1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

started on the old site as a beginner so I'll end in the beginners section here

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Joey Arender, May 16, 2016.

  1. Joey Arender

    Joey Arender big mouth alert

    I've got a story I want to share and it just seems fitting to do so here . It's one that I started and I shared with a guy on here back a few months ago via email. He had been my biggest mentor and friend in this industry and I just needed to tell someone so I'd feel better then. I had really hoped I wouldn't ever have to think much more about it. If you can take a few mins to read it I promise there is a point. I want to share in hopes a beginner or even an old guy takes a sec and maybe thinks a bit. I'm just guessing this is the best place for this story. If not Mr Edwards or a mod can place it in the right place I'm sure.

    So if you are still reading here is where the story begins.

    Back in January of this year I was living life large. I had rooms booked in Vegas the first week of February for the SCI show. A buddy and I were making final plans for the hunt of a lifetime, to Tajikistan for Marco Polo sheep. I had even mailed my deposit to my buddy as he was getting everything set up for us. I had only been happier about planning something just a hand full of times n my life. Within days of mailing that check my life changed, for how long who knows??? But I can tell you, the moument my urologist said you have a tumor in your bladder took me from the clouds to the floor in 1/10 of a sec flat. At that point all you know is it's probably cancer. My whole world felt as though it had fell on me. I went from packing for Vegas to canceling Vegas and talking to the Drs coordinator to plan and schedule my first surgery. And on Feburary 2 they went in and removed the tumors out of my bladder. The next week my wife and I met with my dr to discuss plans and pathology report.

    Well we were sitting thinking and preparing for the worst. We had been online researching everything possible about bladder cancer. When the dr said well I've got great news it's non invasive low grade with no treatments required at this time. I was heading back up to cloud 9 almost as fast as I had fallen. I mean non invasive low grade, that's what every person with cancer wants to hear right??? We discussed options and what I'd face the next five years and beyond with all the test and scopes to make sure we caught it if it ever came back. I only had a 50% chance I'd ever get it again. So we were thinking I really dodged a bullet with early detection.

    this is where I hope I still have your attention

    Well as we sat in his office he began going over my chart. He asked if I smoked, no sir, I quit a decade ago. He then began questioning what I did as a taxidermist and what amount of time I've been doing it. I told him I pretty much spent everyday for the past several years specializing in fish. I told him I was in some type of plastic, urethane, resin and paint almost daily. He said well, I can tell you two things, smoking is the number one risk for getting bladder cancer and being a male over 40 was another high risk factor. Since you quit smoking so long ago we can rule that out. He said, being over 40 is just what it is. Then he said, painters are right behind smokers in high percentages of all cases and plastics and resins are just nasty stuff that create all kinds of problems, esp if you don't take proper safety precautions. Which we all know right???
    His suggestion was that I get away from painting asap. luckly for me that was an option.

    Well my treatment plan was simple. Every 3 months I go in for a cystoscopy to make sure it's not coming back. The plan was to do this for three years, then once every six months for two years, then once a year for life. Pretty simple. Not fun but after a couple days things get back to normal and I'll have no complaints.

    Well on May 2 three months to the day from my surgery I go in for my cystoscopy. ( the week prior I started cross training to get ready for my trip. ... Ha ). Well when your having a cystoscopy test you are awake and get to watch the scope on the same tv the dr is using. As soon as the camera gets into my bladder there sits a nice new tumor and over at the spot where my biggest tumor was there is new growth, plus something going on that isn't normal for being 90 days out. The dr said I'm sorry, but we gotta go back in, it shouldn't be coming back that quick, but don't worry ( ok ) that's why we check you every 90 days. He explained that he'll remove the tumors just like last time, plus fill my bladder with chemo this time. Then we will wait to see what the pathologist says to determine threatment. Best case is this one round of chemo. Worst case is six weeks once a week then wait and see! So in about 36 hours from now I'll be waking up from round 2 and hopefully with better outcome in the next 90 days.

    The good news is chemo in the bladder only has a10% chance of the same side effects of injected so we're hopeful this will just be a mild speed bump.

    Now I didn't come here to beg for prayers or sympathy. I'm to mean to have them wasted on me. If you want to toss one or two up for my wife and kids then I won't complain. I don't want sorrows either.

    What I do want is to share this in hope of building some awareness for the need to be safe. Take these and all chemicals serious guy/ gals. They may not have anything to do with my condition but they could have. I've been in a lot of shops some have great systems in place but a vast majority do not. I'm not the only one who doesn't practice the best of safety precautions while mixing, pouring, painting. A lot of guys vent when it comes time to gloss I did too, But that's simply not enough.

    I'm also not here trying t scare you. Chances are you'll never have these problems I'm having. All I know is I Thank God for me having kidney stones back last summer, because until then I had never seen a urologist and had I not had one in my phone contacts I probably wouldn't have called about a little blood in my urine. So if you take nothing else from this, let this be it. Call your dr if you have something going on that's not normal. Early detection no doubt will make this chapter of my life have an eventual happy ending, so I'm extremely thankful for that.

    This site is a wonderful tool to have in your box. It's helped me way more than I've offered it back. It's a cliché But I truly hopes this helps at least one person.
  2. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Thanks for sharing Joey. I am so sorry you had this happen. Hopefully, your story will make the rest of us take protective actions when dealing with chemicals. Take care, and I pray for the best for you and your family.

  3. woodsbaby

    woodsbaby New Member

    wow. hope everything goes ok.

    Perhaps we should get a sticky going detailing safety equipment and precautions for taxidermy chemicals.

    I'm one of the bad ones who takes very little precautions. some because I think i'm invincible and some because I don't know. I do wear gloves, safety glasses, ear plugs, open shop door and run a fan, and my shop is a no dog and kid zone due to all the nasty chemicals I have (balmex, DA, paints and thinners, etc) I have alot of people harassing me to wear a respirator.