10-18-16 Nicole Sandler Show – Nicole’s Back!

I don't think my back ever looked like that. I had surgery to remove the cancers growing in my left lung seven weeks ago today. Just five weeks ago, it looked like this: That was a couple of weeks after my surgery to remove the lower lobe of my left lung and take a wedge from the upper lobe, where cancerous tumors made their homes. The numbers are the incisions for the Da Vinci Robotic surgery, as opposed to an open thoracotomy which is akin to torture. Aside from the site where the chest tube was (which still hurts like [...]

By |October 18th, 2016|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on 10-18-16 Nicole Sandler Show – Nicole’s Back!

Saying No to Chemo!

It comes from nowhere, like the proverbial thief in the night sneaking up silently behind you to steal your life. Perhaps a better analogy is an earthquake, but only if you were trapped in the rubble, unable to climb out. It hits unexpectedly and leaves you to figure out how to survive. In a split second, everything changes. EVERYTHING changes the moment you’re told you have cancer. Once the shock wears off, if you’re like me, you get to work. In my case, the barrage of tests was supplemented with an avalanche of articles about each new term that was [...]

My Decision Is…

After meeting with the oncologist, Dr. Mudad, last week I said that I'd make a decision regarding chemotherapy today. So my decision is... that I'm getting another opinion first. You may recall that the first opinion I got was less than credible, so I'm discounting everything I heard from that doctor. Although I have the utmost confidence in Dr. Mudad, he can't definitively say whether or not he'd recommend chemo for a family member with the same issues. As I said, it's not rare, but my case is unusual. So we're getting one more opinion! I have an appointment on Thursday [...]

9-21-16 To Chemo or Not – That is the Question

I've found my oncologist! Yesterday, we met with Dr. Raja Mudad, who treats patients with lung cancer at Sylvester Cancer Center at UM. He was present at the tumor board conference where my surgeon, Dr. Dao Nguyen presented my case Thursday afternoon. After all of this, the one thing we still know for sure is that my case is unusual and somewhat confusing. That it's confusing to me is an understatement. It caused the other oncologist we met with, a very highly respected and credible doctor, to contradict himself when David and I saw him last week, making me uncomfortable about putting my [...]

9-15-16 Recuperation Roller Coaster

My best medicine I had planned on posting this a few days ago. Unfortunately, the painkiller haze, the pain itself, minor (and some major) meltdowns, and my need to sleep and rest delayed it slightly. I also want to write posts on the surgery itself (that'll be quick as I was out for the entire thing, but there are a few notes to pass along) and my hospital stay (avoid the University of Miami Hospital like the Plague!!), so those will be coming soon. And I'll keep you posted on the next part of the cancer fighting portion [...]

By |September 15th, 2016|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on 9-15-16 Recuperation Roller Coaster

Whither Walgreens?

I was released from the hospital on Friday and, once we were able to get my prescriptions filled, I settled back in at home and got down to the process of beginning healing. I said that so easily, didn't I? "Once we got the prescriptions filled...."  Now yousettle in and prepare to be pissed! With my folder of discharge instructions, I was given four prescriptions. The main painkiller I'm on is a very powerful narcotic called Dilaudid or generically, Hydromorphone. My crappy United "Healthcare" insurance policy purchased at healthcare.gov requires that I use only Walgreens or Navarro (a chain that [...]

By |September 8th, 2016|Tags: , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Whither Walgreens?

9-3-16 What a Difference 24 Hours at Home Makes…

That's me, sitting in my studio at the computer. I've been trying to start writing this post for about an hour now, but I keep getting distracted. I'm thinking it's the drugs. I'm only half-joking about the drugs. But I am, indeed, home, and feeling so much better than I felt in the hospital. I will sit myself down at this computer to write as much as I can remember about the surgery and the entire experience of the past week. But I wanted to pop in now- now that I've been home for a full day to give you the [...]

8-26-16 Pre-Op Check – Surgery on Tuesday

I'm cleared for surgery and, believe it or not, the insurance has approved it all. As we were driving down to the University of Miami Hospital yesterday for my pre-op tests and third degree, I decided it would be a good time to call United Healthcare to make sure all the authorizations were taken care of. (***correction: My brilliant, adoring, wonderful husband David actually suggested I call UHC to make sure we were covered. He just didn't want to deal with another of my meltdowns in the middle of the hospital...) After first wasting 20 minutes trying to hear and understand [...]

8-24-16 Nicole Sandler Show – One More for the Road

  Today is my final show before taking some time off for surgery and recuperation. I honestly can't remember the last time I took an extended period of time off. I moved my show online the night Air America went off the air and, aside from a sick day or a travel day here and there, I've been on the air. This time I'm putting my health first. So after I chat with Wendell Potter today, I'm taking some time off. I have pre-op appointments tomorrow and Friday, and surgery is Tuesday, so I'm really not slacking off. And since [...]

8-23-16 Nicole Sandler Show – Thank You

An hour goes by very quickly. I really thought that cutting back to one hour a day would make things easier as I'm having trouble keeping my thoughts straight these days, but it's just less time to fit in  lot of information. After tomorrow's show, I'll be taking a few weeks off. My surgery is on Tuesday, and I have a million things to do before then, and a few doctors appointments and tests too. So, I'll do something very unusual for me, and will be on hiatus for a while. I will post here and on the Fuck Cancer [...]

By |August 23rd, 2016|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on 8-23-16 Nicole Sandler Show – Thank You

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