Monday, August 18, 2008

I'm just a little freaked

Leroy Sievers died over the weekend. You probably haven't heard of him unless you listen to NPR every morning like I do. I haven't heard his voice in a long time. His commentaries were about his cancer and its progression. He also blogged almost daily about his cancer. In fact, now that I think about him, it seems I haven't heard him since before I found out I had cancer. I think I would have paid more attention to his commentaries. Or maybe I didn't know what type of cancer he had.

Nowadays, I always want to know--when I read an obit that says the person died of "cancer"--I want to know exactly what type of cancer killed them. That's far more relevant to me than it was before...

So I looked up Leroy to find out what kind of cancer he had. Turns out he died of cancer in the brain and lung. But guess where it started?

His colon.

He had a "routine colonoscopy" (sound familiar?) and the doctors found cancer. They treated it, and he was cancer-free for four and a half years. Then they discovered cancer in his brain. And two years later he's dead. He was 53.

This scares me.


Polly said...

Yikes! Scary! But, Terri, I think this may be a matter of you paying too much attention to other people. You are doing fine now ... no cancer. Keep repeating to yourself -- I am not Leroy; I am not Leroy, I am not Leroy.

Terri said...

Thanks Polly. After more research, I learned he did not have chemotherapy and did not regularly have a CT scan to check for new cancer growths. Don't know why not... but I had chemo, and am getting regular check ups, yearly CT scans. And he had a history of cancer in his family. Still, I guess you really are not out of the woods until your five years is up. So I better live it up!

Anonymous said...

I am not Leroy. I am Terri. Leroy did not do what he should have done to stay healthy but, by God, Terri will.
I pay much more attention to folks dying of cancer now too.Especially if it began as colon cancer, as more than I would like do. It is scary. But not more scary than thoughts of you livin' it up.

Terri said...

Well, let's just say I'm giving up on the idea that I have to eat only 1,000 a day to get skinny. I'm going to embrace menopause and all its roundness. For heaven sakes, I can buy a bigger pair of pants.

Catnap40 said...

I had a regular 3-month appointment with my doctor yesterday and he told me it was my last visit with him, he was retiring. It was a total shock.
"What do I do?"
"Never give up," he said.
They have an appointment for me to see the only other cancer doc in town and they are giving me all my records.
He made me promise to continue to see someone regularly and keep healthy. Yikes.

Val said...

I followed Leroy's blog faithfully for the last 18 mos or so of his life... He was a great writer & an inspiration to ALL of us cancer patients, not to mention everyday "normal" folks.