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Old 09-11-09, 04:28 PM   #1
Kurt Erlenbach
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9/11

While the rest of the world remembers 9/11 for the awful destruction caused that day in 2001, I remember 9/11/03 as the day I was diagnosed with colon cancer. Six years since that awful day. Three years and almost two months since the last chemo. Seven surgeries (three big ones, four little ones) and 22 inches of chest and abdominal scars. And approaching 11,000 miles on the bike since the last chemo.

A somber anniversary. I mark it by encouraging everyone, again, to get that colonoscopy and to encourgage all your friends, relatives, aand acquaintances to do the same. A little prevention goes a long, long way.
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Old 09-11-09, 05:25 PM   #2
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Thank you for the annual reminder. I think I would still be just thinking about getting a colonoscopy without your original posts on the subject.
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Old 09-11-09, 07:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
While the rest of the world remembers 9/11 for the awful destruction caused that day in 2001, I remember 9/11/03 as the day I was diagnosed with colon cancer. Six years since that awful day. Three years and almost two months since the last chemo. Seven surgeries (three big ones, four little ones) and 22 inches of chest and abdominal scars. And approaching 11,000 miles on the bike since the last chemo.

A somber anniversary. I mark it by encouraging everyone, again, to get that colonoscopy and to encourgage all your friends, relatives, aand acquaintances to do the same. A little prevention goes a long, long way.
I am glad for you.
May I ask you for some information I do not have?
Not everyone gets colon cancer. Is there a cause and effect for more likely colon cancer? Diet? Hereditary? Fiber?
Please, I am not getting into your situation but you may know more then I do about this subject.
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Old 09-11-09, 07:51 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
I remember 9/11/03 as the day I was diagnosed with colon cancer. Six years since that awful day.
...........

I mark it by encouraging everyone, again, to get that colonoscopy and to encourgage all your friends, relatives, and acquaintances to do the same. A little prevention goes a long, long way.
Kerlenbach, , buddy! I commend you on your success, and your admonition to all to "get 'er done" when it comes to colonoscopy. We lost a dear friend at 54 to colon ca. If she had a colonoscopy at 45 and 50, I believe she might be with us today.

I am a 7 yr survivor of male breast cancer! Yes, men have breasts, and yes they do get breast cancer, though rare. Bottom line is be vigilant.

For those of us in this forum, while we never expect it, we're getting to be of the age where things start to go wrong. C'est la vie.

Another story is my 6 yr old grandson. Pardon me while I "hijack" this post for a second. Just before his 6th birthday he was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma, a rare form of childhood cancer. He had a successful 7.5 hr. surgery to remove the tumor, and unfortuneatly they had to take his right kidney as well. He then had 5 months of aggressive chemotherapy.

He's now at Miami children's Hosp, under going a "auto-transplant", a term applied to a bone marrow transplant based on a transfusion of his own stem cells. They were harvested from his blood after his 2nd chemo, and analyzed and found to be "clean."

After he received a very heavy 4 day 24 hr chemotherapy, his stem cells have now been transfused back into him. They will rebuild his bone marrow and any other cells damaged by chemo. We hope he'll be going home in a few weeks. He won't go back to school before the New Year, but God willing, he'll be fully cancer free and on the road to a full normal life.

Tyler is a trooper. My wife and I recently bought a "department store" tandem online so that we might both enjoy our local road bike club rides. My grandson Tyler was thrilled with the purchase, and could not wait to ride it. He'll soon be tall enough to reach the pedals, so I was reluctant to buy a "kid stoker" kit. With his input, we designed a foot rest that allows him to ride "Jazz" the name he gave to our tandem. Pix attached. The one pic is of him "in training" to be my stoker, a name given the the rear seat on a tandem. click on the icon to see the full size pic.

I fully believe in the power of prayer, and if you are so inclined, please pray for Tyler's full and complete recovery. Please pray also for Elizabeth, a 1 yr old leukemia patient in the room next to Tyler. Dr.s only give her a 10% chance of survival.
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File Type: jpg Photo_082609_001.jpg (77.0 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg Tyler 04-22-04 028a.jpg (96.6 KB, 15 views)

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Old 09-12-09, 12:20 AM   #5
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9/11/01 was the day I returned to work after surgery to remove Prostate Cancer. I heard it on the Radio at work and decided that I was going to have a short day at work.

8 years later and I still remember that day as the start of my recovery.
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Old 09-12-09, 04:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by will dehne View Post
I am glad for you.
May I ask you for some information I do not have?
Not everyone gets colon cancer. Is there a cause and effect for more likely colon cancer? Diet? Hereditary? Fiber?
Please, I am not getting into your situation but you may know more then I do about this subject.
Check out www.uptodate.com/patients.
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Old 09-12-09, 08:10 AM   #7
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A big congrats, Kerlenbach, from one cancer survivor to another!
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Old 09-12-09, 02:41 PM   #8
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I can't wait untill my next colonoscopy. They gave me great drugs and told me I had to pass gas before I went home. There must have been six or eight of us seperated by a curtain tooting and laughing like crazy! My check up was negative even though I have family history on both sides.
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Old 09-12-09, 03:54 PM   #9
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Tyler will be in my thoughts... it was 4 years ago my mom got stage 4 ovarian; she fought the sucker and had another pretty decent 2 1/2 years and fairly quickly left us.

For guys, also do a yearly digital prostate exam... do not only trust a PSA.
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Old 09-12-09, 04:32 PM   #10
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Tyler will be in my thoughts... it was 4 years ago my mom got stage 4 ovarian; she fought the sucker and had another pretty decent 2 1/2 years and fairly quickly left us.

For guys, also do a yearly digital prostate exam... do not only trust a PSA.
Riverside, thanks for the thoughts for Tyler.

My mom and her mom both died from ovarian cancer in their 50s. Turns out it's related to breast cancer, at least in some cases. If you have sisters they should be very aggressive in the health maintenance. Google BRAC. For people who are + for BRCA, there is an increase in incidence of Color cancer, as well as other forms, eg. prostate. Fore warned is fore armed.
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Old 09-12-09, 09:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by will dehne View Post
I am glad for you.
May I ask you for some information I do not have?
Not everyone gets colon cancer. Is there a cause and effect for more likely colon cancer? Diet? Hereditary? Fiber?
Please, I am not getting into your situation but you may know more then I do about this subject.
For most kinds of colon cancer, genetics play a small role. Diet, environmental factors, and luck seem to be the biggest factors. The average age at diagnosis is 75; I was 47. Smoking, drinking, and lack of acitivity are major factors. As a result, I think most folks on this forum are at little risk for the disease. I did not smoke or drink, but I was a middle-aged sedentary lawyer with no family history when I was diagnoised, but I was a bit overweight, over-stressed, and eating a diet high in red meat.

I write these posts not so much for the benefit of those who post here, but to encourage all of you to get your friends and acquaintances to get the test. Significant physical activity, like cycling, will greatly reduce the risk of colon cancer. During a colonoscopy, the doctor can remove polyps before they can become cancerous and, as a result, prevent the development of the disease. No polyps = no colon cancer.
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Old 09-12-09, 09:29 PM   #12
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bobthib - I wish the best for Tyler, and Elizabeth too. Childhood cancer is a terrible thing.
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Old 09-12-09, 11:21 PM   #13
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Have sucessfully been ahead of the game after having 1/2 of my vocal cords removed as portions went tumorous and they started growing to the point of making breathing difficult. After the surgery and some light chemo for 3 months back in '85, the only thing noticiable left over is a fairly flat voice and a tendancy to easily become horse. Fortunatly for me, it's been more of a stumbling block and so far, nothing else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
While the rest of the world remembers 9/11 for the awful destruction caused that day in 2001, I remember 9/11/03 as the day I was diagnosed with colon cancer. Six years since that awful day. Three years and almost two months since the last chemo. Seven surgeries (three big ones, four little ones) and 22 inches of chest and abdominal scars. And approaching 11,000 miles on the bike since the last chemo.

A somber anniversary. I mark it by encouraging everyone, again, to get that colonoscopy and to encourgage all your friends, relatives, aand acquaintances to do the same. A little prevention goes a long, long way.
Congrats Kerlenbach - regardless of how long - surving is an accomplishment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Riverside_Guy View Post
Tyler will be in my thoughts... it was 4 years ago my mom got stage 4 ovarian; she fought the sucker and had another pretty decent 2 1/2 years and fairly quickly left us.

For guys, also do a yearly digital prostate exam... do not only trust a PSA.
Condolances on the loss of your mom...my father passed as a result of prostrate cancer - all along even after several surgeries it was a cancer that wasn't doing anything with PSA levels the comment not to trust the simple most comfortable test really hits home - Don't trust it as the only indicator.
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Old 09-13-09, 09:58 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
For most kinds of colon cancer, genetics play a small role. Diet, environmental factors, and luck seem to be the biggest factors. The average age at diagnosis is 75; I was 47. Smoking, drinking, and lack of acitivity are major factors. As a result, I think most folks on this forum are at little risk for the disease. I did not smoke or drink, but I was a middle-aged sedentary lawyer with no family history when I was diagnoised, but I was a bit overweight, over-stressed, and eating a diet high in red meat.

I write these posts not so much for the benefit of those who post here, but to encourage all of you to get your friends and acquaintances to get the test. Significant physical activity, like cycling, will greatly reduce the risk of colon cancer. During a colonoscopy, the doctor can remove polyps before they can become cancerous and, as a result, prevent the development of the disease. No polyps = no colon cancer.
Thank you for this response to my question.
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Old 09-13-09, 10:26 AM   #15
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Condolances on the loss of your mom...my father passed as a result of prostrate cancer - all along even after several surgeries it was a cancer that wasn't doing anything with PSA levels the comment not to trust the simple most comfortable test really hits home - Don't trust it as the only indicator.
Thanks... my aunt did survive a bout of breast cancer. How's this for irony... my sister has spent most of her career as a financial administrator for both the Columbia and NYU Cancer Centers.

We SHOULD still do the PSA, it's value is mostly in tracking yearly results to see if any large change happens. BUT a digital exam should be done at the same time.

BTW, I was way remiss to not congratulating Kerlenbach both on beating it AND his almost 4 trips coast to coast on muscle powered 2 wheels... you are an inspiration!
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Old 09-15-09, 04:34 AM   #16
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As I mark 1 year cancer free (bladder), I congratulate everyone here with a courageous story to tell.
Also as a side remark, everytime I see my doctor I get a digital exam, I almost forget what my doctor looks like now : )

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