The real reason I am in this health predicament is because of the treatment I received over 20 years ago, in 1992!
But first a quick lesson on the way Chemo-Therapy works.
Chemo-Therapy (actually is a Poison) kills ALL FAST GROWING cells.
Cancer is a fast growing cell and your hair is a fast growing cell. That's why Chemo-Therapy receivers lose their hair right away, the Chemo kills it.
When they try to kill the Cancer in you and use Chemo-Therapy it's like trying to get rid of weeds like dandelions in an otherwise healthy garden of let's say tomato's with Roundup (Roundup being the Chemo in this analogy).
They give you Chemo (poison) into your healthy body until your blood is so weak that you're almost poisoned to death. They then stop the Chemo for a few weeks to let you regain your healthy blood just long enough so they then can hit or poison you almost to death again. That's why you sometimes have to wait an extra week or two before getting another Chemo because if your blood hasn't recovered, it WILL KILL YOU.
Thus Chemo-Therapy treatment theory is basically to poison you almost to death, let you recover to just a healthy enough state to then be able to poison you almost to death again, in the hopes that your healthy cells will recover faster than your Cancer cells will and eventually kill off the Cancer cells but not the healthy ones and be free of the Cancer cells.
In the Garden analogy it's like spraying just enough Roundup throughout the garden that you almost kill all the tomatoes and dandelions and stop and wait for the tomatoes to get healthy enough to then cover the garden with Roundup again, and repeat this process over and over until one day the tomatoes come back to health and the dandelions have finally died and aren't coming back and the only thing left in the garden is healthy tomatoes.
When I was in my late 20's and diagnosed with testicular Cancer. They removed my left testicle and started me on Chemo-Therapy to try and get rid of the Cancer that had spread to my Kidneys and Lymph nodes.
My Oncologist, a truly excellent Doctor by the name of Ernie Ramsey, started me on a course of Chemo-Therapy as an outpatient. I went through the 6 course treatment and at the end was told I was all clear of the cancer.
Within a month and a half of that all clear call I was getting the same abdominal pains and returned to get a CT scan and found out that my cancer had returned to my Lymph nodes and Kidneys and then went into the hospital for 6 more courses (weeks) of a heavier (stronger poisons) Chemo-Therapy over about a 6-7 month period. After my 5th course I was told that I was clear again and the decision was made to get the last Chemo course to make sure it was gone, and I agreed.
Within a month and half I returned to the Cancer Clinic again with the same abdominal pains as before, but my luck, or lack of luck actually, to see my terrific Dr. Ramsey, and found out that he happened to be on a teaching trip in China for a month. So when I was at the Cancer Clinic I saw a Dr. Hahn instead who was a radiation oncologist and not a Chemo oncologist. He initially told me "it's too soon for my Cancer to have returned and to go home and eat lots of carrots", but with my Mom by my side we both insisted that he do another CT scan to be sure, which he eventually relented to do. I had the Scan and he called me to come and see him (I knew what that meant!). The first thing Dr. Hahn said to me at that meeting was
"you have a very aggressive tumor and your Cancer is back. I see some on your Kidney and Lymph nodes and I see a little speck on your lungs but I think is benign or not Cancer at all".
A little info here: the only Cancer you couldn't treat back then by Radiation is Cancer was on your lungs because it destroys your lung tissue.
My instincts told me that the speck on my lungs WAS cancer as well, but you tend to have unwarranted blind faith in a Dr.'s opinion and I just did as I was told.
Lesson to be learned, trust your instincts above ALL ELSE! Especially concerning your health and well-being. Doctors can be incorrect or even incompetent as could Carpenters, Plumbers, Hairstylists, Accountants, or any professional, but the consequences can be much, much more deadly!
So Dr. Hahn had me come in for radiation treatments (25 treatments in the next 27 days)
and when my awesome Dr. Ernie Ramsey came back almost immediately after my radiation treatments, he called me in for another CT scan and it revealed that the Cancer was still in my Kidneys, Lymph nodes, and all over my lungs. Those radiation treatments didn't affect my Cancer AT ALL!
It was on Dec.23rd 1991 (I remember the date because my sister Joanne went in to have her second son, Sean Glenn, the same day I went for Chemo) when I went back to Health Science Centre for another 6 courses of Chemo. At that time I was bitter with Dr. Hahn because I got radiation skin scars on my abdomen and the small of my back, and all that time the Cancer in my lungs was left untouched to proliferate. Little did I know then that those radiation treatments not only didn't do a thing for my Cancer but actually did do a lot to my health nonetheless, more on this later.
I remember thinking that it doesn't do any good to hold onto these bitter feelings toward Dr. Hahn because I needed to maintain positive energy and needed to eliminate all my negative energy to beat this. Besides it is only skin scarring, or so I erroneously thought, and it could be worse.
After 5 courses of Chemo I was given the all clear, again, and still came back for the 6th course to be sure.
This time I did stay clear and had to return for checkups, blood tests, and x-rays for ten years. I remember saying to people who had sympathy for me that although it wasn't pleasant fighting Cancer and Chemo and radiation at least once it was over I could lead a normal life without any ongoing problems. I used to say that if I'd had MS or lupus I would have to continually deal with it, but once clear of Cancer, I had nothing more to deal with. Wow was I wrong!!
It wasn't until the 9 and a half year, post clear, checkup that the much respected Dr. Ernie Ramsey said to me "well you don't have to worry about this Cancer returning, if you do get it again it will be a totally different and un-related cancer".
A little side bar, before I could get back to see Dr. Ramsey for my final 10 year checkup, I had seen another Dr. Tanner for an unrelated issue who told me about Dr. Ramsey's condition, he had terminal liver cancer...and I attended his funeral before I got to see him for my final checkup! That's how fast things can change, one day he is healthy and giving me my good news and in no time he was passed away from a very aggressive Cancer. The very sad and cruel irony of a great Doctor who dedicated himself to trying to defeat Cancer to having it get him instead, RIP Dr. Ramsey...I wouldn't be here without you.
And now with the situation that I currently find myself in, I had severe abdominal pain for over two months, I kept going to emergency almost every week starting in July and throughout August and having them do all the tests like CT Scans, X-rays, Ultrasounds, Endoscopy, and Colonoscopy and them finding nothing and turning me away time after time until the Dr's at HSC finally, after being there 3 days before and returning, they decided to push me up the ladder of expertise to the GI Surgeons.
The Surgeons instantly knew my problem and said to me "if we only would have seen you two weeks or even a week ago, your whole outcome would have been so much different".
By this statement I can only assume that this meant that I likely would have and should have received blood thinners to dissolve the clots in my abdomen and my bowels and wouldn't have needed any radical or destructive operation(s) and likely would've been back to normal and work etc. in a week or two. However because the clots went undiscovered I ended up getting 3 major operations in five days immediately, to tear out a clotted artery from my abdomen and got one transplanted from my inner thigh to replace it. Second was an operation to my small bowel to remove dead bowel. Then the final operation was to my large bowel (2 cuts and splices) to remove dead bowel. The reason for the artery transplant AND my bowels getting cut up was because they were starved of blood by more blood clots.
I found out last week that another clot has formed in my arm and found out today (Nov.24th,2014) it has gotten bigger, and that it isn't as I previously thought because of Phospholipid Syndrome, I may not have that at all.
It's ALL because of the useless, unnecessary and unneeded Radiation treatments from all those years ago! So ALL these most recent issues involving blood clots, ALL stem from those long ago Radiation treatments that weren't needed and didn't do ANY GOOD AT ALL. I should've trusted my instincts back then instead of my misguided un-dying faith in Doctors.
So my outlook is that it may take up to a year for my bowels to adjust or function properly, which means I'll have to stay hooked up to an IV 24/7 to maintain hydration because I need it going straight to my blood because most of what I drink flushes away too fast to be absorbed. At least then I can be a shut in at my own home instead of in the hospital.
I'll have to be trained to work my IV and then stay a few more weeks to prove I know what I'm doing to the Dr's, which means I'll probably still be here through the Christmas season, and it wasn't long ago that I was joking about that! Looking less like a joke now! So I am in good spirits, although sad and a little angry because my likely fate is to eventually get a blood clot that will travel to my brain and that will probably be the way I pass on. Hopefully that doesn't happen for years and years but we all go at some point.
In spite of the animosity that I have regarding the since passed on Dr. Hahn and the useless Radiation I got years ago that are the root of all these clotting issues, it looks like when my bowel function eventually returns to somewhat normality and hopefully a normal life again that I'll have to be on blood thinners and be diligent in getting checked for clots, but it could be worse.
I still have things I want to do - opening a restaurant being one of them.
I also want to thank all the friends and family that have reached out their support to me (good wishes or financially), some I haven't seen for years and years, it is quite humbling and heartwarming to know that I have a lot of people who care so much. I guess I haven't been that bad after all! Lol
I've been telling my relatives from the west in Regina, Calgary and BC about how special of an area Elmwood is in Winnipeg and how the people here have a special pride of the area and bond with each other and they think it must be Shangri-La or some kind of Utopia! Which I guess it kind of is.
I have always been proud to be from Elmwood and always was amazed how every Elmwood person was as proud as I was!
Now in this difficult time, I have really found out even more about this truly unique pride and support for and from all Elmwood...ites?..ians?...ers?
I am VERY lucky to be amongst them!
I haven't been able to thank everyone personally yet but I do know who you are and I am thinking positive things about you all. You're all close to my heart.
PS: I was named after Astronaut John Glenn and the new photo on this shows that I am now finally resembling him...or the bubble boy! I thought it was more humorous so I had my sister Joanne change it.
Love is the only truth.
I love you all, your friend, Glenn.
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