I feel it important to let you know that through your web page I, an 80-year-old
male diagnosed with mesothelioma, made contact by email with Dr. Sugarbaker
(someone of whom I knew nothing and he was practically in my backyard!).
Dr. Sugarbaker agreed to a consult at Brigham & Women's in Boston
and while as a result of the consultation nothing remarkable or any treatment
is scheduled for my mesothelioma, I felt that for the first time I was
speaking with someone who is truly knowledgeable on the subject of mesothelioma.
My cancer was first detected in March '97. I was originally given 6
months to 2 years by the surgeon who probed internally in June '97
who had planned an extra pleural pneumonectomy, if feasible, which he
decided on the operating table not to do. Later, after a consultation
at Dana Farber recommended by my oncologist, I was told to expect a more
limited 6 to 18 months.
It is now 10 months since the internal examination which resulted in the
6 month-2 years edict and catscans every three months since reveal minimal
growth of the cancer. If nothing else the consultation with Dr. Sugarbaker
has given me a new lease on life as he advised me, "Think years not
months," and that he has mesothelioma patients who have survived
as long as 8 years!
My thanks to you for your web page which led me to the Dr. Sugarbaker consultation
and a more encouraging outlook.
Archie Manoogian, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
POSTED MARCH 25, 1998
An Update on Archie - August 11, 1998
It appears that the honeymoon is over. The original cancer continues to
be the slow growth type. But the new cancer that showed up for the first
time 6 months ago is showing no mercy. Growth has been so rapid my only
option, according to Dr. Sugarbaker, is a pleurectomy. Doing nothing is
also an option but at the rate the cancer is growing I don't have
much time. Heck of an option, huh?
Surgery scheduled for Sept. 3 at Brigham & Women's Hospital in
Boston. Hopefully Dr. Sugarbaker himself will perform the surgery but
I suppose his surgical team is well trained.
So there are going to be some rough days ahead. I'll be keeping my
POSTED AUGUST 11, 1998
I am Archie Manoogian's daughter, Betsy, from Oklahoma. I wanted to
let you know that he died peacefully last night, another victim of that
nasty cancer, mesothelioma. I'm sure it's been a very long time
since he's communicated with you. He's had a very frustrating
time. Scans last summer indicated that he had a new growth close to his
spine so Dr. Sugarbaker did a pleurectomy and resection on Sept. 24, 1998.
At that time, Dr. Sugarbaker promised him "two good years".
Even before the surgery, Dad was having a difficult time eating -- his
stomach had begun to cause him great discomfort and nothing tasted right.
Anxiety, we thought. After surgery, he went to rehab, then a nursing home
to recover, and he came home on Nov. 16th, hopeful that familiar surroundings
would inspire him to eat better and get back on his feet. He tried so
hard! And how we pestered him about eating enough! But his family doctor
now thinks that the cancer -- that which wasn't completely removed
and a new cancer that had quietly begun growing -- was dumping toxins
into his bloodstream and continually making him feel sick, unable to eat.
He was admitted into the hospital on Jan. 1 and returned to the nursing
home on Jan. 5. All of us were hopeful that the nursing home staff could
stop his downslide. But scans that had been taken while he was in the
hospital revealed that there was a new cancer, an aggressive one, in the
vicinity of his heart, so our goal was simply to make him comfortable.
He died just 3 weeks after we'd gotten him admitted into the hospital.
Despite Dr. Sugarbaker's promise, I think Dad would probably have had
the surgery anyway. But it's a drastic procedure, especially difficult
to recover from at 81 years of age, and no one can predict what cancer
is going to do. Dad spent 3 very frustrating months trying desperately
to claim the "good time" that he'd been promised. My only
regret was that Dr. Sugarbaker wasn't more honest with him. When we
first researched mesothelioma on the Internet, we read everything you
had to say about it. Most everything we read or were told indicated a
life expectancy of 6-18 months, regardless of what treatment or procedure
was tried,. Dad had really hoped he'd be an exception. He died 19
months after his diagnosis.
What can I say? We're devastated but he's now in a better place.
Keep up the good work educating folks. Maybe, someday, there will be more
hope -- realistic hope -- that doctors can offer these people.
How desperately we had hoped that Dad wouldn't just end up to be another
statistic. Thanks to the page you'd posted about him on the Internet,
he "met" some very nice people, one of whom I'm still corresponding
with. Her father had the same surgery last July and he died in November.
His difficulties with eating were virtually identical to my Dad's.
Again, I'm truly grateful for the tremendous service you are doing
with the Internet articles and profiles. Mr. Worthington's sites were
the best, most up-to-date sources of information we ever found regarding
mesothelioma. Let's hope that someday the prognosis is more encouraging.
POSTED JANUARY 26, 1999