It's been over 10 months now that I was first diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, including two spots on my brain, and cancer in my left hip that has already spread to the bone.
Looking back over those months, I remember waking up one morning in January 2011 barely able to talk. I just figured I had a cold and laryngitis After a few days I finally went to Med Express in Vienna .
The doctor on duty gave me a Z-pack and said if that didn't help after 12 days to come back, I went back in 12 days and he gave me Ampicellen which didn't help either.
He then referred me to Camden Clark's emergency room .Where they admitted me for tests and thats where they discovered I had lung cancer in the fourth stage; which means I was further advanced with cancer, due to heavy smoking for 50 years.
Doctors at the hospital immediately started chemo on my lungs. the chemo lasted about 12 days, but at first they operated on me and put a port in on the left side of my chest, so they wouldn't have to keep giving me shots in my arms and wrists.
When chemo is inserted through the veins it kills every living cell whether its a good cell or not, it doesn't know what it's killing. We're not that far advanced to separate a good cell from a bad cell, today I have no immune system and unable to fight off colds or flu. If I would catch the flu chances are I could die.
After 12 days of chemo at three to four hour sessions a day, they took me off chemo and started radiation on my brain where X rays showed I had two black spots on my brain .
The radiation lasted around 10 days with one half hour per session. The doctors were able to dissolve them, thank God but due to me loosing weight from 227 to 155 they assigned me over to Hospice, thats when they can't do anymore for you.
I'm now doctoring with the Strecker Cancer Center of Marietta and Belpre. They are hoping to pull me through this, they tell me if I gain more weight they will complete the chemo in which the doctors in Parkersburg was suppose to complete, so time will tell. I guess.
Today I'm able to type my column once again, I missed doing that more than anything, for I had written for The Times since 1991. There for awhile I couldn't hold my head up long enough to type it, due to the radiation.
Readers - what ever you do don't smoke. It's not worth getting up every morning out of bed staggering and taking 13 pills including the pain killers that make my day a little brighter, When I first started smoking there were no warning signs on cigarettes, like they are today and I still see people still buying them.
Throughout this entire ordeal. I have learned after 65 years people do care about one another, I always thought no one cared about anyone if they lived or died Through God and my church I really thank them for showing me the right way.
Larry Koon is the author of several price guide books on antiques and collectibles. His column appears every Monday on Life. Send letters to Treasure in the Attic, c/o The Marietta Times, 700 Channel Lane, Marietta.
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