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Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: Marc Anthony
Date: October 13, 2023 05:58PM
I don’t normally post a lot of personal details online, but this feels a little cathartic to document. For over a month, my sense of smell and taste have been really strong. Certain foods I love—like olives or feta—started tasting so bad that, if they touched another food, I couldn’t eat the contaminated item. The odor of many foods was also nauseating. On or around the 14th of last month, I developed mild flank pain that I dismissed as being back pain from sleeping too much on my stomach. On the morning of the 18th, I began breathing hard and fast, without feeling like I was getting air; I thought it might be a heart attack. I debated calling 911 for a minute, thinking I could will my breathing to slow. It didn’t.

When paramedics arrived, I was in dire distress with O2 sats in the low 80’s; I could almost not answer questions. I was embarrassingly in my underwear and could also barely stand. On arrival at the hospital, providers whisked me off to CT, and they came back to tell me that I had four massive pulmonary emboli up to 14 cm long. I also had a 12 cm mass in my kidney and some small lung nodules; they suggested a working diagnosis of stage 4 cancer (renal cell carcinoma with metastasis and thrombi), and that I needed emergent embolectomies, which I received. They got all but one, due to size and location, and they said it would resorb with time and blood thinners. They sampled some clot for biopsy. I was started on oral Eliguis at home. The pathology report came back as confirmed cancer. An appointment was made to see Urology and Oncology.

Four days ago, while leaving work for the day, I started to have similar but less severe signs that didn’t subside after walking down a stairwell. I asked a coworker to take me to the ER. On arrival, O2 sat was 89. CT showed two additional, but smaller, emboli. I just discharged today with Lovenox shots I have to give myself in the stomach. Prior to this event, my 50-something self was very active physically, including 5 mile walks for cardio and weight bearing exercise. I never smoke or drank, and I felt closer in fitness to a late 30-something man. Now my lung capacity and weakness from two bouts of bed rest makes me feel closer to 80-something. I start Immunotherapy next week, and I hope that my urologist can devise a speedy surgical plan to get this kidney out and prolong my life. This has been a scary journey for me and my family, and I question how long I have, with the recurrent heart strain and cancer seeding my lungs and bloodstream. The five year survival rate looks bad—16%. If you have a deity and think I deserve it, I wouldn't mind being in as many prayers as possible.



Le poète doit vivre beaucoup, vivre dans tous les sens. - Verlaine
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: graylocks
Date: October 13, 2023 06:04PM
That is amazing. Glad you’re still here and fighting. Holding you in the Light.



If you want to fix our country, work with us in the states. statesproject.org

"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: October 13, 2023 06:05PM
Prayers sent. You are uplifted.
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: Fritz
Date: October 13, 2023 06:14PM
wishing you the best and a speedy recovery.
fight hard.!



!#$@@$#!

What if the hokey pokey really is what it’s all about?

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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: October 13, 2023 06:14PM
<sigh> this is really sad to hear, I can’t imagine what you’ve been going through, sorry man. on top of that, you seemed to do everything right. though I know life doesn’t have a sense of fairness. when my dad was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, he’d never smoked, drank, and was fit his whole life. here’s hoping and praying for the best prognosis….and a miracle to boot.
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: October 13, 2023 06:38PM
Marc, I don't even want to imagine the strain you are under. While I don't have a diety, you do have my deepest thoughts. Hang tough and don't give up hope.

You also may want to rethink the abstinence policy, a stiff drink may do you some good.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.” -- François de La Rochefoucauld

"Those who cannot accept the past are condemned to revise it." -- Geo. Mathias

The German word for contraceptive is “Schwangerschaftsverhütungsmittel”. By the time you finished saying that, it’s too late
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: Speedy
Date: October 13, 2023 06:59PM
Never give up hope.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: Michael
Date: October 13, 2023 07:02PM
You are in my thoughts and prayers. I wish you the best for a speedy and complete recovery.
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: D-Rod
Date: October 13, 2023 07:13PM
Sending hugs, love, strength and prayers!!!



Formerly known as Dennis R
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: RecipeForDisaster
Date: October 13, 2023 07:18PM
That’s a wild story - I’m glad you didn’t ignore any of those signs for any longer! We will keep you in prayer. Immunotherapy can be pretty amazing, and I have a friend with kidney cancer who is doing super now. His othet kidney was barely there, so he got a living donor transplant. You sound strong and like you’re starting from a good spot - I hope you do well! Lovenox shots sting.
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: PeterB
Date: October 13, 2023 07:22PM
Marc, I can only imagine what you're going through. I don't believe in a deity per se, but I do believe in fundamental forces in the universe that maintain a balance, whether you want to call that karma, yin-yang, the Golden Rule, the Rule of Three, or whatever. There are obviously a lot of good thoughts here headed in your direction, which can only help you.

Also, there are always medical advances in treatment, and the outcome might not be quite as dire as you think, if you go on an experimental treatment or such. One example: [iv.iiarjournals.org]




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/13/2023 07:50PM by PeterB.
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: lost in space
Date: October 13, 2023 07:26PM
Marc, That sounds so scary. Cancer doesn't fsck around, as your are learning. Hoping for the best for you.

Fellow fighter.



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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: gadje
Date: October 13, 2023 07:35PM
Wow, Huge amount of positive energy from my side.

Interesting that a serious medical condition would enhance your senses. How does one explain that?
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: rgG
Date: October 13, 2023 07:42PM
Thoughts of strength and healing heading your way.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: rich in distress
Date: October 13, 2023 07:46PM
Thank you for sharing Marc. Hang though.
You will be in my prayers, and my next drink will be to your speedy recovery.
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: mattkime
Date: October 13, 2023 08:01PM
Fight the good fight, whatever that means.



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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: Harbourmaster
Date: October 13, 2023 08:19PM
I will ask all in my family and circle of friends to pray for your full and speedy recovery!



Aloha, Ken


“I have developed significant attachments to several members even though I wouldn't recognize them if I sat next to one on a park bench. I'm often tempted when in an airport to walk around, hollering "The Løpe", to see if anyone other than the Homeland Security people will acknowledge me. ” - The Løpe

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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: archipirata
Date: October 13, 2023 10:21PM
You must be one tough SOB. One embolism almost killed me, can't imagine 4. Wishing you the best.



Athens, OH
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: JoeM
Date: October 13, 2023 11:06PM
Sounds like you’ve really been through a tough time physically and mentally. I’m really sorry to hear what you’ve been through. Keep fighting and try to stay positive, it can really help with your outcome. I will keep you in my prayers



JoeM
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: October 13, 2023 11:35PM
Marc, another full flowing gusher of positive vibes from me to you, brother. Don't be afraid to ask for some help here.



Hurts like a bastid...
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: gabester
Date: October 14, 2023 12:10AM
Marc,

Thank you for sharing this very personal and deeply upsetting health news.

I also do not subscribe to a particular deity, nor even do I believe the universe necessarily balances out.

I was having a bout of depression recently, wondering what the point of it all was, since nothing I could do about much of anything would have any significance whatsoever. Fortunately, it was passing, and some very minor professional accomplishments routed the hopelessness that overtook me for a few days. I was talking to my therapist about this a few days later... and it hit me. Even if something seems insignificant, it matters. All of us here on this planet - which is but a speck in a dust mote of a solar system of a dot of a galaxy amongst a sandlike cluster of galaxies amongst the tenuous spiderwebbing of the universe - insignificant, right? When we look up into the vastness of the heavens, it doesn't feel that way at all. We matter - to each other. That we can make a difference in each others lives, that means something.

So we're all rooting for you. Please don't hesitate to reach out for emotional, moral, or actual physical support. It's why you posted, after all... the MRF is a force for goodness no matter how insignificant it may seem.

Get well, and may some suffering and struggle not overwhelm you in your quest to survive this hopefully not too prolonged health challenge.



g=



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/14/2023 12:11AM by gabester.
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: Rolando
Date: October 14, 2023 01:01AM
Prayers and love, man, prayers and love.



San Antonio, TX (in the old city)


"All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: wave rider
Date: October 14, 2023 04:24AM
My best wishes for your successful treatment and return to health. It can happen.

A cancer support group has been helpful for me if only to have an understanding audience for my complaints and fears. Taking care of yourself emotionally is an important part of any treatment protocol.



=wr=
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: DP
Date: October 14, 2023 06:41AM
What everyone else says, except that I do believe in a greater power than myself; call it a deity if you like. I will just repeat what Rolando wrote:

Prayers and love, man, prayers and love.





Something different.

Disclaimer: This post is checked for correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Any attempts at humor are solely the responsibility of the author and bear no claim that any and all readers will approve or appreciate said attempt at humor.
My name is DP, and I approve this message.

"Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime."- Lavrentiy Beria
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: pdq
Date: October 14, 2023 07:52AM
Good thoughts sent your way.

Some of these renal cell carcinomas will show response to newer immunotherapies.
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: mspace
Date: October 14, 2023 09:11AM
Thinking of you . . .
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: Rick-o
Date: October 14, 2023 10:56AM
So sorry to hear you're having serious health issues. Very scary indeed. Best wishes for speedy recovery.



Mr. Lahey: A lot of people, don’t know how to drink. They drink against the grain of the liquor. And when you drink against the grain of the liquor? You lose.

Randy: What the @#$%& are you talking about?
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: S. Pupp
Date: October 14, 2023 11:06AM
I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. I can only add my thoughts and prayers to the many expressed for you here already. Just keep the thought in mind that 16% is greater than zero. I’ve seen plenty of people beat the odds, and pray that you are one of them.
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: Fred_Also
Date: October 14, 2023 11:44AM
Prayers for you are headed your way. Stay strong. I don't post often but I'll keep you in my prayers.

Fred
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: October 14, 2023 03:13PM
ZOMG... Best wishes and hopes for good outcomes for you.
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: Numo
Date: October 14, 2023 06:05PM
So sorry to hear about this, Marc. It must be a whole lot of things for you and your family to process. I’ll be thinking about you and praying for the best possible outcome.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/14/2023 06:06PM by Numo.
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: October 15, 2023 12:07AM
OMG, Please take care of yourself during this process and all my thoughts and prayers are with you.
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: davec
Date: October 15, 2023 06:56AM
Marc, what you are going through really sucks. You have a powerful group of friends here pulling for you and know that I am keeping you and your family in my prayers.

Dave



...on the trailing edge of technology.
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: RgrF
Date: October 15, 2023 08:30AM
Quote
gabester
Marc,

Thank you for sharing this very personal and deeply upsetting health news.

I also do not subscribe to a particular deity, nor even do I believe the universe necessarily balances out.

I was having a bout of depression recently, wondering what the point of it all was, since nothing I could do about much of anything would have any significance whatsoever. Fortunately, it was passing, and some very minor professional accomplishments routed the hopelessness that overtook me for a few days. I was talking to my therapist about this a few days later... and it hit me. Even if something seems insignificant, it matters. All of us here on this planet - which is but a speck in a dust mote of a solar system of a dot of a galaxy amongst a sandlike cluster of galaxies amongst the tenuous spiderwebbing of the universe - insignificant, right? When we look up into the vastness of the heavens, it doesn't feel that way at all. We matter - to each other. That we can make a difference in each others lives, that means something.

So we're all rooting for you. Please don't hesitate to reach out for emotional, moral, or actual physical support. It's why you posted, after all... the MRF is a force for goodness no matter how insignificant it may seem.

Get well, and may some suffering and struggle not overwhelm you in your quest to survive this hopefully not too prolonged health challenge.

What Gabster said -

It's never easy to express feelings in a small space like this but be assured we all share in both your trepidation and anxiety.
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: Kate
Date: October 15, 2023 11:25AM
Thank you so much for sharing this deeply personal journey. We tend to dismiss so much when it comes to our healt,glad you listened to your body.
I will continue to have hope for you, try to keep as positive as possible and keep us all up to date please.

Late
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: gabester
Date: October 15, 2023 10:25PM
Reading an old thread on the MacAdmins Slack's MacAdmin's Foundation channel today, they referenced a suggestion from LinkedIn to not offer, "Let me know if there's anything I can do."

Be more specific, people who need help will never reach out with that generalized offer of aid.

So... please, post here or DM if you need one of us to talk to, or make a contact on your behalf.

There are also support groups for you like Gilda's Club / Cancer Support Community, for you and/or caregivers like Immerman Angels or if you have kids Camp Kesem - I'm sure there are lots more.

I have personal experience with those 3 and would be happy to share experience or help you make a connection.

MRF, make your specific offers of additional aid, this is what I have to give right now.



g=
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: stephen
Date: October 16, 2023 04:21PM
Prayers with you.
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: Pam
Date: October 16, 2023 08:50PM
Wow! My strongest thoughts are with you! Be part of the sweet 16!
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Re: Never ignore taste/smell changes and get flank pain checked out immediately (a long personal health story)
Posted by: A-Polly
Date: October 16, 2023 10:43PM
I've been out of town and just read this. Marc, I hope you can feel all the positive waves supporting you on this twisted, rocky path.
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