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TIM’S FIGHT WITH CANCER, PART III

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 19, 2022

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Turning the corner?

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tbliver1In PART I, I discussed learning of my liver cancer and what went through my mind. In PART II, I described the first phase of my treatment. Now, in PART III, I want to discuss the second round which, hopefully, will be a turning point for me.

In mid-December, I began my Immunotherapy, which is a homeopathic-like approach to treating my tiny tumors. Basically, I am injected with two chemicals, Zirabev and Tecentriq, designed to trigger my immune system to fight microscopic tumors in my liver and the blood vessels feeding them. The cost for these drugs is mind-boggling, even after Medicare and my insurance supplement. Nonetheless, I haven’t much of an alternative, and I’m pushing forward with it.

Just prior to receiving my “drip” of the drugs, my doctor reviewed the possible side effects; e.g., skin rash, vomiting, diarrhea, and potential death. Of course, I had to sign forms to hold the doctors harmless should something go awry. Come to think of it, they would probably have more men willfully volunteer to take the drug if they said a possible side effect would be a five hour erection. I imagine there would be long lines if they had such a proviso. My doctor thought I had a point, after all, this is how Viagra got started as a heart medicine.

Afterwards, I went in for my first “drip” which lasted about an hour and a half. Thinking of the side effects, I was a little nervous at first. Fortunately, the “drip” ran its course and I didn’t feel the worse for it. I just didn’t like sitting in a chair for an hour and a half to take it. This will now become a monthly routine for me (I went in for my second “drip” on January 6th). This time I was smart enough to bring a book.

Just before Christmas, I went in for a Post-Op consult with my surgeon, who performed my first procedure on one of my large tumors. We scheduled January 13th (a Thursday), to go after the second and final large tumor. God willing, this will be my last. A CTscan in a few weeks will reveal if all of this is working.

The second procedure went off fine but I was a little disoriented from the medication and sore at the point of entrance (the groin area). The surgeon thought it went well. I spent the rest of the day in an easy chair falling in and out of sleep.

As an aside, in my first procedure, I was asked to lower my underwear a bit on the table for the doctor to access the groin area. Okay, no problem. On the second procedure, “Okay Mr. Bryce, take off the underwear.”

“Excuse me?” I asked. I was instructed to drop them off the table. Now I understand these are professional people who have seen a lot of things, but having to reveal your modesty to the four female nurses in the room was a first for me. Maybe I would have felt more comfortable with a brass pole in the room. Afterwards, my lady friends laughed at my modesty. “Oh Tim, you don’t know what we have to go through. What you are describing is nothing new.”

Maybe, but it was a first for me.

The next four days were miserable. Unlike the first procedure where I felt the pain of the incision on Day 3, and had pain medication to treat it, this time I experienced severe stomach cramps and bloating. The pain was such, that I only slept two hours the first night, thereby turning me into a zombie.

Realizing there was a blockage somewhere, I turned to good old Milk of Magnesia which eventually broke the log jam. Nonetheless, I still had no appetite and couldn’t eat for four days, thereby causing me to lose weight. I drank plenty of fluids, but eating was a No-No.

To make matters worse, I had a plumbing problem outside my house. It seems the main water line from the street to the house was ruptured by a tree root, causing me to lose water. As this was the weekend, the plumbers wouldn’t come out. You cannot imagine how uncomfortable it was to go out to the main valve, get down on your hands and knees, and turn the water on and off, particularly after an operation. Fortunately, the plumbers had it all corrected on Monday.

For four days, I flayed around my house in pain and needing sleep. Finally, sometime on Sunday night the pain abated. I woke up knowing something had changed and I felt much better, So much so, I got up early Monday morning, ran the laundry, took a shower, made coffee, and did a puzzle at the kitchen table. I wasn’t 100% yet, but I was definitely in the 90s. I lost weight during this process. I’m almost back to my fighting weight as in my high school football days. This was unbelievable to me.

Bottom-line: it’s good to be back amongst the living. I just hope that I do not have to go through this type of operation again.

As you know, I like to find a little humor in everything, but this is not funny. I feel like I’ve been beaten down, thereby killing my spirit. It’s kind of like getting a “noogie” everyday, and you tire of it rapidly. I don’t know if it is depression, but I find I am more irritable these days, ready to snap at anything, and time has no meaning anymore. I may not have the most severe case of cancer, but what I have weighs heavily on me. It is hard to be be optimistic and positive when this hangs over you, but I will persevere.

In talking this over with some senior friends of mine, it seems as we get older, our problems do not decrease but actually multiply, be it health related, home, politics, health, financial, family, etc. In football, this is known as “piling on” which is bound to unhinge anyone. It’s a matter of how much “piling on” we’re willing to accept before we snap. It tests all of us.

Sometime in early February, I am scheduled to get a CTscan which will reveal where I stand on my road to recovery. Hopefully the surgery is over, but I’ll still have my monthly “drips.” Thank God I have enough books to read.

Again, many thanks to all of you who extended best wishes during this process. You’re wonderful people.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – For a listing of my books, click HERE.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

tim75x75Tim Bryce is an author, freelance writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2022 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on Spotify, WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; SVA RADIO – “Senior Voice America”, the leading newspaper for active mature adults; or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

14 Responses to “TIM’S FIGHT WITH CANCER, PART III”

  1. Lawrence P. Marlin said

    praying for you. Keep fighting. You are an inspiration.

    Like

  2. Tim Bryce said

    A T.J. wrote…

    “GOD BLESS YOU BUDDY!!! AND THANKS FOR THE CHUCKLES 🙂 “5 HOUR ERECTION… DROP YOUR UNDIES :)”

    Like

  3. Tim Bryce said

    A D.L. of Palm Harbor, Florida wrote…

    “You explained exactly what thousands of people every day are dealing with. I hope what you are writing is seen as an inspiration for those thousands to keep fighting every day.”

    Like

  4. Tim Bryce said

    An M.B.G of Palm Harbor wrote…

    “Excellent summary Tim . It’s so good to educate others . Thank you !!”

    Like

  5. Suzi Gezon Morgan said

    Tim, I know you said this is not funny, and it’s not. But I do still appreciate your humor. Thank you for sharing such intimate parts of your life and I am so sorry you are having to go through this. You are in my prayers and I think of you often. Hugs to you my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. carolspieceofmind said

    What an inspiration you are Tim. God bless you on your journey — and thanks for sharing the good, bad and ugly. It’s very courageous of you and I for one greatly appreciate your candor.

    Like

  7. Tim Bryce said

    A G.C. of Georgia wrote…

    “Glad everything is turning it’s self around. Should have called me, I know a plumber!

    Get well, and no more dropping your drawers to just anyone.”

    Like

  8. Tim Bryce said

    A J.D. of Colorado wrote…

    “Thanks for forwarding. What did your lady friends say about the stomach cramps and the bloating? Yes you have to set aside your modesty when you go to the hospital. During my stay last summer I had a couple of nurses “man handle” me while they removed the catheter. I was also treated to a sponge bath. The nurse asked me if I wanted my butt crack cleaned and I asked her if it would cost extra. I was in the hospital for eight very long days and was very doped up. One day as I was laying in my hospital bed, drifting in outer space, I started reading the bed instructions and I saw an interracial gay couple having sex (see attached photo). At that point I started to plan my escape.

    I know right now you are going through some very tough times both physically and mentally. During the bad days it is hard to stay positive. But remind yourself of those long grueling football workouts in the hot Cincinnati summer sun and how you not only survived that experience but you became stronger. I would also recommend keeping a picture of Maxwell close by to help bring a smile to your face.

    Hang in there my friend and GLIW.”

    Like

  9. Tim Bryce said

    A J.W, of Georgia wrote…

    “I just read Part 3. Understandably you are down in the dumps and nobody can blame you. If you find that your depression is getting the better of you there is help for you, all you have to do is ask. On a brighter note, how would you be if you never discovered the cancer? You know what I mean.

    On another note, I have discovered that I am having heart problems. I was having low blood pressure such as 100/50 or 88/45 or 110/40. Yesterday I had a heart monitor and today I am going to have an echocardiogram. Then, I will have a stress test, carotid test and leg cuffs. The cups are to see if my arm pressure is the same as my leg pressure. So next month we’ll find out where I go from there.

    You hang in there! I’ll find a spot for you in my nightly prayers.”

    Like

  10. Tim Bryce said

    A C. M-C of Berverly Hills, Florida wrote…

    “Your journey is familiar but different procedures and side effects. I had the drip for 7 months, 5 hour procedure every 2-3 weeks and worked. I thought at times, I would not make it as did my doctor but I did – POSITIVE attitude will get you there every time. You are ok. Keep journaling.”

    Like

  11. Tim Bryce said

    An M.W. of Virginia wrote…

    “Thanks for keeping people in the loop. I’ve been fortunate, knock on wood, to never have to help anyone going though cancer treatments. I believe my father had colon cancer. He went to the hospital and died shortly thereafter due to a blockage in his colon. He was a very stubborn man and he hated hospitals and doctors. He would not get a colonoscopy. He basically chose not to get treated. I will say that he was very comfortable until the last week of his life.

    It’s too bad that you’re going through this alone. I think that makes it even tougher. I do believe that everything will come out OK for you. Good luck.”

    Like

  12. Tim Bryce said

    A T.M. of Massachusetts wrote…

    “Sounds like turmoil, but a turning point in your recovery. Health is so taken for granted, until it flounders. When we’re at least feeling in our 90’s% recovery, life is so good! Prayers and comfort for you and the family as you traverse this valley of tears. This too shall change!”

    Like

  13. David Paine said

    Mr. Bryce,

    Thank you for sharing. Your journey and battle with cancer is an object lesson for others like me, who have prostate cancer. My case is much easier to handle, however it was caught at an early stage, and only time will tell if it stays there.

    Andy thanks for your openness with the details. Not many can be that honest about such a personal experience.

    As they say, getting old is not for sissies.

    Keep up the good fight. Godspeed,
    David Paine

    Get Outlook for Android
    ________________________________

    Like

  14. […] In PART III – I discussed the second round which was a turning point for […]

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