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Old 12-08-2015, 01:31 PM   #101
spleen1015
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Best of luck to you, your wife & family MBBF.
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Old 12-08-2015, 02:18 PM   #102
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Some things I've learned over the first week.

-My wife is doing a double mastectomy. Just taking out all the tissue/plumbing and getting a double reconstruction. The initial part of the reconstruction actually happens at the same time. They put in 'extenders'. They're somewhat like balloons that are implanted below the chest muscle. They are pumped up slowly over a few weeks to stretch the chest muscle to the proper size to accept the implants.

-During the surgery, they have a pathologist on hand to immediately test the lymph nodes under the arm for cancer as this is the first place that cancer will move to if it spreads from the breast. If they are positive, they are also removed during the surgery.

-In my wife's case, it's possible that she may not need radiation or chemo. Radiation in her case depends on the lymph node findings. If it hasn't spread, may not need radiation. In regards to chemo, they have recent findings that indicate that a good chunk of cancer does not respond to it. They have indicators that can tell them which cancers will/won't respond. In the cases that it won't, they don't bother with the chemo.

-Full recovery time from initial surgery is around four weeks, though it sounds like she can go back to work in 2-3 weeks since she has a desk-based job.

-It's wonderful to find out how many people care about your family when something like this occurs. We've had wonderful support from everyone.

-We're going to tell our kids about it this week now that we have a plan of attack. Hopefully we'll be able to say the right things. I'm sure my wife will shed some tears when we tell them, so it'll be my job to keep focused so they don't get too scared when Mommy cries.

-My wife has a grade 2B cancer. It's considered the higher end of early stage cancer. Five year survival is around 80-85%, so we'll take those odds.

Best of luck. I hope everything goes as smoothly as they possibly can.
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Old 12-08-2015, 02:58 PM   #103
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Best of luck to you guys.

Regarding the kids, each one is different. My experience with full disclosure follows. My youngest was 8 when my mom died from cancer. While he didn't understand everything, he has made sure to remember as much as he could about my mom. He will still talk about her regularly and will mention things that he did with my mom. I think them knowing actually helps with the ups and downs that go with cancer treatment. That said, mommy is a lot different from grandma.
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Old 12-08-2015, 03:15 PM   #104
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Best of luck, MBBF and family.
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Old 01-04-2016, 05:31 PM   #105
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So my wife's surgery is tomorrow. They'll do a check on the lymph nodes before the surgery to see if the cancer has spread yet. If it has, they'll remove them. If not, they'll just do the double mastectomy and be done with it. Should be just an overnight thing and she'll be back home by Wednesday.

Family and friends have been wonderful. Lots of help with the kids. They also used a website (Take Them A Meal | simplifying meal coordination so friends, family, neighbors and co-workers can show they care) to organize food delivery sign ups. In one day, we had family/friends fill up four weeks of meals for us. So we won't have to worry about meals until the point where my wife goes back to work. So nice to have so many people help us out while we focus on her recovery.
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:08 PM   #106
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Surgery all done. It went better than expected. They found no signs that the cancer had spread beyond the breast tissue, which is obviously fantastic news. In addition, the surgeon who removed the breast tissue believes that what they initially though was one relatively large tumor was actually a few smaller tumors. If so, that improves her status tremendously. Won't know anything for a week or so, but it's great news overall.
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:17 PM   #107
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Sounds good. Keep her spirits up!
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:31 AM   #108
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That sounds like promising news.
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Old 01-06-2016, 10:42 AM   #109
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Promising news indeed!
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Old 01-06-2016, 02:49 PM   #110
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That is good news. I know you guys must be really feeling the stress. I hope that everything keeps going on the up and up.
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Old 01-06-2016, 04:18 PM   #111
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That is good news. I know you guys must be really feeling the stress. I hope that everything keeps going on the up and up.

The worst part is the wait between the diagnosis and some treatment in any form. The feeling that you should be starting something to stop this thing and the fact that you have to wait a few weeks is very difficult. She's much happier now that the process has begun.
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Old 01-06-2016, 04:22 PM   #112
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Good news, MBBF!

And yes, Fuck Cancer.
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:18 PM   #113
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Surgery all done. It went better than expected. They found no signs that the cancer had spread beyond the breast tissue, which is obviously fantastic news. In addition, the surgeon who removed the breast tissue believes that what they initially though was one relatively large tumor was actually a few smaller tumors. If so, that improves her status tremendously. Won't know anything for a week or so, but it's great news overall.

Hey MBBF, I was just thinking about you and your family and was wondering if you had any updates?
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:59 PM   #114
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Hey MBBF, I was just thinking about you and your family and was wondering if you had any updates?

Healing is going well. She's off her heavy meds and only using Tylenol. She'll be going back to the doctor this week and will have the drains removed so she can heal up. Probably a week or two until they start adding saline to the temporary implants. She's really doing extremely well overall. Should be going back to work next Monday.

Still a couple tests that we're waiting on before we know whether she'll need chemo, radiation, or both. Results should be back in a week or two.
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Old 01-24-2016, 03:58 PM   #115
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Got the oncotype tests back. It's basically a genetic/DNA workup of the tumor to figure out what comes next. The oncotype score was a 10, which is very good. What it basically means is that the cancer has a 10-15% reoccurrence rate, which is pretty low. It likely means that radiation treatments won't be needed. They'll do an analysis to determine if chemo is needed. It's right on the edge between chemo or no chemo simply because the added risks involved with chemo may create a reoccurrence rate that is the same or greater than doing nothing. We'll likely get two different opinions on it just to make sure. But overall, really good news.
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Old 01-24-2016, 06:46 PM   #116
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Very good news, glad to hear this!
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Old 01-24-2016, 07:06 PM   #117
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Sounds good!
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Old 01-27-2016, 04:22 AM   #118
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I didn't get permission to post this, but I think the message it delivers is important and re-emphasizes how truly horrible this disease is and how we should take whatever steps we can to fight it.

Brandon Huffman is a high school football scout who works for the Scout network. Bug and I and dawgfan and other Pac 12 fans who are members of Scout's family of college sites will be very familiar with his excellent work covering high school recruiting out west.

Seven months ago, Brandon and his wife Amanda's 7 year old daughter Avery was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. It has been an uphill battle and Avery, a truly darling little girl, just came out of her second brain surgery as a result of complications from this disease. Brandon posted this tonight on his and his wife's website in support of Avery.


*****

The reality of Avery's fight...

By Brandon Huffman 20 minutes ago


This whole thing sucks. Make no mistake, this whole entire cancer fight by Avery sucks. On numerous levels.

There is nothing good, there is nothing fun, there is nothing enjoyable about watching her struggle so badly.

Have there been good aspects of it? Define "Good".*

We've done some memorable things- Make a Wish, sporting events, concerts, benefit events- all have been memorable and have meant a lot.

But the price being paid for those is deplorable.

Watching our 7-year old daughter fight for her life, writhing in pain from her latest procedure, it sucks.

Since June 30th, Avery has had double-digit nights in the hospital, 30 radiation treatments, 8 infusion treatments, 5 MRI's, 4 CT scans, two brain surgeries. More medication than a pharmacy, countless pokes in the arm and hand, numerous IVs in the system. Nearly seven months in a wheelchair, an inability to walk and use her right side. An eye patch to keep from double vision.

That is unfair. That sucks.

Imagine being a parent having to watch that. And there isn't a dang thing you can do about it.

Go ahead, imagine it, because we still can't even imagine it.*

Yet it's our reality.*

Worse, it's Avery's reality.

And that breaks our heart daily.*

Wait, no, our heart is already broken. It just keeps it from healing.

Today, she was in good spirits- Coco visited her again, she was able to eat well, and talk. But she can't get out of bed right now, still tender and sore from the incisions in her head and her stomach. It's painful to watch. Yet we're only having to watch the pain.

She's living it and experiencing it. And it's only going to get worse.

Its the reality of what she's facing.

Someone said recently "I bet you guys have gotten to do a lot of fun things as a result of it."

Quick correction- there isn't a dang thing "fun" about doing trips that are the direct byproduct of your terminally ill child.

Maybe it was poor choice of words, so I'll give the benefit of the doubt.

But lets be frank- there is nothing "fun" about ANY of this.

This is real life.

And it sucks.*

And we hate every freaking second of it.

People have been tremendous to us, to Avery. The outpouring of love and support has been incredible.

But we've also heard the stupid words, granted said by a small few, that are treating our reality like it's some kind of phase we're going through.*

Spend 5 minutes in Avery's room, while she's on hospice care.

You'll see it's not a phase.

This is reality.

This is real life.

This sucks.

Today sucked, yesterday sucked and the last seven months have sucked.

No way to sugarcoat it.

It's real, it's raw and it's painful.

I'll be more positive tomorrow night. Maybe.

But tonight, I'm just not feeling it.

#AveryStrong

-Brandon and Amanda

*****

Really powerful and heartbreaking. If you get a chance to, please send up some prayers for Avery, Brandon and Amanda.
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Old 01-27-2016, 04:27 AM   #119
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And don't waste a single day of your life not living. We're not living lives for ourselves--we owe it to the Averys of the world to not waste our precious gift which was not given to them in such abundance.
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Last edited by Chief Rum : 01-27-2016 at 04:28 AM.
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Old 01-27-2016, 01:06 PM   #120
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Yeah, it's heart-breaking as a parent to imagine myself in Brandon's place, watching helplessly as his daughter goes through the process of fighting an unwinnable battle against a terrible cancer (all cancer sucks, but some suck more than others - like hers).

It's also heart-breaking to see a much-loved co-worker and father dealing with an inoperable glioblastoma (brain tumor) and thinking about what his wife and three kids are going through.

If you get a chance, check this link:

https://www.youcaring.com/michael-forgey-479259


Fuck cancer.
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Old 01-27-2016, 10:05 PM   #121
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Spoke with the oncologist today. My wife's final survival rate was measured at 93%. As a result, they determined that the chemo actually would decrease her long term survival rate by 2%, so no chemo! She will have her ovaries shut down through a shot once a month (i.e. early menopause) and she'll take a pill called Tamoxifin once a day for the next 10 years. Those two things will increase her survival rate to 95%, which is about as high as you can get.

We're extremely blessed. We basically got the prognosis that cancer patients dream of when they begin this adventure they never asked for. We were talking in the car on the way home and, while the diagnosis is fantastic, we almost feel guilty for our situation. There are so many people who fight and struggle through treatments, surgery, etc. who do or don't make it. There's no logic at times as to who gets what, who lives and who dies. It sucks.

We're thankful, but are thinking about others who weren't as ridiculously fortunate as we are.
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Old 01-27-2016, 10:29 PM   #122
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We lost a friend to cancer on Christmas morning. My daughter played basketball with her daughter. We took the daughter to Florida with us last Christmas. Our friend had cancer for around 7 years before passing away.
She was diagnosed after having her 5th child. Her oldest is 14, youngest 7.
She stated she wanted to make it to Christmas. As she was in hospice, everyone knew it was only a matter of time. She did make it to Christmas.

Cancer sucks.
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Old 02-16-2016, 07:39 PM   #123
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Avery Huffman passed away earlier today. Thoughts are with the Huffman family - I can't even begin to imagine the pain of losing a child so young.
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:48 AM   #124
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Avery Huffman passed away earlier today. Thoughts are with the Huffman family - I can't even begin to imagine the pain of losing a child so young.

It's making me very emotional. Such a wonderful little angel, and a real tragic loss. At least she is no longer in pain.

Fuck cancer.
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Old 02-17-2016, 06:57 AM   #125
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Spoke with the oncologist today. My wife's final survival rate was measured at 93%. As a result, they determined that the chemo actually would decrease her long term survival rate by 2%, so no chemo! She will have her ovaries shut down through a shot once a month (i.e. early menopause) and she'll take a pill called Tamoxifin once a day for the next 10 years. Those two things will increase her survival rate to 95%, which is about as high as you can get.

We're extremely blessed. We basically got the prognosis that cancer patients dream of when they begin this adventure they never asked for. We were talking in the car on the way home and, while the diagnosis is fantastic, we almost feel guilty for our situation. There are so many people who fight and struggle through treatments, surgery, etc. who do or don't make it. There's no logic at times as to who gets what, who lives and who dies. It sucks.

We're thankful, but are thinking about others who weren't as ridiculously fortunate as we are.

I missed this the first time around. I'm breathing a sigh of relief right along side of you MBBF. That's great to hear.
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Old 02-17-2016, 08:44 AM   #126
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Glad to hear about the good results for your wife, MBBF.

=====

Childhood cancers are the worst. I've been following Mad About Madeline on Facebook for probably a year. Heartbreaking watching this little girl Madeline and her family fight leukemia for the third time. So many people have rallied around them to try to help, but it's looking pretty hopeless right now. I can't imagine having to go through that with a child. Life can be so cruel.
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Old 02-17-2016, 10:16 AM   #127
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As an update, my wife got her first shot two days ago. So we're two days into menopause. So far, a couple minor hot flashes, but no crazy wife moments to report.
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:52 PM   #128
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I was diagnosed w/ stage IV colon cancer in December. Start my second round of chemo tomorrow.

Don't ever get cancer. It sucks.
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:57 PM   #129
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I was diagnosed w/ stage IV colon cancer in December. Start my second round of chemo tomorrow.

Don't ever get cancer. It sucks.

I'm sorry. I really hope things go well. Thoughts and prayers.
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:57 PM   #130
Kodos
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Very sorry to hear that APC. Sending good thoughts your way. Hang in there.
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Old 02-17-2016, 03:32 PM   #131
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I was diagnosed w/ stage IV colon cancer in December. Start my second round of chemo tomorrow.

Don't ever get cancer. It sucks.

That's so awful. So sorry to hear that. Like Kodos said, hang in there.
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Old 02-17-2016, 04:08 PM   #132
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Fuck. Very sorry to hear.
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Old 02-17-2016, 06:24 PM   #133
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I was diagnosed w/ stage IV colon cancer in December. Start my second round of chemo tomorrow.

Don't ever get cancer. It sucks.

Thoughts and prayers for you my friend.
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Old 02-17-2016, 06:29 PM   #134
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I was diagnosed w/ stage IV colon cancer in December. Start my second round of chemo tomorrow.

Don't ever get cancer. It sucks.

Best of luck with the chemo. How are you handling it? The doctors we spoke with said that the administration of chemo has really advanced over the last 10-15 years, though I have friends who have had it within the last 2-3 years who still have some issues while others handle it pretty well.
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Old 02-17-2016, 09:56 PM   #135
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First round wasn't too bad. Nasty fatigue and some cold sensitivity were the main side effects. I managed to not miss a day of work.

I'll get my next round tomorrow.....thinking about chemo is almost as bad as actually getting it.
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Old 02-17-2016, 10:47 PM   #136
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First round wasn't too bad. Nasty fatigue and some cold sensitivity were the main side effects. I managed to not miss a day of work.

I'll get my next round tomorrow.....thinking about chemo is almost as bad as actually getting it.

Impressed that you managed to keep working. Hope this round goes relatively smooth as well.
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Old 02-18-2016, 02:02 PM   #137
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It's also heart-breaking to see a much-loved co-worker and father dealing with an inoperable glioblastoma (brain tumor) and thinking about what his wife and three kids are going through.

If you get a chance, check this link:

https://www.youcaring.com/michael-forgey-479259


Fuck cancer.
Keep Mike and his family in your thoughts.

Got the word last night my dad's cancer is no longer treatable. He's probably only got a few more months, unless a side issue gets him even sooner. He's had a fairly long (80 years) and definitely good life, but it's still not easy to know the end is soon.

Fuck cancer.
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Old 02-18-2016, 02:33 PM   #138
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80 is still too young when talking about one's parent. Sorry to hear his prognosis. I hope they can at least minimize his pain. Losing your parent is a such a big blow. Your family will be in my thoughts.
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Old 02-18-2016, 03:30 PM   #139
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Man I hate this thread!

Thoughts and prayers to you APC and Dawgfan, as well as your family's and our co-workers family as well DF.
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Old 02-18-2016, 05:37 PM   #140
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Keep Mike and his family in your thoughts.

Got the word last night my dad's cancer is no longer treatable. He's probably only got a few more months, unless a side issue gets him even sooner. He's had a fairly long (80 years) and definitely good life, but it's still not easy to know the end is soon.

Fuck cancer.

so sorry... I pray and hope they eventually find a cure.
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:06 AM   #141
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RIP Dad.

Fuck cancer.
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:07 AM   #142
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Sorry, man.
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:10 AM   #143
Radii
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I'm so sorry to hear that dawgfan
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:13 AM   #144
AnalBumCover
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So sorry.
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:16 AM   #145
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Condolences and God bless.
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:37 AM   #146
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I'm so sorry, dawgfan. My condolences to you and your family.
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:58 AM   #147
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So sorry for your loss, dawgfan.
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Old 04-05-2016, 01:41 PM   #148
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Sorry for your loss dawgfan, prayers go out to you and your family.
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Old 04-05-2016, 03:15 PM   #149
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Sorry for your loss, dawgfan.

I go in for a CT scan on Thursday to find out if my last 2 months of chemo have slowed my cancer down at all. Will get results on Monday.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:34 PM   #150
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Sorry for your loss, dawgfan.

I go in for a CT scan on Thursday to find out if my last 2 months of chemo have slowed my cancer down at all. Will get results on Monday.

Praying all goes well for you.
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