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Grateful
ValleyA
6 Posts

Thank you to Cancer donors!

For many years donations have been given to cancer research and development, and like most people when asked ,happily donated,but always in the back of my mind, after losing family and friends to this terrible disease, wondered if they were any further ahead than 20/30 years ago.

I am hear to tell you that yes they thankfully are!!

5-1/2 years ago, Jan 2017 my world was turned upside down when I was diagnosed with stage 4 Kidney cancer which spread to my lymph nodes, lungs and bones,at that time they believed it progressed over 3 years prior ,I was given a timeline of about 8 months.

They immediately started me on a oral chemo pill, I lost 50lbs in about 2-3 weeks.After 3 months of excruciating pain, getting sick every morning and not having enough strength to bath myself or even lift a cup of coffee up with one arm,the scans showed no success.

Running out of options my oncologist started me on a newer treatment called immunotherapy (opdivo/Nivolumab)which we were told if worked, worked well.

Thankfully it did,and after the first 3 months of treatments intravenously,my tumours shrunk in half,they removed my kidney and currently have received 71 treatments, my scans so far have been going positively.

Over the past years I have stared at the donation board at KGH and I want to take the time to thank them and there loved ones,but not just them ,everyone who has donated to this terrible disease,whether it be $5 or the Doctors,nurses,researchers and the incredible oncologist staff at KGH, because of you and my amazing wife Ann,(the care you showed me is truly love)…I have been blessed with an extension.

I’m not going to lye,It has been,and continues to be very ,very difficult at times, especially every 3-4 months when we are waiting for scan results .

I have had times were I have been extremely scared, depressed and have sat alone sometimes and cried, then I snap out of it and thanked god that the treatment continues to work for me.why me and why not others is another of many question I can’t answer.

So from the bottom of my heart , THANK YOU for your donations to this terrible disease,however it may be,big or small, or just being there to comfort in down times… because Of this I am here today.

Sincerely
Murray….VA

12 Replies
Whitelilies
2656 Posts

@ValleyA Hi Murray and welcome from ON!

SO LOVELY hearing your positive outcome story! So glad you are doing well!

Feel our welcome to this community!

Whitelilies

ValleyA
6 Posts

@Whitelilies:
Thank you so much!

@ValleyA Hi Murray and welcome from ON!

SO LOVELY hearing your positive outcome story! So glad you are doing well!

Feel our welcome to this community!

Whitelilies

Skye2
303 Posts

@ValleyA

How inspiring to hear how well you’re doing! It’s wonderful to hear of uplifting positive outcomes despite initial poor results.

We all celebrate your success and promotion of fundraising and research. The breakthroughs might be a long time coming, few and far between, but they DO happen! We have seen incredible improvements in treatment that extends or cures lives, and quality of life.

The surgeons I work with work so hard to help their patients; do ongoing research, and are on the cutting edge of new techniques . I also had kidney cancer, and had my right kidney removed 2 years ago, (by my coworkers and friends!). They took excellent care of me, and not just because I worked with them as an OR nurse, because I see them give the same attention to all their patients, as do I.

I wish you continued success in your treatment and quality of life! We applaud your great news! Keep fighting the good fight!!

Sue RN

Operating room team leader urology, kidney and breast cancer survivor.

ValleyA
6 Posts

@Skye2
I am so glad to hear your doing well, and I applaud you your team and all health care providers.

I have nothing but praise to say about all involved in my treatment and just to say thanks sometimes doesn’t seem like it is enough, but truly from the bottom of my heart

THANK YOU

best regards

Murray

Skye2
303 Posts

@ValleyA
…you’re welcome!🤗

and “thank you” is enough! A smile and hearing you are doing well Is reward for us.

Its tough being an OR nurse- we see some terrible things, people come in with life threatening conditions and injuries, and we don’t get to see our patients get better and go home, and we don’t know how you are unless we make a conscious effort to ask our surgeons how you did! It’s very satisfying when we hear your surgeries are successful, your other treatments worked, and you are home and happy.

Sue

ValleyA
6 Posts

@Skye2
That is a very good point,speaking for myself I often talk to friends and family about the amazing care I have received, and for the medical staff like yourself,who go through this day after day, I can just imagine the effect this must have on you,it is definitely a job that would be impossible not to take home with you🙂🙂❤️

bill2022
9 Posts

@ValleyA
Thanks for sharing your story Murray! As a kidney cancer survivor myself, I found it inspirational, and of course, I'm happy to hear that your treatments are going well!!

Bill

Skye2
303 Posts

@ValleyA
Hi Murray

Ive been a nurse 38 years, 35 of them in the OR. I still think of patients I had over 35 years ago. I’ve sent Christmas cards, stayed friends with a few, cried over some, and have never forgotten them. I’ve had occasions in the OR where I’ve had to step into our sterile core and “get myself together “ when the sadness of someon‘S condition has particularly affected me.
We are a hospital that does organ donor surgery , and once a year we had a day when the donor families and recipients of organ donation would come in and talk to us about the loss of their loved one , and the recipients “new” lives and their stories. We would always be in tears, but it was so gratifying to see how much our work mattered. I wish they would do the same with cancer patients or our trauma patients. To hear they beat the odds and are living healthy happy lives.

Anyway! maybe I’ll suggest it to our unit!

Sue

Whitelilies
2656 Posts

@Skye2 Hi…..I just shed a tear (OK…..about 17 !!) when I read your post now….about how you CARE for patients….we are all people…….and know that we CARE about you too!

Warmly

Whitelilies

(As my son says: “Caring is Sharing” - I think he meant chocolate !!)

MIB
12 Posts

@ValleyA How encouraging to read your story. I hope you continue to a complete remission. Miracles do happen.

MIB

ValleyA
6 Posts

@Skye2
That is such a great idea, to get together and hear from both donors and recipients, I’m sure that must really help the grieving process of the family that had the worst day of their lives hear how their loss significantly changed or saved the life or lives of others.

ValleyA
6 Posts

@MIB
Thanks, MIB

my goal like many,has been(god willing)with my wife and two children by my side,to ring the bell which hangs in our treatment room to signify the end of treatment and be in remission.

they have gone through so much like many families seeing their Dad and husband being sick. They were so young when I broke my back in the 1998 ice storm and as much as I have tried to hide my pain from that over the years they could see how it was affecting me, then when I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in 2017 it absolutely broke my heart to tell them.

I am grateful to be able to walk and move around quite well now,but to be able to ring that bell would mean everything to me (like all of you receiving treatment)to see them truly happy again

I wish all the best to all of you and your families,because as much as we are suffering they are to….

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