for the Disney Store losing ALL of her benifits. We also ran out of money and maxed out all of our credit cards to cover ,you two months of being unable to work due to my cancer treatments. When I was finally well enough to begin working again delivering pizza, my car broke down and I literally spent the last of our food money to get my car repaired. Also the transmission in my wifes car failed costing us $4500+ which thankfully my dad (who passed away in Feb.) paid for

Being the "provider " for my family I was horribally crushed when we ran out of money and had to ask for help for our food and basic needs. I was totally embarrassed to ask for help, by yet that same night, my awxsome coworkers at Papa John's put $200 in my "drop box" which literally fed my family for the next few weeks. After that, many more wonderful people donated money and food to keep our family fed and pay our bills. I can never thank those people enough for their help!

Since then my father also passed away in February, and Beth had to watch her mother die in the hospital just a few weeks ago we when went to visit her for during a hospital stay due to a bacterial infection.

There are numerous other minor problems that we have suffered that I won't share here. What I do want to express my heartfelt gratitude and thankfulness for all the people that helped our family get through the very worst times in our life. Our troubles are still not over but after going through so much suffering I literally am thankful to God for every day that I wake up and I'm able to fight again despite the cronic pain that I am suffering for 4 months with sciatica.

There is so much more that I could say, but I'll leave it at that. I will say that no matter what we're going through, I praise God and I'm thankful for every day that he lets me wake up again. Even with this chronic pain, I'm thankful to be able be with my family and spread my praise of him to anyone that will take the time for me to talk to them for a minute.

See pictures and more at my Facebook post:

https://m.facebook.com/groups/152887801 ... 9119426863
"If you ain't on the road, you ain't makin' money!" - gregster

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:42 am
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Our dog Julie knows I'm troubled as I write this...


Sorry that I've been absent again lately. I got the results of my latest PET scan back and unfortunately, I still have cancer.

I really expected that this time, well over a year after my radiation therapy and chemotherapy were over that I may finally be able to say that I'm cancer free. I've hade stage 4 cancer for more than 2 years now, and while I'm well past the worst physical hardships, the mental anguish is grinding me down. It's hard to stay positive after having failure after failure.

Every time I get a sore throat, or find some new lump on my body somewhere, I go through the same panick all over again. I even found a new lump on my back just days before the most recent PET scan which also showed up bright yellow (just like the cancer does) but to my amazement was not even mentioned in the PET scan report! I immediately went to my radiation nurse and doctor (where the PET scans are done in the same department) and asked what if anything I should do. The doc examined the lump on my back and after much discussion, we all concluded that the lump and subsequent yellow on the PET scan were due to infected pimples (caused by my chemo) and not cancer.

I see my ENT Oncologist on Thursday for a discussion of the results. I have no idea if he will order yet another (5th) PET scan or insist I finally have a surgery called a "partial neck dissection". I'm numb to the worrying about what might happen. I'm just living day to day feeling helpless to change the course of my life.

While the past week has been very dark for me, I try to make the most of every day with my family and keep making great memories of going to the Virginia Zoo, and Colonial Williamsburg with my family. See my Facebook page for pics and galleries.

We have a few more family outings scheduled before school starts, but as much fun as I hope to have, it will all be with that ever present cloud over my head. I continue to be thankful for each day God allows me to wake up and try to be ever faithful that no matter what happens, i accept and believe that His will is what's best for me and my family.
"If you ain't on the road, you ain't makin' money!" - gregster

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