Thanks For Thinking Of Us! [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Thanks For Thinking Of Us!


TinMan
06-06-2002, 09:48 PM
I had replied to Sean's topic, "If you ever think life has handed you a bad deal..." and got a very kind note from Mark (hope you don't get embarassed or offended Mark). It made me think - well - I wanted to just say that I'm continuously impressed by the support and warmth shown by people here - some of whom I've never actually met, or maybe even only once or twice. I haven't been contributing or reading much lately since I really just haven't had the time, what with working at a startup company and preparing for my son's surgery, but it isn't for lack of interest that's for sure. I really want to fish and so does my son, so we're going this weekend.

Mark's note also reminded me that I think you tend to imagine that "everyone knows" - but that's not true. Basically, my son (just turned 4) fell and pushed his front teeth in back in March. It was pretty bad, ER, etc. We heard this and that about root canal being needed, etc. Then a consult with an oral surgeon revealed that they are less concerned about his teeth and more about something that they thought should come out, unrelated to the fal,l and they recommended a biopsy.

We took him to Children's in Boston for a 2nd opinion and it was confirmed that it should be removed. The surgery was Friday and as I mentioned in Sean's topic, it went well and he's doing very well (better than his parents that's for sure).

Tomorrow we go back to Children's to find out the results of the biopsy. It's been the longest week of my life and I'm so very proud of my son, who has redefined courage and tolerance, at least for me - even at age 4. He IS Buzz Lightyear!

I had actually come to the site last night to take a break from thinking about it all - and, ironically, there was Sean's note about Children's (what an Xray!). I nervously chuckled about the coincidence and then quickly felt for him and his son, at the same time realizing that I'd be back very soon to "his hospital" (as he called it once, which hit me like a ton of bricks). You can never really stop thinking about it. No surprise.

It's not a totally 'bad' place to visit - but it can surely be a sad place to visit. But I also see all the courage, high hopes and also all the incredibly gifted people who work there and I sometimes feel encouraged when I leave. Sometimes not. Sometimes Sam just wants to see the pretty fish and get a giant muffin and throw coins into the fountain.

I know I won't sleep much tonite and I just wanted to say - thanks - to everyone who thinks of us and also of all those people who work so hard there to help so many and of the many children I see there every time for whom Children's is a life saver.

Best wishes and thanks from all of us!

"IronMike"

fredaevans
06-06-2002, 09:58 PM
Huge Hug!
Fred

Interesting to look up the word "husband." It's a 'guy thing.' But worth every bit of the joy and pain.
fe

Nate Bailey
06-07-2002, 05:20 AM
Tin Man
I know what you are going thru , I about lost My middle one to RSV When he was 4, If it wasnt for my wifes persistance I would have lost him. the doctor kept telling us that it was just a common cold until by the 4th visit,in the same week, my wife said I aint leaving until you tell me whats wrong, so they took my kids blood OX level, the doctors face turned white and he said get that kid to ER, Ill be right there, I guess that most people have 85% Ox in their blood my kid had 20. Our doctor kept telling us he was sorry, I told him, you arnt god, you cant think of everything, but next time listen to my wife.

ILL pray for all of you , take care Nate

DFix
06-07-2002, 09:26 AM
Okay, for those of us in the area. No, more appropriately, for anyone who chooses to do so, at whatever hospital, wherever, for WHOMEVER.

(Anecdotal blah-blah)
I used to be a faithful regular 'A'+ blood donor at Childrens' here in Boston. I don't even remember how it began. I never went and gave with a designated child as the recipient. Somehow it became inconvenient and time-consuming to continue. I should rethink that, from the looks of things.

(Important)
Designated blood donations are simple to arrange. If visiting Childrens with knowledge of a needy recipient, recipient's name is entered on the intake form. I believe, based on my experiences, that Mass. General and other hospitals accept donations on behalf of individuals for different reasons, whether to donate platelets for cancer patients or whole blood for its many uses. This should be the case in hospitals around the country.

As I posted in an earlier mention of this, Childrens' slogan for this is "Give Pints for Half-Pints"

Mike, Sean, Bob, whomever. If you need it, I'm willing, so let me know.

juro
06-07-2002, 10:30 AM
Mike -

It's funny how we generally think of ourselves as the guardians, teachers, and mentors yet our children teach us so much about the substance of life.

I also had a similar incident with my daughter, but after surgery everything got back on track and she was full of steam again in no time. Many close calls, fearful moments and it's true that having folks outside of the immediate circle who offer their thoughts, prayers and concerns really do help.

My very best to your son; and it's clear to me that you are a great father. Hope to see the two of you at a Boneclave soon! :)

Juro

Doc Duprey
06-07-2002, 11:23 AM
TinMan,

Just adding my voice in support of you and your little guy. We will all say a special prayer for yo at our house. And I second Juro's motion...may you and your son be joining the Forum soon on a Clave adventure.

Hang in there...there are alot of fine people pullong for you.

-Doc

pmflyfisher
06-07-2002, 05:13 PM
Tin Man,

Love those little boys, had three of them once, now they are teenagers. Loved coaching the little guys in football and baseball for many years.

My thoughts are with you, I know what you are going through which is what my wife and I went through with our first son (now 20 years old and strong as ox, athlete, etc).

He was born with birth defect, intestines not connected, emergency surgery when one day old to find problem, and do colostemy (sp?). Then was in and out of infant intensive care twice in the three months following birth. The happiest day of my life was the day he was born and the worst day so far was the day after when the doctors detected the problem and did the surgery.

They did the final surgery to connect intestines together two months later, prematurely, due to complication. What an experience, no one can relate until they have also gone through it. He was fine after the surgery but for several years after that we were on pins and needles when ever he got sick.

My prayers are with you and your family.

Best

Hal

TinMan
06-08-2002, 12:26 PM
Thanks everyone, really appreciate the thoughts, prayers and support - it really helps, impressively so actually.

We don't have results yet - they don't know what it is so are going to review with other pathologists. We were disappointed, but at least we're in good hands over there.

The good news at this point is he's healing very well! So the waiting game continues...can't wait to go fishing with him (2 weeks till Cape vacation).

BTW: Juro, thanks for the compliment - I'm lucky he forgives me for the various mistakes I've made.

Chris
06-12-2002, 10:10 PM
Hey buddy,
Our thoughts are with you. You probably have read about my boy Ian here. It is simply amazing how resiliant children but Nothing, not anything, prepares us for how much our hearts ache when they aren't well. We are faced with some of truly frighening things in life none more than ill child.
When Ian was diagnosed with leukemia his red blood counts were so low that he was in a perpetual state of altitude sickness- and he went to x-country practice. They are tough and an inspiration in courage.

The kindness and support of our friends and the strength and often humor that arrises from our children, when it seems we are at our lowest and neediest, become the blessings that get us through.
We wish you all the best and a speedy recovery for your son.

TinMan
06-19-2002, 02:23 PM
[Thanks Chris (and others), no, I didn't know about your son and hope he's doing better. I just haven't had much time to keep up with reading the forum. My best to you all.]

The biopsy wasn't all good news and he may need surgery again (CT scan will tell them more I'm told, that's in July), but we hope we got it taken care of in time. Time, in fact, will tell and please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Some people have expressed a selfless desire to help in any way they can, either by time or dollars and maybe I can help with that?

We had an offer from an incredible person where I work to ride in my son's honor in this year's Pan Mass Challenge, http://www.pmc.org/pmchtml/02About/02a_pmc-story.htm . We declined simply because we feel that there are many more kids much sicker than Sam deserving of an effort such as this. Going to Children's Hospital these past months and looking around us certainly proves that out and we of course hope our son does not get any sicker such that he does need the benefit of people such as this.

I also planned on riding this year's challenge, but have postponed that till next year since I simply am not in conditioning appropriate for such a ride this year (yes, I freely admit that).

So, this year, please consider sponsoring my friend Erik - it's as easy as PayPal using this link:

https://www.pmc.org/egifts/makeadonation.asp?egiftID=ES0013

If you'd like to make it in honor of my son, that's fine and will be taken with the greatest of appreciation! Just send me an email for name/address (it's needed to fill out "in honor/in memory" portion of donation form) or just make mention in the text box. Please also note the other stories here - unfortunately, plenty of people are affected by various forms of cancer.

I've received well wishes in person, via emails, postcards and phone calls and I can't tell you how much this means to us. We were told that we're lucky it's this form of the disease - and I immediately thought of the people I know (some here as you can see) whose children are sick or survived more agressive forms of cancer.

Note that a portion of this ride is along the canal (cape side) and majority of it is on the Cape.

Best wishes and thanks from the Mahler family!

striblue
06-19-2002, 08:36 PM
Mike..my thoughts and prayers are with you and I will do what I can to help out... so I am on any list you are creating for whatever..just keep us posted.

TinMan
07-18-2002, 03:57 PM
Hi everyone,

Yesterday afternoon we met with the surgeon and she told us that the board was in agreement that they can not guarantee that the tumor was fully extracted (due to a fissure on the side that was in contact with the bone). So, as I had been suspecting, they want to perform another surgery to remove some of the bone as well. This will be another outpatient surgery, scheduled for August.

Subsequent to that there will be several CAT scans to track the healing of the bone and, of course, to check for the possibility of other tumors. However, they do think this is a localized situation and that this next surgery is "just to be sure we got it out" but they expect the biopsy this time will show nothing (yes, we HAVE heard that before, but we knew what she meant). Basically, the risk of leaving malignant cells there outweights the risk of surgery.

We're doing OK, mostly since we prepared ourselves to hear that so it wasn't news (well, I speak for myself mostly, my wife wasn't totally OK with the news, but we both agreed that if we heard "You're all set!", we wouldn't feel all set w/o this additional surgery, so it really is for the best or at least we like to think that way - which helps).

Moving forward, if anyone's interested in further info, just send me an email.

Thanks again for keeping us in your thoughts and just for asking how things are going!

Tight lines.

[Juro - please move this if there's a more appropriate place for it.]

fredaevans
07-18-2002, 04:09 PM
Please keep us all posted!
fred

TinMan
08-26-2002, 10:43 AM
All -

Time does indeed fly.

Sam undergoes another surgery tomorrow morning. I just wanted you all to know, again, how much we appreciate the thoughts and offers of support.

I'll let you know how things go and appreciate the kind thoughts and prayers of everyone here.

Thanks, again, for all of us.

juro
08-26-2002, 12:12 PM
Our thoughts and prayers are with your brave young Sam and his devoted guardians. May this be the turning point for the "lightyears" to come!

TinMan
08-28-2002, 03:13 PM
He came through the surgery very well and was brave from start to finish. Doesn't even want his pain meds. In fact, within a few hours after, he was talking about going fishing and camping while walking around with a backpack so full of toys and stuff that it probably came in at about 1/3 of his body weight. I just stared in amazement.

There's a possibility of more (reconstructive) surgery, but for now we are hoping that they got it all. We'll know more after this biopsy and then CAT scan.

Thanks again everyone and tight lines!

striblue
08-28-2002, 03:52 PM
Mike... Thinking of you.....keeping my figers crossed..........

DFix
08-28-2002, 04:34 PM
That's great to hear, Mike - best to you all.

TinMan
08-29-2002, 02:15 PM
Thanks guys, good to know there's positive thoughts flowing out there... ;)

TinMan
09-03-2002, 04:43 PM
Here he is with a recent catch:

http://webpages.charter.net/mikemahler/images/Pounder.jpg

White Perch, 1 lb., Wachusett Reservoir

fredaevans
09-03-2002, 04:56 PM
:D
fae

TinMan
09-04-2002, 01:08 PM
Thanks Fred, made our day catching it. Just bringing that fish in a bucket to Wachusett Bait and Tackle for a weigh in was an experience they'll never forget!

"Do they give lessons?" said one guy.

"How'd you catch it?"

"We put on a worm and the worm was wiggly. Then we played on the big rock and daddy caught seaweed with a big fish in it!"

True story. Mess of water grass that was moving when I reeled in their "snoopy" rod. Was surprised that the pin level was about 50% more than this one! Didn't know perch got that big.

TinMan
09-10-2002, 05:53 PM
I have great news - the biopsy came back free of tumor - negative!

I'll take it!

pastortd
09-10-2002, 06:41 PM
Originally posted by TinMan
I have great news - the biopsy came back free of tumor - negative!

That is great news! It made my day. As a dad of three very young kids, and having had oral surgeries including biopsies for fear of various cancers, it really heartens me! Pardon me, I'm going to go hug my boys and little girl...

juro
09-10-2002, 07:57 PM
Great news Mike, I think we are all breathing a little sigh of relief most of all you and your wife!

On to new fishing adventures with your protoge'...

TinMan
09-10-2002, 10:56 PM
Guys, thanks.

It is indeed a relief and we celebrate with cautious optimisim (CAT scans and such await us), but how awesome is it to hear some good news for a change!

We are all thankful for the support you've all shown - here, and in email.

All our best!

striblue
09-10-2002, 11:41 PM
Mike ,I think that's great....a great feeling!

DFix
09-11-2002, 10:08 AM
Great news, Mike - that's surely a tremendous relief. Loved the picture of the monster fishie:smokin: - keep us posted.

Chris
09-14-2002, 08:24 AM
That's great news. We are all fortunate for the treatments these doctors have come up with. Ian has one treatment left and then he gets his lifeback. You are in own thoughts and prayers.
Chris and Brenda

TinMan
09-20-2002, 08:33 PM
Update: Sam's latest post-op check up showed he is healing very well (surgeon's words). Next stop is a CAT scan in January to be used as a baseline for the future.

We're glad he's held up so well - parents need fruity drinks and sandy beach.

[Chris, all my best to you and Ian - glad he'll be done soon.]

juro
09-20-2002, 09:11 PM
Originally posted by Chris
That's great news. We are all fortunate for the treatments these doctors have come up with. Ian has one treatment left and then he gets his lifeback. You are in own thoughts and prayers.
Chris and Brenda

Glad to hear about Ian as well - please tell him I look forward to the next time we fish together.

Tinman -

fruity drinks, beach - GOOD! Congrats on the good news.

TinMan
01-06-2003, 06:51 PM
Today was Sam's first CAT scan. We don't have the results yet, but I just wanted to take a minute and tell you about the special person my son is:

They put in the IV and it hurt - but he was OK but sad since we told him the "pictures" they were going to take won't hurt (they neglected to mention the IV and contrasting liquid they needed to inject). They were all ready with sedation ("All kids this age get sedated since they can't stay still.") since the contrast fluid is only good for 30 seconds and they can't give a 2nd dose in same day - so they sedate to make sure they get it the first time. But Sam had been sick recently - bronchitis - and we were concerned about that and so was the nurse. So she advocated for him - telling the radiologist that he seems like he can do it. But the head guy was very doubtful...you can tell there was a line of people. Somehow though, he tried it - they injected the contrast agent and they started the scan. Sam stayed motionless, just moving his eyes. I couldn't believe it at first, but somehow I knew he could do it - I think I underestimate him sometimes, often projecting my feelings and fears onto him. But he's really something else. We were practicing all week, using that scene from Harry Potter when Hermione freezes one of the other kids... "petrificous totalis!"... he was amazing - stayed perfectly still and then FELL ASLEEP!

They got all the scans they needed and we left and had a power breakfast of potato chips, Gatorade and a Push Pop at the hospital cafe (they make you fast before sedation) - all his choices. Then off to the toy store for his favorite GI Joe.

Thanks again to everyone who continues to send us well wishes and good vibes... we're sure it helps the parents! :D

DFix
01-07-2003, 09:15 AM
What a trooper this kid is - he oughta be nominated for gutsy player of the century, right now.

Mike I have to be honest. When I saw this thread moved, I had a really sick feeling in my gut. Hopefully the scans show all's well.

TinMan
01-07-2003, 10:54 PM
Sorry for the scare, it didn't even occur to me that people might assume there was bad news... I should have added the little thumbs up thing or smiley icon.

Yeah, he's really showed us what he's made of and it's all good.

TinMan
01-15-2003, 05:51 PM
Met with the surgeon today, the CAT scan came back clear and he's healing normally. Lets hope the future ones are as well!

Thanks Dave, and everyone else for your kinds words and good thoughts.

juro
01-15-2003, 08:25 PM
Congrats Sam! You're doing a great job getting well. Your parents are as proud as could be and so are we - keep up the good work and I hope you catch more fish this spring with your dad!

DFix
01-16-2003, 08:57 AM
I hope I get a chance to meet Ian and Sam someday, the newest members of the 'All Time Tough Guys' :cool:

You two little guys rock! :D

Chris
01-16-2003, 08:22 PM
Outstanding!! Dave, we'll be at the show
Saturday.

TinMan
01-17-2003, 12:36 PM
Chris, Dave, Juro, EVERYONE!...thanks. I hope we all get to fish together soon too, all of us.

Best from us to Ian as well.

andrew
01-17-2003, 06:04 PM
Tin man - sounds like things are going well. Children are incredibly resilient and inspirational in times of trouble. My 11 year old daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia in late 96 and after 2 plus years of chemo, an emergency appendectomy during treatment and several other challenges, is now a completely healthy young lady. Faith in the big guy up above, wonderful services from the local hospital (Connecticut Children's Medical Center in our neighborhood) and the support of friends and family goes along way. Glad to hear your son is on the mend....
At the end of the day, the only that really matters is the health of your kids.

Regards,
Andrew

Doc Duprey
01-17-2003, 06:46 PM
Mike,

Your little (?) man (!) deserves a medal for bravery! You do too.

These times are really brutal, but there are moments where real miracles can shine through. Glad you are getting to see some of them. He did great on the scan...I can't hold still like that!

Hang in there. Lots of folks are pulling/praying for you and for him!

Best regards,

-Doc