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Old 03-24-2017, 12:49 PM   #1
stopher
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Stopher

Not sure if this is the best section to post this but here we go..

About four years ago my neighbour was diagnosed and subsequently passed away as result of a fairly rare cancer (mesothelioma). I’d not heard of this before but not long after it was announced that, one long term forum member, ChrisO, also had the condition and sadly passed away. I have recently been diagnosed with the same condition. Coincidentally all three of us share the same first name “Chris”. My condition is being quite well managed for the moment but I really have no expectation of “time horizon” other than enjoying each successive day with family/friends.

The reason for posting this is partly because I have the chance to explain my position rather than just disappear which I’m sure has happened to many other members. But more importantly because I have had huge, and I mean huge, amount of pleasure and satisfaction the forums and contributing (albeit limited) to posts. The variety of contributors and their views has been compelling and often made me rethink my orthodox views. And well done to the site owners and mods for maintaining a great site in well balanced spirit.

This post is not intended to be morbid or to canvass self pity. I am in good spirits so keeping my chin up and will keep reading and hopefully post the odd post.

Best wishes to all.
Chris

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Old 03-24-2017, 01:02 PM   #2
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Chris, so sorry to hear this news, but also, thanks for posting and for letting us know what's up. I'll take a moment to say how much I appreciate your participation on here, and the huge contribution you make. I feel like I've learned a lot from you, and I wish you all the best going forward.
Cheers,
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Old 03-24-2017, 01:20 PM   #3
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Re: Stopher

Geez Chris, I'm so sorry to hear this. Stay strong and certainly stay active here; we need your help!

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Old 03-24-2017, 01:44 PM   #4
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Re: Stopher

Both you and ChrisO have made important contributions here and it is tragic that you have received this diagnosis.

Unfortunately, here in Australia mesothelioma is a well known disease with about 700 people diagnosed every year. Many Australians personally know someone who has been a victim. My wife is on a register for workplace exposure to asbestos dust but fortunately has not shown any symptoms in the fifteen years since. However it can take decades from exposure though nobody knows why some people are exposed and never contract it.

Asbestos was widely used as a building product here until it was banned in 1983, long after its manufacturers well knew of the dangers. The company James Hardie was convicted and forced to set up a fund for compensation. They created a fund that won't cover the costs and promptly moved to The Netherlands.

Asbestos mine tailings were used as fill in mining towns. School children played in the stuff.
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Old 03-24-2017, 03:58 PM   #5
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Re: Stopher

Chris,
So sorry for that bad news. Glad to hear you have your chin up and intend to keep reading and participating. Stay strong and continue with the forum since it is a source of satisfaction to you and your comments and insight are always spot on. I have learned much from your posts, your patience and clarity of thought.
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:03 PM   #6
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Re: Stopher

I missed this when it was first posted because I don't normally browse this section. But all I can say now is, Good Luck Chris! While the diagnosis is not uniformly a death sentence, it DOES require prompt and continued attention to get the best results. Best wishes for a full recovery and just try to follow the doctors' advice.
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:38 AM   #7
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Re: Stopher

Hi Doc. Yes I agree it's a category I wasn't which to put in. Maybe I should have put it in the water cooler lol.

Thanks for everyone's wishes and sorry for not updating. I've been PM'd so I thought I'd give an update here.

My condition has been kept quite stable since initial diagnosis and medication plan. The nature of this cancer and the stage I'm at doesn't leave many options other than palliative care. We've had plenty of discussion about chemo treatment but all advice has been to take the palliative approach. So I am generally doing day to day stuff, manage pain with a low morphine dose and have a cocktail of stuff to manage other symptoms. I get tired easy so concentrating for long periods is harder.

I've had various estimates of "how long I've got" and already surpassed the worse one which was 2-6 weeks (best was 2 years). I think the problem is this type cancer is not very so well known as others in terms of hard stats. I sense doctors don't really know and can only give a best guess. It's not a linear thing and there are many other factors. My health apart from the tumour is good and I have age (52) on my side - say compared to someone having to deal with heart or other problems on top. Not having a known timeline is one of the more frustrating things though.

I've changed my lifestyle dramatically. Work, domestic, communication, social. I had a Facebook account which I read but never really used. But I use it a lot now because it's easy for me to keep my wider circle of friends up to date. It saves having to repeat stuff over many comms and social mediums (time is too precious). It's amazing how people are just glad to see the occasional selfie of me looking healthy and smiling (which is still the case). I think it also helps those who find it difficult to ask. I'm quite open about my condition on fb so if anyone wants to follow me on fb just pm me.

One piece of advice. Take lots of pictures/selfies of you with your loved ones. My uncle pointed out that people over 25 take loads of pictures of where they have been and what they have done e.g. Paris/Eifel tower but less so of themselves. People under 25 do selfies and of each other with maybe the place of interest in the background. Despite being together over 23 years I've been amazed how preciously few pictures we have of me and my wife in the same picture because one is normally holding the camera.

All the best
Chris

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Old 10-10-2017, 03:31 AM   #8
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Re: Stopher

I missed this post first time around as well, and having lost two relatives and a very close friend to cancer in the last 12 months can only sympathise. Your pragmatic and thoughtful approach to your situation is very positive to see and hear.

I hope you keep as well as possible, and that everything you have planned out can come to fruition. My thoughts are with you, and your family.
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Old 10-13-2017, 02:16 AM   #9
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Re: Stopher

Chris

I only tend to look at the technical forums, which included so many accurate technical insights from you over a long period.

This morning I become aware of your illness from a general information thread started by Jon.

Good luck for the future and best wishes to you and your family.

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