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First Bob and Emma , fan-bloody-tastic! I could not be happier amigo. Great news.
Max , I have some idea about what the SIL is going through as I'm stage 4 (prostate) and was not given much in the way of options. That was several years ago , and still here thanks. New treatments are always in the pipe and I have one to thank for my continuation. Hope and determination are her best weapons . Wish her all my best amigo , I'm definitely pulling for her.
well mate...you've only to mention the C-word and all the real life situations come out. What strikes me is just how bloody common it is! I'm grateful for your comments, given your circumstances they have a lot of impact. May I say I hope we're having this conversation 10 years from now and I agree that the rate of innovation on new treatments is staggering.

Apparently the published body of medical knowledge (globally) is doubling every 2 years at the moment and is shortly expected to be doubling every year. It is inevitable that scientific endeavour will lead to a complete cure in the very near future.

I thank everyone else in this thread for their kind words too. It warms me up :)
Max Power":3gfscizk said:
Great news for you Bob. My SIL in her fifties has just had bad news, after two years of operations, having had her bowel removed and over half of her liver it has now spread to her lungs and is inoperable

That's tragic in one still so young.

An guy I've played golf with a few times, in his early fifties was on the train from Newcastle to London just before Christmas when he developed a blinding headache so took himself to hospital in London where they discovered a sizeable tumour which is terminal. No warnings so out of the blue and he's finding it very difficult to comes to terms with. Makes you think!
I understand that. When my wife got the diagnosis last October you instantly assume its a death penalty because of the cultural significance associated with the word. It really is the C word. In our case it took about 3 weeks of further scans , biopsies and tests before we knew the extent of the spread. The tumour itself was 8x5 cm (ie big) and it was an aggressive invasive type which grows and spreads fast. We were just waiting for the results of test after test expecting to hear she was riddled with it......each successive test came back with, it's not in the bone, not in the organs, not in the lymph until finally it seemed it was just the primary tumour and despite its nasty nature we appeared to have caught it in time. Chemo and surgery have done the rest and so (for now at least) we're lucky.

But that 3 weeks between diagnosis and full extent of scans was the longest of our lives. She's mid 40's, I'm early 50's. We have 2 kids at junior school and I thought I'd be raising them on my own. I have the utmost respect for those who have the disease and undergo the treatment which is not pleasant by a long stretch and yet show immense dignity and courage. It is nothing short of a terrifying experience.

The silver lining is that despite the feeling of doom associated with the cultural expectation that the word carries, modern treatments are not what they were 20 years ago...they are phenomenally better and survival outcomes are very substantially improved for almost all types. They also continue to improve at a geometric rate and as I said before it's only a matter of time before, particularly the geneticists crack the true causes.

Recent research into prostate cancer has shown unusual behaviour of the telomeres which are the ends of our chromosomes. In normal people, they get shorter with age as the cells divide normally to replace dead cells. In cancer cells the telomeres start getting longer again and this looks to be a really excellent early warning for male prostate cancer because this genetic indicator occurs before tumour growth starts. If that technology can be turned into a screening programme, men could be diagnosed as "at risk" before they get any actual tumour growth.

Similar studies are happening with many of the other cancers because of course the financial outcome of any pharmaceutical cure will make the drug company rich beyond measure.

So there is good reason to think positively for the future. I appreciate all the well wishes because it genuinely does lift the spirit and this disease is an absolute puppy for lowering the spirit on so many levels.
I have the utmost respect for those who seem to just take in their stride, I doubt I could.

We have a friend who was diagnosed around 20 years ago with breast cancer which by the time it was treated had unfortunately spread and her prognosis and life expectancy was very poor.
She's one of the most positive persons I know and simply said "this is going to have a hell of a fight before it beats me!"
She's had numerous courses of treatment over the years, it's in her bones and she sometimes needs a stick to walk but she's 66 now and still going strong. Her determination hasn't altered one bit.
To make matters worse, her 22year old daughter was killed in a motorcycle accident in the middle of all this which would decimate most people.

She's not happy with me at the minute though as I built a stone barn for her a number of years ago which she now wants to convert to a house and I've refused to do it' is I'm retiring. Think I'm off the Xmas card list.

Congratulations Bob, That's very good news.
Cancer has touched so many lives, unfortunately, Our family too!
Regards Rodders
Just back on line after a few days away and read the VERY good news about Mrs Bob. Well done that lady and all the best to the whole family.