Hi everyone I would like to share my journey with you, to give strength to others. In February 2002 I was diagnosed with Merkel Cell Carcinoma a very rare & aggressive cancer. My MCC had metastasised from the primary site in the middle of my chest to a lymph node under my left arm, stage two. I also had removed 3 SCC's & BCC's. My treatment for MCC consisted of Carboplatin, Etoposide Chemo & Radiation, jointly. I have ten radiation tattoos on my upper body. It wasn't an easy trip. Thanks' to my carer Dr Peter O'Brien from the Mater Hospital Newcastle a member of TROG. Transtasman Radiation Oncology Group had finished trials on Merkel Cell Carcinoma six months earlier. Their trials & treatment saved my life. I can't thank the staff at the Mater Newcastle enough, for their professionalism & compassion during my five years of treatment there. Just when I thought the clouds had cleared three years down the track. I went for my three year checkup, still clear. I was over the moon, you don't usually get that far with MCC. I knew I was on the right road to survival. Two days later, my husband was diagnosed with Bladder Cancer - Muscle Invasive, that was March 2005. My world once again collapsed. I kept saying this can't be happening, not again. I felt over the last three years I had clawed my way up this steep dark muddy hole, as I reached the top & felt the sun on my face the mud gave way & I fell right back down to the bottom, just to start the climb all over again. My husband had two operations, the first operation to remove the tumour. The second operation was nearly thirteen hours, he was lucky enough to have received a Neobladder, that's where doctors removed 42cm of his bowel & reconstructed a new bladder from his bowel, joining it up to his internal plumbing. It's now three years since his operation, he's had a few hiccups along the way, so far so good. Another visit to his oncologist in December. Then, yes, there's more. January this year 2008 another three years on, my brother was diagnosed with Bowel Cancer, by the time he was diagnosed the cancer had metastasised to his liver. He passed away twelve week's later on April 1st, 2008. My grandfather died of carcinoma of the stomach, my father of a Melanoma, my cousin of lung cancer, that's now six family members diagnosed with cancer. Update: My Aunt has just been diagnosed with Bowel Cancer, Metastasised to her liver. Diagnosed 7/2008. That now seven family members diagnosed with cancer, two with bowel cancer this year. Having a full physical checkup, I can't stress this point enough. Early detection is the biggest cure. The moral of this story is, early detection, skin checks essential, that's when my MCC was found, I was at the cross roads. I made the right turn on the road by having regular checkups. That's why my husband & I are still here today with the help of great medical staff. I hope you will do the same, go today, don't delay. Merkel
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Contributor
Hi Everyone, I hope your all travelling well and enjoying our new site. We've had a bit of bad news of late. My husbands cancer has reared it's ugly head again. We received his CT scan report yesterday, his cancer is advancing. Were back on the roller coaster ride of doctors, scans etc. You can read my husbands post or blog. He's under the name of Wazza. Cheers, Merkel
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Contributor
Hi Everyone, Last Wednesday Wazza had his first CT scan since starting chemotherapy. He's had four cycles of chemo, Cisplatin & Gemcitabine. His CT report has been very disappointing. There has been further tumour increase in the pelvis area. There's now more lymph nodes involved. He has multiple low attenuation lesions present throughout the liver, multiple metastases. The largest of these measures 4.2 x 6.3 x 7.5cm. The liver metastases has developed within five months & that's with chemo. We see his oncologist on Monday? If you haven't read Wazza's Blog, he has bladder cancer. I had Merkel Cell Carcinoma. Wazza & I want to thank all of you for your thoughts & prayers. Take care, Merkel & Wazza
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Not applicable
Hi Merkel & Wazza, Im so sorry to hear you have had more bad news. I am going to send you a private message now. Butterfly
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Contributor
Hi to all our wonderful supporters. Wazza is losing his battle with bladder cancer. His having Palliative Care now. The palliative care nurses & doctors have been wonderful, without them I couldn't keep Wazz at home. We've been informed Wazz only has a few weeks. He's told us he's ready to go. I've attached a poem that says it all. GOD'S GARDEN God looked around His garden And found an empty place. He then looked down upon the earth And saw your tired face. He put his arms around you And lifted you to rest. God's garden must be beautiful He always takes the best He knew that you were suffering He knew that you would never Get well on earth again. He saw the road was getting rough And the hills were hard to climb. He knew that you were not afraid For His faith you did find. He allowed you time to say goodbye To give your family peace of mind. So he closed your weary eyelids And whispered 'Peace be thine'. It broke our hearts to lose you But you didn't go alone. For part of us went with you The day God called you home. Merkel
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Not applicable
Im so sorry to hear the news. Wazza has put up an amazing fight & is so brave. You know Im thinking of you all. Butterfly
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Deceased
Hi Merkel and Wazza Thank you for sharing this with us. I hope that through this stage of the journey Wazza, you and your family will truly have a sense of peace. Sailor And when the day arrives I'll become the sky and I'll become the sea and the sea will come to kiss me for I am going home. Nothing can stop me now. Trent Reznor
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Regular Contributor
Words seem rather hollow but please take all of our thoughts with you and Wazza.Thank you for trusting us enough to share this time. Take care, Samex
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