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#130643 - 10/08/11 08:40 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Medical Update on Ray Thigpen [Re: manning11]
Pat Marr Offline

Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7547
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Ray, if you're about to see an oncologist for the first time, this must be a very recent development. Can you tell us what symptoms sent you to the doctors in the first place? Shortness of breath? Fatigue? What would you encourage others to look for to catch something like this as quickly as possible?

#130644 - 10/09/11 10:53 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Medical Update on Ray Thigpen [Re: Pat Marr]
RayThigpen Offline

Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 1942
Loc: Georgia
What a comfort and blessing each of you have been in your postings. So many survivors. We're gonna beat this thing. With your prayers, we're going to beat this, and I WILL SING AGAIN. Please cheer me from time to time. You all are and have been a second family to me for several years now. Feel free to email me anytime.

Pat Marr to answer your question, I was a smoker for 46 years (3 packs a day mostly). Diagnosed in 2009 with pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension. Been under care of Pulmonologist since. In early September started noticing that I was more short of breath than usual. I generally wear oxygen when out shopping, but suddenly realized I needed it all the time at a setting of 3 liters per minute. I use a CPAP at night when I sleep and always have oxy flowing. Went to my family doc, he treated me with TAMIFLU for flu-like symptoms, tired, no appetite, feeling so bad and running low grade fever. After 5 days on the TAMIFLU, went to my pulmonologist to check me out ---- he gave me antibiotics CIPRO, TUSSENEX cough syrup, Mucinex, and started me with Albuterol treatments with my nebulizer. Had a chest x-ray (first one in two years since I was diagnosed with lung problems) and the x-ray came out totally WHITE. Two days later felt so bad, called ambulance at 10pm and went to local ER. They contacted my Pulmonologist and realized they should do a CT SCAN. The result in one hour was: "appears to be a worrisome mass, possibly malignant on the left lung."

I was immediately transferred to Northside Hospital in Atlanta GA and my case was taken by a Thoracic Surgeon. My left lung collapsed 2nd day I was there and the head nurse grabbed my bed and started running down the hall with me to ICU. They flooded me with oxygen. I was on 25 Liters Per minute (the equivalent of a car tire blowout on impact, and with 100% saturation. Blood pressure dropped well below 100 and pulse was over 130. Basically, I was leaving here. Soon my vitals returned to somewhat normal status but the oxygen was coming so hard and fast it felt like I could hear the roar of a WATERFALL in my head and ears. It was deafening!

A few days later, they figured out I had blown a blood clot in my left and right lung (which is why so much oxygen was needed), they put me on high doeses of Heparin to dissolve blood clot(s) and then put in a filter in my abdomen blood line to keep any new clots from coming up from my legs to enter my chest cavity, lungs, heart or possibly even the brain. Which would have been instant death.

They put in a pick line to make blood draws and medications easier to administer. They drew fluid off my lungs first time equivalent to 2 quarts. 2 days later they got 2.5 quarts. Then 2 days later they got little over 1 quart and then it got to where draining the lung was useless as they only got a few tablespoons. That was a very good thing. I was totally in bed most of the time except for sitting up a couple hours most days. Medications and vital signs taken all hours of day and night. I was in ICU for 10
days and they let me wife stay with me in the ICU room. Gave her a bed to sleep on, fed her 3 times a day. She needs knee replacements and cannot mobilize through hospital. But when she had to they used a wheelchair for her; they brought her snacks, ice, bed covers, pillows, cokes. They treated her as good as if not better than me. I had the best nurses and chaplains anyone could ever hope for and a doctor that pulled no punches. He told it like it was and I appreciated that!! He is a very good doctor and I have high regard for him. He refused to call me RAY, he insisted on Mr. Thigpen.

My arms are black and blue and look horrible. I lost 6 pounds while in the hospital. I go to see my Oncologist for first time tomorrow. Home Health Nurse has made her first visit and I take a lot of medicines. Most of which I was taking before hospitalization. I have to do an injection in my belly twice a day for fighting the blood clots. I'm on Coumadin, Prednisone, and they gave me liberal PERCOSET for pain which I have little to no pain and the Percoset causes such horrible dreams. Scares me that I'm taking PERCOSET cause that is OXYCODONE. But thank the Lord it is real cheap in prescription form and on the streets it's quite expensive. So I'll buy mine through the pharmacy.

I'm sleeping fairly well at night. Anxious to get this lung drain plug out and wish I could get a SHOWER!!!! Oh gosh I've never wanted a shower so much in all my life. This sponge bathing is for the birds!!!!!!! LOL

I'm in good spirits and postings like all of you made sure made my day today. We ARE going to beat this thing! I have cancer but it ain't got me!!!!!!!

Love to you all. Please keep prayers going. I thank you for them!!!!! Blessings to ALL!!!!!

Edited by RayThigpen (10/09/11 10:54 AM)

#130645 - 10/09/11 11:00 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Medical Update on Ray Thigpen [Re: Pat Marr]
filkertom Offline

Registered: 01/03/06
Posts: 2028
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
[big damn manly hugs] All the best, Ray, to you and your family. Keep us posted, and, YES -- you will sing again, and we'll be there to share 'em.
Tom Smith
My Music at Bandcamp
Win10/64 • i5-3570K • 16 GB RAM
Audiophile 192 • BIAB 2017 • Reaper 5
AKG C1000S • Behringer Xynex1002

#130646 - 10/09/11 11:21 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Medical Update on Ray Thigpen [Re: filkertom]
multitracker Offline

Registered: 03/22/09
Posts: 272
Loc: Hibbing, MN
Thanks for updating us Ray. Thoughts and prayers continue here. You have a great attitude, and that will go a long way towards winning the battle. And of course you can see from all the posts that you have a lot of heartfelt support from your forum friends. Keep up the good fight Ray.

BIAB/RB 2018 PlusPak. Dell Inspiron23 running Win10, 12GB RAM, 2.5GHz i7, Presonus AudioBox USB interface.

#130647 - 10/09/11 12:15 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Medical Update on Ray Thigpen [Re: manning11]
toucher Offline

Registered: 04/20/08
Posts: 1072
Loc: Arizona
Ray you are an inspiration to many, We are praying for God's blessings and healing.

Dang....This is addicting.

#130648 - 10/09/11 02:28 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Medical Update on Ray Thigpen [Re: toucher]
Pat Marr Offline

Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7547
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC

thanks for the detailed description of your symptoms and treatment. My wife recently had similar symptoms and got a similar diagnosis, so I'm trying to get a handle on what to expect.

Regarding our ability to cheer you up... report in often! Based on what I've seen from this crowd, support and encouragement are two things you are guaranteed to get from the people here in the forum.

As Rob just said, you really are an inspiration to many. Hang tough. We're all thinking of you, praying for you or rooting for you. (In many cases, doing all 3.)

Based on your own comments, it sounds to me that your faith has been established during the good times so you have it to draw on during the difficult times. THAT is an inspiration to me. Whether these vessels of clay are doing well or not, it can always be well with your soul.


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