Lotus Elan

Some news. Not good!

PostPost by: twincamman » Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:51 pm

Well my Granny always said "if the Good Lord made anything better than a good dram He kept it for himself " .....of course my Dad said the same about sex. .ed
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:07 pm

:lol:

She was right.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:03 pm

Just to ski off piste a little here there used to be, probably still is, a section in the Readers Digest called 'Laughter, The Best Medicine'. It's true! I know studies have been done that show laughing helps aid patients recovering from operations and some other ailments too. At least one hospital here in England use clowns to get children in the paediatric ward laughing again.

On a related matter I know from my own experience in the army that the British soldier develops a wonderful sense of humour that helps to overcome sometimes terrifying and often very scary situations, including the loss of close friends and comrades due to enemy action. I've experienced that myself. This sense of irreverent humour is often mistaken by civilians for callousness, when it is in fact a coping mechanism. And a very effective one too, when combined with the close knit comradeship that develops from facing danger and hardship on a regular basis. Many better writers and better qualified people than me have written on this, so it is well documented. It is probably best summed up by an expression we used often when someone had been injured or killed - 'If you can't take a joke, you shouldn't have joined'.

Another aspect of this is that as a soldier on active service one has to very rapidly come to terms with the fact that you may rather suddenly lose your own life. It is a salutary lesson that todays youngster rarely face. However an 18 year old soldier has to square up to that possibility when tabbing around some of the hot spots our political masters choose to send us to. Again, this black humour helps here too.

All of which leads me to say that this forum can also act as a great place to get a different perspective on things, especially when they are not going well for us. I salute Alex's strength of character in coming on here and sharing his current 'issue' with us and I hope we are helping him along as he reads and absorbs our best wishes.

Tim
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:04 pm

Hi Guys..

Yes Tim. Everyone has been very kind and supportive which I am finding a great comfort.

Every little helps! Times I feel not bad. Others not so good. Some days are better then others.

Just sitting here reading and typing helps divert the mind..

Away for one of those drams right now..

Thanks again to everyone. :)

Alex.
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:25 am

OK Alex, I'm just catching up on my reading and Surprise! Surprise! Welcome to the Club.

In October of 2012 I was stung by a yellow jacket on the inside of my mouth. I didn't realize the yellow Jacket had entered the can of soda (Dr Pepper) I was drinking. Went to the Doc to have the swelling brought down. Whoever invented some serum that gets shot in your but and gets rid of the swelling in your mouth, ......well I'd like to take that person to dinner. While seeing the doctor he said "it's been 10 1/2 months since you last had a check up. Let's do it now while you are here". I said OK. Every year for the last 15 years, my PSA has been checked. For those that never had their PSA checked, it's a simple blood test with no pain. My PSA for years was between 2 and 3 with 3 being the highest I ever had. All of a sudden my PSA had now jumped to 4.8 and my doctor suggested I see a Urologist for a further check up.

Went to the Urologist, received the finger exam, and was recommended I have a biopsy. I arranged for that and Greg Z from this forum was kind enough to drive me to the doctors that day for that procedure. Thank you Greg! It came back Positive for Prostrate Cancer with a Gleason Score of 6-7. Sort of lake Stage 2 and we are not talking camshafts here. A Gleason Score tells you how many cancerous cells are found in what quadrants of your Prostrate and what kind of cells they are. So Alex I understand what you are going through. I then spent 7 weeks researching treatments. Hmm, there is the "Wait and See" treatment. Might be OK if the Gleason score was a little lower but since my PSA had changed so much in such a short time I thought..........maybe I won't wait and see. Then there is Surgery. As we know the Prostrate is in a place that is not easily accessible, it has lots of side affects, and they can last years. Nah, not for me. Then there is the Davinci Surgery which is robotic surgery but surgery non the less. A good friend of mine had that 4 years ago with excellent results but .......it's still surgery. Then there is Brakytherapy, the radioactive seed implants. Side affects, .......You cannot be near children or pregnant women for up to 4 months. And they implant up to 300 of these seeds which occasionally become dislodged and travel to other parts of your body that you do not want radiated. There is also broad beam radiation that has been around for a long time. Problem, it radiates everything!!!

Then I learned of Proton Therapy. Originally developed in the mid 1990's at Loma Linda University in Southern California, but not in many locations because of the cost of building the nuclear facility needed. By 2012 there were 8 locations in the USA. But more are being built with Mayo Clinic and Emory Hospital building as we speak. There may also be a couple more that have been completed since 2012. Basically, I went in for a CT Scan, an MRI and a few other small tests. From this information they made a mold of my lower body and gave it a bar code that matched my ID card and also matched some other parts made specifically for me. . I got three locating tatoos, the first of my life and NO, they were not rainbows or balloons. Just some little dots that look like freckles. They line by body up with lazer beams and the mold holds me in the proper position for the radiation beams to consistently hit the right spots. The main advantage of Proton Therapy is it's a radiation that is weak as it enters the body, it can then be stopped at a prescribed depth, releases most of its energy where it is stopped, and then does not continue past what is suppose to be radiated and does not damage good tissue and organs that are beyond the radiated organ......the Prostrate!!!

Side affects were minimal (occasional diahrea and the need to urinate in a hurry). I started my 44 treatments the first week of January in 2013. In March of 2013 I finished my treatments. Although I live in Atlanta, GA I had the treatments done in Chicago because I have relatives there and could live there for almost 3 months without any motel costs.

Now Chicago in the winter is no fun but I was very fortunate to have a friend there named Barry who owns PHP Race Engines. One of the premiere engine builders in the country. He had his Prostrate surgically removed 4 years ago. When I talked with him, he told me his doctor who is also a personal friend of his said had he come to him now instead of 4 years ago, he would have recommended Proton Therapy. More importantly, Barry said, "Bring your Elan engine with you, and while you are here we can build your engine"! Wow! What a great opportunity. So every day I would leave my sisters home at 4 am. Be at the Proton Center at 6 am. Get my treatment by 7 am. Leave the Proton Center at 9:30 am. And then drive to PHP Race Engines where I would spend the rest of the day either working on my own engine or working on other customer engines. What a dream! And that also demonstrates how little the side affects are from Proton Therapy. Many patients continue their regular jobs without fellow employees even knowing what is going on!

It takes 1 to 2 years to know if your Prostrate Cancer is gone. It's measured using PSA tests taken every 3 months. Three months after my treatment was finished my PSA had dropped to 2.6. Six months later it dropped to 1.9. I am now about to go in for my 9 month check. The doctors would like to see the PSA number drop to "0" within 2 years. I feel GREAT! My side affects have gone. I'm looking forward to many years of driving you and my fellow Lotus friends absolutely crazy!

Alex, I have a terrific book written my Robert Marckini that I can send you. I have a spare. It's so good I read the whole thing and it doesn't even have any pictures! If you would, please send me a PM with your mailing address and I'll be happy to send you my spare copy.

PS - Don't get rid of the Elan! It's your Therapy!!!!

PSS - I am now a member of "Save the Yellow Jacket Society" since it was a Yellow Jacket bite that got me to the doctor.

PSSS - the Elan engine made 157 Hp and 138 lb ft !!!!

Best wishes my friend, write or PM if you want to ask any embarrassing questions,
Famous Frank Filicicchia

http://cadencehealth.org/Locations/Canc ... enter.aspx
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Barry wkg on engine on dyno at PHP REDUCED.jpg and
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:47 am

Alex, Frank, so good to hear you both got yourselves checked. No matter what the circumstances, you got checked. That's what's important.

My dad got the x-ray treatment. It saved his life but "cooked" most everything in the area. So I know I'm possibly at risk because of genetics. I started getting the PSA test at age 40, so far so good, just turned 62.

One of my friends is 70. Nam vet, hates doctors. He and a friend bought an early Lola F5000 car to go vintage racing. He needed a physical to get his competition license back. He had not seen a doc in 15 years. Doc found high PSA and enlarged prostate. Got treated and 5 years later he is in good shape and racing the Lola with his best friend. Imagine to be 75 in a 1400 lb car with 400 HP behind your head..... :D

Guys, get checked. Next Movember, grow a moustache and show your support of your mo-bro's!

Regards,
Dan Wise
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There is no cure for Lotus, only treatment.
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:25 pm

:)

Many thanks for the uplifting words guys... :wink:

Still no news on the scans yet.. Hopefully this week.

Frank.. I will drop you a pm with my addy etc when I get a mo' ...

Alex..
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PostPost by: RogerFrench » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:51 pm

The very best of luck, Alex. Got my fingers crossed for you.
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:57 pm

Too right Alex, a litle of what you fancy is good medicine :D
Has anyone recommended drinking cranberry juice?
Give it a go on a regular basis & chase it down with one or more of those whiskey's :wink:
Oh and stop worrying for goodness sake; you're a long way from death's door & prostate cancer won't be the cause, OK! :)

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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:52 pm

:)

Thanks again everyone.. Now have my next step dates.. Before the end of the month so we are moving forward at a decent pace now.. MRI next Wed' and Bone scan on the 29th. Onward and upwards.

I'll have a go at the cranberry Juice John. Thanks for the tip and will use the recommended chaser :wink:

Not so worried now thanks to all your help. Feeling more used to it if nothing else.

And... End of Jan is in sight. Always a welcome sign for me... heh!!

best wishes.. Al' .....
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PostPost by: William2 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:23 am

Hi Alex,

Most of us are guilty of taking our health for granted until we have a problem. It's strange how prostate cancer seems to be so prevalent in western society. Maybe it's all the processed food and chemicals we are subjected to in the food we eat.
Anyway, I wish you all the very best and thankyou for the questions you have helped me with on my S4 rebuild I am sure I will have many more!!
I am sure you will have many more years of Elan joy ahead of you.

Very Best Wishes,

William (William2)
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PostPost by: mark030358 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:29 pm

Hi Alex,
Just read the thread, and I'm sorry to hear about your tribulations.
Head up and keep going, I'm sure you you will be fine, just carry on doing bits to the elan, very theraputic in times of angst.

cheers
Mark
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PostPost by: twincamman » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:56 pm

good whisky mixed with cranberry juice seems a good way to spoil both liquids ....Id try one or the other as a chaser ----ed :cry:
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:44 pm

Thanks chaps.

No intentions of mixing them Ed... Bad idea! :lol: I have a nice Johnny Walker 12yr old in my mit right now. :wink:

Chin still V def' up.. Scans start this Wed' with the 2nd the following Wed'... Onwards and upwards. :wink:

Al' ......
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PostPost by: Elanconvert » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:28 am

that's the spirit alex!!! [pun intended]....
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