Jacques's Cancer Blog


HI, Jill and everyone! It's been a long while since I've posted. It's surreal how time passes and the years go by.  Not a day goes by when I don't think of the blessing BFAC has been for myself and so many others.  It's good to see and hear from Martha and Elena Rose who went through cancer camp at the sime time I did. It is also amazing and sad to see how many people I run into everyday who have that  squamous cell carcinoma, in either head/neck/throat or tonsil form. It is also sobering to know that the outcomes have been different for all.

Having joined the C club on Feb 8, 2008 with an unknown primary, I have gotten my last tests last summer and my oncologist gave me the NED. (No evidence of disease) The best rating I can get, cause in my unknown primary situation, there is now that 10% chance a year it could return. It was the first time I opted to downgrade from the usual PET scan, to just and MRI and CAT scans. Less precise but a lot more affordable.  Getting a full PET scan was going to be over $10,000, thanks to my Obamacare plan.  I decided not to accept that premise so I didn't get the PET.  My premiums have skyrocketd since Obamacare, and the cost of meds have more than double and tripled.



However after paying ridiculous premiums of over $500/mo with $6350 deductibles and being limited to certain hospitals and docs, I found another way.  It's called the religious exemption clause in Obamacare. And the religious exemption allows you to say FU to their limited uber complicated and expensive insurance policies that they force you to have!

It is now my fourth month since I've dumped my healthcare insurance Obamacare plan with Oxforfd and got the religious exemption plan called
Medi-Share run by Christian Care ministries. You can use my refereal link: 
http://bit.ly/1FAiQVK or just go to mychristiancare dot org

Every day that goes by I am so happy to be rid of the government boondoggle bureaucracy. Under the religious exemption clause, I exempted myself legally from the ridiculously expensive plans by joining the Christiancare ministries healthcare program and am now part of a family of over 130,000 members that care for each other, without government dictates or mandates.  So abortions ain't covered. No sex-changes, or contraceptives either. But real medical care is what they are about.

My premium with Oxford was rising to over $500/ mo with a $6,350 deductible, I still didn't get the hospitals nor the doctors I had with my original plan Hussein Obama said I could keep, because the plan was no longer compliant. Cheaper plans didn't even cover me out of state or out of country. But fear not, all Obamacare plans offer you sex change coverage and all the contraceptives and abortions you can handle!

With Medi-Share, the lowest deductible I could have chosen was $1250/ year and my monthly woulda been around $320/mo. And it would cover 100% of everything over the $1,250.

I chose the highest deductible which is $10k, for a monthly of $133. 


So I've been to the doctor twice so far. One bill was $180 (list price) and the other was $220. Medi-share brought each of those bills down to about $70 each. When I visit a doc I pay a $35 copay-like fee. So my balance on the $70 bill is $35 that I pay to the doc when I get the bill and that goes towards my deductible. 

God forbid I were to reach my annual deductible, Med-Share picks up 100% of every thing over that with no limit.

So far I've paid $70 in doctor bills plus 4months of $133 dues =$532.00

Had I been in Oxford I would have already spent $2,000 in premiums plus the doctor bills.

If you need healthcare, or you have your own biz, or are self employed, this is really a terrific option to consider.

Requirements: 1. Must be Chrisitian and believe in Jesus Christ.
2. A non smoker. And that's pretty much it.

What really intrigued me from the start was to find out how easily you could figure out the cost. It doesn't matter what state you live in, you don't need to give your whole medical history. Just plug in your age and the rates come right up. And yes even having recently had a battle with throat cancer I was still welcome!

Read up on it and if you have questions fell free to ask me.  It truely is worth looking into. The people are compassionate and helpful and it is a refreshing change from the currrent insurance nightmare.

Meanwhile, on a personal side it has been just over 7 years since my cancer diagnosis  of Metastatic Squamous Cell Caricnoma with Occult Primary.

I still have quite limited saliva, and have to resort to a diet that is saucy and goes down easy. My radical neck discection scar from ear to throat, feels tight like it has duct tape on it and is partially numb. I don't have to shave below my jaw which is a plus thanks to the IMRT radiation:)  I also continue to fatigue easily and have found that  small amounts of Nuvigil help me stay alert and functional.  My thyroid glands are failing as a collateral damage to the radiation, so I take levothroxin to compensate.

My prayers to all and I will never forget all the support Jill and my friends here have given me when I needed it most.


God bless,













3 people sent you a prayer.
Joyce In NC, Sabina sent you a hug.
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Thanks for the info Jacques! The Hubs and I are going to look into Medi-Share. :)
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Hi CJ,
You know, God does work on mysterious ways. When I first stumbled on to this I was highly suspicious. But very intreagued at the same time. So i read up on it. Checked out the BBB, what others saying about it and it was all positive. So I decided to call, and got a person very quickly who spent an hour explaining how it worked etc.. the more I heard the more it made sense to try it. I didn't think they'd accept me cause of my cancer. But they did and in less than two weeks with minimal paperwork, I was a on board. And I've honestly never had such a great personal experience dealing with healthcare issues as I have with Medi-Share. I'm glad you are doing well as can be. For me some days are better than others but overall I'm blessed.
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Hi Jacques, It is good to hear from you and that you are doing well! As you know I don't know know a lot about American healthcare and the frustrations that go with it, but am glad you found insurance that works for you! I am now 5 years out and also have the issues you still have, back in the beginning of all this I think I was naive as were so many of us to think that we would get 100% back to where we were pre-cancer. Wondering if maybe for the fatigue acupuncture may do the trick, check and see if there is coverage for it on your new plan. I did go for a few sessions but did find even after the first time going I could tell the difference for fatigue. In saying that I also know some of the acu-therapists are better then others, and know my acupuncturist was really good and would recommend her to anyone around here. As for the issues from radiation, as we have always said it is the gift that keeps on giving, although not complaining because we are still here to talk about it. Do you hear from Elena Rose? she hasn't posted in quite awhile and I have been quite worried since her reoccurrence, if you do please ask her to post just so we know she is ok. Anyhow I am glad you posted, there is always the wonder how people are who haven't posted in awhile and like I said I am glad you are ok.
Sunshine and Smiles Hugs and Prayers for you
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Hi Valerie, it's great to hear from you and I am so sorry your after effects of the treatments have been so strong. Everyone's situation is unique. I remember my doctor offering me the PEG tube, but warning me at the same time that it had a steep learning curve to get off of it. I would have to have learned to swallow again which is no easy thing when you lose the reflex. I toughed it out and managed to swallow and throw-up through my radiation fried throat and mouth. I spent over 6 months living on liquid food only. EnsurePlus. Vanilla or Chocolate Please. Nice and cold.

Perhaps if you had a new physician with a fresh perspective they might help you find a solution.

Today I manage to still choke at practically every meal. If it ain't saucy or slippery or full of butter, it will get stuck just before going down the chute. If I kept my mouth shut and didn't talk then I would avoid half of those incidents:) Often a pat of butter slicks up my throat and allows a few bites to go down easy.

I see Elena Rose on Facebook from time to time and she seems to be doing very well. Also Martha Cohen is on Facebook and still pushing hard doing a lot of running.

Regarding the energy factor. I don't know that acupuncture would work as its one of those things where I have really good days, and others where, for no particular reason I can think, I am just plain exhausted. I still haven't pinpointed the "why" that is happening. The cause and effect concept. So I just go with what my body is telling me and don't push it when I don't feel up to it. Prayers and hugs to you up in beautiful Canada :)
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Jacques Thank you for your comments and you are one of the lucky ones who did not need the tube but there were many of us who have needed it. I have seen a lot of doctors and my case has been written up for many reasons including what happened to my esophagus and epiglottis during radiation. It is no means a problem about losing my swallow because of not trying hard enough like you may have it was because I couldn’t swallow period! My esophagus completely closed and no matter how hard I tried or anyone tries food and liquid (yes even water would not go down!) Basically it is like hitting a brick wall… nothing will go downand it takes the easiest route which is going down the wind pipe, landing in the lungs causing Aspirational Pneumonia which I have had 3 times.
I do have dilations which do help to open the tube for short periods of time and will have to have them for life which is a small price to pay because I am probably eating as much as you are and more than most after dilations. I am overdue for one now so my ability to swallow is not great at this point, and hopefully very soon I will be having my next one. My doctor has many contacts with who he brainstorms with all over the world in cancer of the head and neck issues. In hopes to find something new that may help me and people like me out. The conclusion from him and all of them is I either stay on the tube or have an Esophagus transplant, which is very radical and serious surgery! What that entails is for my gastro surgeon or any gastro surgeon to remove part of my intestines for Dr. S. to transplant into the Esophagus area. My attitude is that that will only happen as a final option. Like I said at this point I am eating not bad, (had spaghetti and meatballs for lunch. Not bad eh?) and maintaining a weight of 110 pounds which is light but not dangerous.
What I need the tube for I don’t think is a big deal and wasn’t complaining about because at this point I am very thankful to have it. Mine mainly is used for medications, and I do use it for back up when I am having a hard time! The tube is like a wheel chair thank God the technology is there for us who need these things. Would you say to someone in a wheel chair if they tried harder they would never have needed it, even though you’re not the doctor and haven’t seen why they need a wheel chair? Because, basically that is what you just said to me! You know yourself swallowing pills can be hard for anyone, but if a pill gets stuck it can be very dangerous and can scar the esophagus which if that happened to me it may just put my case to the point where I don’t have the option of a tube and would need the transplant! Yeah I really won the “Radiation Lotto” as they say, because of the amount of issues I have had which could and do happen to a lot of us no matter what cancer we had! I do however feel very blessed and thank God that I am still here, tube or no tube to be able to talk about it because I don’t like the alternative!
It was good hearing from you and like I said I am happy you found an insurance that works for you, and glad you are doing well.
Hugs and God Bless
P.S. As for acupuncture at least I know it is one thing that does work so I don’t have to add fatigue to my issues, if you have read some of my past posts you could see it is hard for me to sit still so fatigue is not an option...
Hi Valerie, your analogy of a person in a wheel chair was excellent. I started off my last reply to yuu by saying everyone's situation is unique. I certainly did not mean in anyway to try harder. If it sounded that way please accept my sincerest apologies Yes in terms if peg tube, (in the universe of lucky folks battling cancer) I was one the lucky ones, I guess.

Each one of us goes though some variation of hell tailored just for us. I will never fully know what youve gone through and are living with. But the blessing of this blog is that we can all sympathize and relate to each other, knowing that we all have been marked for life by our experience and collateral damage from our treatments.

There are so many things I am grateful for having fought for extra time. Ever time I try to swallow or turn my knock there is that little reminder of "oh yeah that's from your cancer", but I am blessed to have my wife at my side and a beautiful little goat farm full of loving animtals bring joy to my day.
Yes I have collateral damage, but I can only say that I have been truly blessed with the time that God has given me.

Hugs and prayers to yiu:)
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Thank you Jacques, sorry I am a wee bit sensitive today and did not mean to single you out. You are so right we have all gone through are own hell. I wish you the best and also enjoy the pictures of your pets. hugs and God Bless
I know exactly what you mean about hitting a wall swallowing and also like there is a shelf where the food goes and seriously my gag reflex is gone... I just let it sit there be calm get something more to drink and pray it goes down... I had my throat stretch over a week ago and my throat is still sore and its not working still... its getting stuck farther down and a weird thing is happening like air is getting caught in my throat then I talk and it sounds like a burp along with whatever I am saying... these are the weird things that happen and I am just going along thinking it will correct itself.... I had the peg and it was good for me while I had it... and I think its excellent you still have it and can supplement your food that way if having a problem..because when we don't eat weight loss becomes an issue of good health or not and I know you know that all to well.. I pray for you Val:) just keep on keeping on..:) love you Sabina
Sabina let your Dr. Know how you feel, we are all different but I normally have it done on a Friday and by Sunday I am eating pretty much about 80 percent and by Monday I usually feel great. I know there are different degrees of dilutions and stretches, because my GP who is an Anisthisioligist can do them but only certain types where Dr. s is a surgeon and he can do anything,,let the doctor know it still hurts and the problems it has caused hugs
Great information. Sending the link to my daughter. She falls into the can't afford the policy & deductible, earns too much for assistance & employer does not offer health insurance. Always glad to hear NED updates. Gives me hope. Hugs.
Hi Pam,
This plan is perfect for me and has been living up to what I hoped it would be. Certainly, read up on their site. And make a call to them and talk to someone. I have found the people to be full of knowledge and insight. They don't call it "insurance" but "cost sharing".

Yes with Medi-Share you have to be a Christian, however people of other faiths have their own "religious health ministries" allowing for the same escape from the chains of misery doled out by Obamacare.

God bless & hugs to you!
Hi Jacques Good to see you and great news for ones who need this insurance... I am happy you are doing well..hugs and love and always prayers Sabina:)
Hi Sabina it's great to hear from you. Yes I have been doing well. I am no longer the same ambitious person I was before all this. I don't have that eye of the tiger anymore to move my life and career forward. Just living simple and low stress is how I can best describe it.

That Medi-Share healthcare option is indeed very cool. It reminds me a lot of the support I found here at BFAC, only they are oriented to providing healthcare that makes sense. The don;t call it insurance but cost sharing of al members expenses. They also offer prayers and inspirational messages. Instead of trying to limit you, I sense they actually empower you to learn how to shop wisely for the best care and cost. Prescriptions have become absurd. There is no rhyme or reason. Celebrex for arthritis used to be around $40 / for 30 pills. Now it over to $250. There is a PPO called PHCS that negotiates down medical and tests. And with prescriptions, they show you how to shop around. It's slightly more work and requires some thinking, but the result is I feel more in control of my healthcare with this Christian ministry than I ever did when I had any conventional health insurance company. Every step of the way was a battle. One cool trick I discovered regarding shopping for meds is using coupons. I never thought of that ever. Some real expensive meds will give you a free or $5 script when you start out. Then there are websites like goodrx.com Medi-Share told me about this. Anybody can go to that site, put in their prescription details. Quantity strength, number of pills etc. Then you pick a radius around your zip code and you find the best price. Print the coupon and hand it to the pharmacist.

It's truly amazing but I now do it all the time and it works. Why and how a website would offer prescription discounts to anyone without asking anything in return is stunning. I have no clue how it works, but it does. I suggest you give it a shot. See what happens. Sometimes a med is cheaper through the insurance, but often you are better off using the coupon.

On a brighter note, our little goat farm is hoping. Lots of baby kids to be born in June. I'll post a few pics. Hugs love and prayers to you Sabina!!!! :)
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I wish they would come up with a dental plan so I can get teeth.... I am on Medicaid and from what I understand I will need temps for a few months but are expensive and on limited income I will not be able to afford them.... It just seems that in this country with all its money for everything i should be able to get my temp teeth... I have fought before at hearings for my teeth and lost and asked what f I needed surgery on my pinky would they say I have 3 other fingers and a thumb.. good enough? I know Obama would get temp teeth .... its not like I didn't work hard all my life either... just some people have alot and some people don't. What I lack in cash I do have more than words can say in God... he always comes through for me and I never want to sound ungrateful... I have it all with God:) It's so hard to go through cancer... life is never the same and sometimes I just get tired of the constant reminders and the fight for what most people take for granted...yet on the other hand, I am alive and satisfied to be able to do whatever and be led to where ever God wants me to be... I love your goat farm and the simple things in life are the best things. I bet you can learn alot from a goat:) hugs and love and always prayers my friend.. truly so good to chat with you here... you were one of the very first persons, I got to know here and always thankyou for your kindness... Sabina:)
You know Sabina, I just thought of something that seems to be in vogue these days, it's called http://www.gofundme.com A lot of cool things have happened to folks. You out up your situation and people actually donate to your cause. Americans are a generous compassionate people and will help their neighbor when they can.

A few weeks ago in the news, there was a pizza place was forced to shut down because they didn't want to cater a gay wedding. Because of their religious Christian beliefs the media pounced an created a scandal. Next thing the story went nationwide and they raised some $800,000 here is the story on forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2015/04/07/crowdfunding-raises-800000-for-memories-pizza-parlor-what-it-means-for-donors-future-campaigns/

I think might be worth looking into and put out your predicament on gofundme and see what happens?

It's great to catch-up with you again as well. It's passed my bedtime. To be continued. Hugs, love and prayers to you:)
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It is so great to hear from you. I was wondering how you were doing. Thanks for posting the healthcare option. Awesome that it helps. Thanks for the referral link. Just a polite heads up. This is not "insurance" in that claims payment is not guaranteed. When you have an approved expense after your annual deductible, you can submit for "sharing". There is no guarantee it would be paid, or in full. Here's a link to competitor program..which describes the "sharing" part. http://samaritanministriesreview.com/needs-vs-shares/ Christian plans are not insurance. They are an alternative to insurance. I think they are awesome. With some Christian programs (including this program), you get a discount if in network. Bravo! I would definitely use Jacques' referral link and consider this BEFORE I paid a tax for no insurance. Plans change, so always look for latest info. Thanks a million for the update.
Hi Linda,
Sorry I overlooked your post. But I wanted to reply to your comment on the healthcare option I was describing. Indeed it is not considered insurance and they make that quite clear.mtheu call it "cost sharing." As part of the program, members monthly dues or premiums go to pay the pool off medical expenses of other members. However the statement that you make that the is no guarantee that they will pay is not accurate. With conventional health insurance there is certainly no guarantee that they will pay fo a procedure. I for one have been turned down multiple times for PET scans and other tests. The insurance companies use a company called CareCore, whose job it is to find a way to deny you.

Now Back to Medi-Share. They can't call it insurance as they have to play by the rules of the obamacare dictates. So they call it cost sharing.
Your annual deductible is called your "annual household portion." It can be as low as $1,250/yr for a $325 monthly, or as low as $133/month for a $10,000 deductible, aka annual household portion. That's the option I chose.
If the annual portion is met, then they cover 100% of medical after that with no limit.

My latest X-ray test bill came in and the radiologist fee for reading the X-ray was $50. But because I still am benefiting from the PPO negotiating power, I only owe $17.50.

Quite honestly having quite a good track record of experience with insurance companies and my fights with them from all the bills from my cancer, this Medi-Share plan, beats the insurance companies hands down. And I'm saving thousand in ridiculously expensive premiums I don't have to pay. I've looked into other religious exemption healthcare programs, but Med share is among the best. Friendly, easily accessible by phone and a far cry from the bureaucratic nightmare of Oxford or Bluce Cross!

Admiralty I was skeptical at first, but time and experience with using to the doctors stc, have shown me that this is a blessed option, because it does not have to conform to the absurd obamacare mandates, like covering you for sex changes, or charging you more depending on which zip code you live in. If you have more questions we can talk private or here. Hugs and prayers to you Linda!!!
Medi-Share is associated with the natiob's largest PPO known as PhCS. When you need to go to the doc or have a procedure, tiu just give them a quick call as a heads up. No authorization number required. They have a comprehensive list of all participating doctors, labs and hospitals that are in the PHCS network. They recommend you go to those docs if possible. (Btw all my docs and hospitals from my oncologist to my hospitals are associated with them.

However if you can go out of network and they still will accept your doc or facility. The costs maybe a bit higher but you are not flat out banned like in many HMOs. Also you are covered out of state and out of the country. So thing which I thought was a given, until I discovered that the lower end obamacare plans did NOT insure you out of State, which to me is stunning!

Thank you for the insurance info...really good info!
Great news on the NED!!! I'm glad you located a more affordable insurance. My neck was also quite stuff from surgery. Never thought of it like duct tape but that is true! Lotions were not helping. In 2011, I had myofascial release therapy (not sure of spelling - a muscle release therapy)which made a huge difference -very huge. It had gotten tight again and am now having therapy again. After these sessions, I want to see about going for a loosening before it gets too bad again. Or at least when I feel tight, not putting off going for therapy. I hadn't thought of needing therapy again, I thought it was my pillow or something. Now I will know better. I am OK with insurance but I will pass along the insurance info to my cousin. Thanks.
Hi Sandyjo, Yeas I'm a rue believer in the coconut oil. Extra vergin pure oil is solid a room temp. I just dig some out with my fingers and spread it all around my neck and face. It real feels good and is soothing. Plus I love the smell of coconut:). At time of year I gob on some 50 block coppertione. Love that count smell too! Lol. Biut I truly feel the protection from the sun rays. The Rays feel like they are this strange for e against my neck and face. Kinda like the sun hitting a vampire:)). I feel that I need to get away from it. But the sun block really helps with that ss well! Small inconvenience for the blessings of making it through our cancer boot camp!
I haven't had the twitching. Luckily! I think I will try coconut oil. The skin in my neck is tight. Moveable but tight. Above my neck gets wrinkled! More so if I do not sleep well. Figure at my age-66, I can have some wrinkles and not necessarily from radiation! Hugs and prayers and sonshine1!
Hi Sandyjo, great to hear from you and that you. The neck thing is indeed the biggest reminder of what happened. I see it every morning in the mirror. The skin is visibly wrinkled and burnt along the long scar from ear to throat. Stretching exercises in the shower and lots of coconut oil help loosen it up. I don't know if you get this but I've been getting these little neck spasms or neck cramps that come on. It almost feels like the nerves or muscles are twitching everyone's and a while. It's nothing terrible but along with tight duct tape sensation along me star and strange tingly numbness, I just rack it up to one my several battle scars of honor from having battled this nasty cancer. Now that the sun is starting to hit hard I'll. be doubling up on the moisturizing sun block. The sun rays hitting my neck feel like this invisible force is radiating me. I guess I feel like what a vampire would feel if the sunlight would hit the skin. So the sunblock and covering up definitely seem to help:). Hugs and prayers to you:)!
Jacques, just want to send you a quick very Happy Birthday wish this week. I sure hope you are feeling better, that would be the gift I would want for you. Your last post was in April, I hope things are better. Have a great one. I'll raise a glass to you on Thursday.....
Thank you so much Louise!, and I'll raise a glass to you and clink as well:) I know the bday is coming, yet what surprises me most is how many I've had! Going to be 56! My mind wants to think I'm in my twenties. my knees remind, not so fast buddy! as each step up the stairs or kneeling down is definitely getting tougher! My back, and other parts remind me that yeah, I ain't anywhwere near 20 something!

A funny little story.... For the past 20 years , there is this woman in our town who I know casually, who is known as the "birthday queen." Everyday, for the last twenty years, she makes phone calls to all the people on her list that are having birthdays and even half birthdays. So, every June 11 and Dec 11, without fail, she calls me to wish me a happy birthday. I am far from the only one who she calls on my birthday. A very cool, wonderful thing to know, that someone is thinking about you:).

Meanwhile all is good. Our little goat farm is doing well. Between now and early July, 8 does will be delivering lots of bouncy little kids. Tonight Luna, is in labor and sure to wake us up at 3am. We have the baby monitor hooked up. When we here the cries, we know it's time to jump out of bed and be there in case she needs any help!
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Jacques I hope you have a very Happy Birthday and many, many more hugs
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Thanks Val, many hugs to you as well. Wasn't even thinking of my birthday until I saw your email, lol! I hope you are doing well and enjoying the warmer weather. As I am getting older, I am recognizing that I don't like the. Old weather that much. The summers are too short and the winters seem endless and brutal!
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SORRY I AM LATE WITH YOUR BIRTHDAY WISHES ♫ Happy Birthday to you ♫ ♫ Happy Birthday to you ♫ ♫ Happy Birthday dear Jacques ♫ ♫ Happy Birthday to you ♫ ♫ Have a beautiful and blessed day ♫ ♫ Love and Hugs ♫ ♫ Joyce in NC ♫
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Thanks Joyce!! being remembered on any day is great by the way you were the only one to ember it was my birthday + 8 days:). Hugs and prayers to you!:)
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2013, I'm still alive.

Happy New Year to all! I backed-off from posting for a while. The lump I had on the roof of my mouth turned out to benign, yet my ENT decided to remove it all. I will not tolerate lumps in my mouth LOL! Seriously that was a relief and the first little 'gulp scare' that i've had. It's now a new year! I'm still breathing. I'm still enjoying life. And still the cancer shadow follows me wherever I go, every minute of the day. What i mean by that, is that not a minute goes by when i am not aware that i have/had cancer and the radiation treatment. I am blessed. Right now i have the flu, and it really sucks cause my nose is all stuffy. So i have to breathe with my mouth open. Which means that the little saliva that i have, is not able to compete with an open mouth all night long :) So my tongue, my gums an whole mouth feel totally dried up. And i wake up to re-hydrate my mouth. Kinda funny, not a big deal. I pray for all who are still struggling and will gladly offer advice or share my experience with new arrivals to our special privileged club, Regarding long time BFC friends, I still have not heard from Elena Rose Graves. I am concerned, and pray that she will be fine. Get cancer to come back three times is no fun. Love to all and thank you again to Jill who has made this incredible community possible. Jacques Nemo Me Impune Lacessit “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only is the only choice you have.”
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Nice to see you back and with a benign mouth lump. Welcome...
 Hi Pat, Thanks for writing. I do have to admit that the lump was one of those, moments where you wonder and remember that first time your heard the big C. Stay well bud! Jacques
 Hi Pat, Thanks for writing. I do have to admit that the lump was one of those, moments where you wonder and remember that first time your heard the big C. Stay well bud! Jacques
I think we fixed that problem that you just had. and it looks like your blog post posted. Let me know if you see anything else. Happy New Year! Thanks for the update!! xoxoxo, Jill
Hi Jacques! I am so thrilled to see your post! Benign--is there a more welcome word to a cancer survivor? I think not! I am so glad that is the word you got and I hope you've had your last scare. I'm sorry you are dealing with some treatment-related issues, but it sounds like you are rolling with the punches, which is what we have to do. What a shame that the flu-bug has bitten you--I have been down and out all week with a cold and also some intestinal kind of bug. Hey, we are getting all of our illnesses out of the way at the beginning of the year so we can be free and clear from here on! Take care, my dear friend, and keep enjoying NED! Hugs-- Martha
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HI Martha, Great to hear from you as well!!! You know the thing i hate the most about the flu, is really the wasted time. Sniffles, soar throat, fever, are a piece of cake, but the time sitting in bed, that to me is wasted precious time!! :))
I totally agree! I was all set to begin the new year by training for another marathon or half-marathon (depending on how the old bod was holding up), but that is all on hold now while I lay around, blow my nose and eat chicken soup all day! :( 
Hi !!! Great news!!! I'm very happy for you! Btw Elana has a recent pic on Facebook. She looks well:) so glad you finally blogged. I admit, I was worried about you!!! Hugs, Karen
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 Hi Karen, I am so pleased that she resurfaced. Thank you too for your concern. I try to reserve this wonderful blog to relevant experiences and not turn it in to some Facebook, you know :) Hugs to you too!, and looking forward to this coming year of life! Jacques
It's good to hear from you and that all is well except for the flu!! I am glad for benign. I like your quate. It is ture. When asked how I got through radiation and chemo, I'd to say "You do what you gotta do!"
 HI Sandijo, great to hear from you. Yup, that;s one thing i've learned is to suck it up. I used to be squeamish about injections. LOL!, Now it's whatever. I had recently two largengoscopies, where they stick a long tube with a camera up my nostrils all the way back to my throat. The first one had years ago, i freaked. This time, it was no big deal at all. Told the dock just go for it. Indeed i think we've all built up a much great tolerance for pain after that cancer boot camp :)
Glad to hear you're doing well. Hope you're soon over your flu. Mari
Hi Jacques... Its good to hear all is well with you... I know what you mean about your mouth being dry. Mine is to. I have forced hot air heat and its terrible how it drys my mouth out. I have 2 humidifiers in my room and I am thinking about getting another one. I keep water close to so I can use it if I wake up. I am using biotene before I go to sleep. I am blessed to:) I like that saying you have there, you really don't know how strong you are till being strong is the only choice. Man I know that! Love and hugs to you:) Sabina:)
Glad to hear the lump was benign!!! I travel this insane tonsil cancer a few months after you and also happy to be cancer free. I have a question for you. Do you have any side effects due to the radiation? I am having some issues with radiation fibrosis. Intense charlie horse pain on my neck and jaw. In two weeks I will be traveling to Sloan Kettering Cancer center in New York. The have a specialist that will be assessing my problem. Just curious if you were having any issues in the neck and jaw.
 Hi Tobias, interesting question. I don't know if you had a radical neck dissection, along with a nice long scar from your ear to your throat? I had that surgery. My neck still feels tight along the scar and sometimes it does cramp up and is painful. I try to do stretching exercises and turn my head in both directions to pull on the scar as often it feels tight. Also after the surgery, once the scar healed, i rubbed my scar with a semi abrasive loofa to try and stimulate the nerve endings as half my face was numb. Most of the sensation came back but it is tight and occasionally will cramp up on me. On a pain scale i'd say it's a 2 out of 10. Best of luck to you in NYC. At sloan, the certainly know their stuff!
So glad to hear that you are doing so well (except for the flu, obviously!). I so hear you about always being fully aware that I am / have been a cancer patient. I try to make sure that I dont dwell on it, and keep it in the right perspective. I am a wife, a sister, a huge sports fan, and a cancer patient. In other words, its another life experience that has made me what I am. Of course, I'm not telling tales out of school if I admit that sometimes that's much easier said than done. ;) Happy New Year to you and yours, and wishing you continued good health!
 I so hear you as well! I don't dwell on it, but it's a hell of a life experience that never lets you forget. I've often said that in someways it was a blessing. It was a transformative that slapped me hard across the face and made me into a better, stronger kinder person. Happy New year to you as well. This will be a big year for you as you climb up the ladder to a stronger you. God bless! Jacques
Still alive is the best, Jacques. Best wishes for a healthy 2013.
Happy New Year, Brother! Good to hear you are well Mac
 Good to hear from you as wel bto... I'm scoutin' out for some new ink for my right shoulde:) Hope you are enjoying life and great to hear from you! Jacques
Jacques, thanks for the update. I have been thinking about you alot. Glad to hear the lump was benign! I'll chalk that up to yet another prayer answered! God bless you Jacques! I am sorry to hear about you having the flu. Have you tried Biotene? It helped me greatly during treatment with dry mouth. I still use it daily. Take care, brother. Scottie
So great to hear from you and know you are doing well, Jacques. I understand when you say the cancer shadow follows you. It has followed me for 19 years. I can live with that just as long as it doesn't catch up with me again ... LOL. I did have a skin cancer on my right wrist recently but hopefully nothing will come from that. I am here, also, if I can share any of my experiences with the new members or can be of any help in any way to any of you. All of you are ALWAYS IN MY DAILY PRAYERS. Love Jill for bringing us all together. Love, hugs, prayers and blessings going your way. Joyce In NC
Glad to hear your doctor was proactive so you don't have to worry about the darned lump. Glad too, you are . . sniff . . . on the mend. :>
Hi Jacques, Long time no blog....lol...how r u feeling? I hope all is well. OMG I was nervous while reading ur Lump blog n then Happy to c it was nothing. Ughh no1 wants to encounter the C again. Ok my friend...stay clean..lol n My plans as well. God Bless :)
Thanks Elena :) I'm feeling great. I think we are all blessed. 5 years NED, is something so many of us would dream of having. 5 years NED also keeps me humble as there have been a lot of friends here on this blog that we have all said goodbye to. God bless! :) Jacques
Thanks Elena :) I'm feeling great. I think we are all blessed. 5 years NED, is something so many of us would dream of having. 5 years NED also keeps me humble as there have been a lot of friends here on this blog that we have all said goodbye to. God bless! :) Jacques
Nice to hear from ya. Glad ur doing well. Yes we are very fortunate and there isnt a day that goes by that I am not thankful for that. It sadens me when I say Goodbye on here. I found myself so sad at that. No1 deserves to lose this battle. Its not fair. I pray for a cure..In Jesus Name AMEN!!
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What a wonderful quote!! RE: Elena Rose Graves. I THINK she posted recently. I have to check. I hope this finds you well. XOXO, Carol
Happy Birthday...June 2013. I know it is late, but maybe you can suck on a whole clove if you have a sore throat. Don't bite into it. Carry some on a container or foil for when out. I swear by Airborne or Zicam (or generic) and take at first sign of cold or flu. I like zicam best..but airborne worked day one when I could not find my Zicam. ok I'm not telling the whole truth...I bought two half gallons of ice cream too (he he he). Phew, glad your lump was benign. I don't get on here much. That is good because I don't focus on the disease. I do research every so often to see what the latest status is...especially for recurrence. I celebrate brithdays in a BIG way...traveling, or doing some fun event. I've never celebrated a cancerversity as some do. Heck..I pretty much celebrate every day. Stay well buddy.
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I see you have a birthday tomorrow Jacques. I hope you are well or I should say better, and that you have a wonderful day to celebrate your birthday.
Hi Louise, THank you so much Louise!. Yes tomorrow is another notch.:) Hard to believe it's been 5 years. I've been blessed with time and a new appreciation for the precious time God gives us.I am a very different person after this transformative battle :) God bless, Jacques
Happy Birthday Jacques! hugs and love Sabina
♫ Happy Birthday to you ♫ ♫ Happy Birthday to you ♫ ♫ Happy Birthday dear Jacques ♫ ♫ Happy Birthday to you ♫ ♫ I hope you had a beautiful and blessed day ♫ ♫ Love and Hugs ♫ ♫ Joyce In NC ♫
Happy Birthday Jacques! Wishing you a lifetime of continued good health and happiness!
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Thanks CJ, I'll gladly accept your good wishes. 5 years ago I didn't know I'd make it this far. I've been blessed in so many ways. The gift of time is the most precious as it is given to us without instructions. With God's guidance we can recalibrate our values and use our limited time wisely :) Hugs, Jacques
Thanks CJ, I'll gladly accept your good wishes. 5 years ago I didn't know I'd make it this far. I've been blessed in so many ways. The gift of time is the most precious as it is given to us without instructions. With God's guidance we can recalibrate our values and use our limited time wisely :) Hugs, Jacques
Thanks CJ, I'll gladly accept your good wishes. 5 years ago I didn't know I'd make it this far. I've been blessed in so many ways. The gift of time is the most precious as it is given to us without instructions. With God's guidance we can recalibrate our values and use our limited time wisely :) Hugs, Jacques
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Vital Info


March 23, 2008

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Hampton Bays, New York 11946

June 11, 1959

Cancer Info

Throat Cancer

Metastatic Squamous Cell Carcinoma with Occult Primary.

February 8, 2008

5.1 - 6.0 cm


Lymph nodes on neck.

Stony Brook University Hospital. Department of Radiology

You never know how strong you are, until strong is the only choice you have left.

June 4, 2008

Swollen lymph node on the right side of my neck. Post surgery, official classification TX, N2b, M0


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