Living with Cancer Pt. 2

Updated 5 years ago

Cancer survival rates have gone up. There’s a growing population of people living with forms of the disease that used to be far more often fatal. 20 years ago survivor rates were lower and cancer was something most people didn’t talk about openly. Today’s cancer survivors say attitudes are changing.”I went in for a surgery that was supposed to be unrelated.””They found ovarian cancer.”Pam MacKiernan clearly remembers her reaction.”I wasn’t expecting ovarian. My mother had colon cancer. I’ve always been careful about colonoscopy.” “I remember telling a co-worker this ovarian is a death sentence.”That was 6 years ago.”With ovarian 80 percent will reoccur and only 60 to 70 percent will make 5 years.”Margery Wesley understands what it’s like.”I was going to have my knee repaired and it was time to have my mammogram. I decided well I have time to do that so I did. Instead of having my knee repaired I started going through the breast cancer thing.”Both women have been through a lot since their initial diagnosis.”I’ve had 5 recurrences. I’ve had a stem cell transplant.””One of the problems I have had is I developed lymphodema which is a very common thing to have after you have surgery. It was unexpected because my nodes were not involved. I did not have chemo.””It’s not that you thrive but you learn to cope. Some days you cope really well and some days if you can get out of bed and sit at the table that’s coping really well so it varies and sometimes it’s unpredictable.”Pam and Margery say having cancer is different for each person. They both still try to be as active as they can.”Now the chemotherapies are better. I’m on chemo now and I just cross country skied 3 hours yesterday. The week after chemo I don’t feel so great but the next 3 weeks I feel good.””I’m in an exercise program here which I couldn’t even lift my arm 3 years ago.”An assessment done by the Maine Cancer Consortium 5 years ago found many challenges for people living with cancer. Support for the survivors and their families was one of them.”My husband has been 6 years with this with know…he… Even though I’m not that sick it’s still like he drives me to chemo. It’s tough on them too.””Unfortunately some caregivers, some partners aren’t able to face what it takes. I think both Pam and I are so lucky because we have husbands that can help us through everything. We have friends that can help us through everything. Not everybody has that. Some people don’t want to hear about it. They don’t want to see you. They don’t want to talk about it.”Pam and Margery say the support from others going through the same thing is very important to them.”It’s very supportive to just be around people who understand. Pam and I share a language now so she can say did you take this? Did it feel like this and I know exactly what she means.””We just think medications and treatments solve everything. They don’t.You have a disease. You live with it. You wake up and you say okay today this is the normal. Sometimes you think back to the normal 5 years ago and you can’t do that. It’s not helpful.”Both women believe it’s important for them to be proactive about their cancer and to get as much information as they can. Pam and Margery say they focus on what’s ahead instead of looking back.”Things change every day so we’re really lucky to be living now because every month something new is being discovered and every month that’s going to help one of us.”A cancer diagnosis can be terrifying but the survivors and doctors TV5 talked with say getting beyond the initial shock is crucial.They say their message is one of hope for what the future can hold.

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FairPoint Goes Before Regulators

Updated 5 years ago

FairPoint Communications is expected to tell state regulators by the end of the day Tuesday how it will take care of recent customer service and billing problems.The order was made by the Maine Public Utilities Commission, and was prompted by consumer complaints.They want details on improving call-center performance, correcting billing errors, and handling new orders.Earlier this year, service was disrupted to thousands of customers in Maine, when FairPoint switched them over from Verizon.FairPoint Communications has asked the P.U.C. to delay a scheduled $11,250,000 debt payment that’s due at the end of March 2009.

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Vinalhaven Fire

Updated 5 years ago

A stubborn fire destroyed a fisherman’s workshop in Vinalhaven Monday evening.Crews were called to Hamilton Drive at about 6:30 p.m. Officials said they had trouble fighting the fire because getting water to the scene was difficult due to the rural location.By the time firefighters got the flames out, the two-story building was destroyed.No one was hurt and the cause was still under investigation late Monday.

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Teenage Drinking on the Decline

Updated 5 years ago

A recent survey shows a decline in alcohol use among Maine teenagers iscontinuing.The state Department of Health and Human Services based its results on data from nearly 75,000 students in 340 schools. Officials said 25% of those surveyed last year said they consumed alcohol in the past month, compared to 38% in a 1995 survey and 29% in 2006.In addition, binge drinking fell from 20% in 1995 to 13% last year.The department’s Office of Substance Abuse credits the drop to astatewide prevention plan that’s changing expectations about youthdrinking and sending the message that such behavior is not okay.

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Bodies Found in Moosehead Lake

Updated 5 years ago

It’s a tragic ending to the search for a Pennsylvania couple who disappeared while snowmobiling.Game wardens found their bodies in Moosehead lake on Monday.41-year-old Clifford Achenbach and his 42-year-old wife Denise had been staying at an inn in Moosehead Junction township.Game officials say they went snowmobiling on Thursday morning, but they didn’t return.A missing persons report was finally filed when they failed to return to work on Monday. Fifteen game wardens, two warden service aircraft and a forest service helicopter took part in the search.The crew in the helicopter found the bodies Monday afternoon, frozen in the ice near the lakes east outlet dam.Airboats were used to recover the bodies.Officials suspect the couple hit open water after dark Thursday night and couldn’t get out.Eight people have now been killed in snowmobile accidents this season.

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A Bill for Maine’s Downtowns

Updated 5 years ago

It’s being pitched as an economic stimulus plan for Maine’s downtowns.Lawmakers and local developers are getting behind a 27-million dollar investment proposal – with an eye toward Main Streets across the state.The plan builds “on the bricks and mortar of our old mill buildings, our downtowns, our riverfronts and storefronts, the traditional community corridors that have served as the cultural, social and economic lifeblood of the state of Maine,” says Maggie Drummond with GrowSmart Maine.Community developers and lawmakers say aging downtowns across the state are a wasted natural resource, which could be providing jobs and other opportunities.”This stimulus for Main Street is so extraordinarily important,” says Senate President Libby Mitchell. “As you look around the country, those communities that invested in their downtowns and their Main Streets have seen economic vibrancy. Maine is no different.”Supporters say the 25-million dollar bond would help municipalities – in partnership with private developers – fix buildings, sidewalks and public spaces.”Because once the downtowns deteriorate, people go to the shopping centers,” says Chris Glass, with Maine Preservation. “And we’ve seen places, like Rockland, where once it reverses, with people starting to invest in downtown, the business returns.”The bill also wants to help historic buildings in town – which might have turned into eyesores over time – through what they’re calling a revolving fund of two million dollars.”We would be able to provide money to buy distressed buildings and renovate them. Then, resell them so the money would go back to the bond and the building would go back toward the community,” says Glass.Supporters hope this bill for Maine’s downtowns doesn’t get lost in the bond package shuffle this session.”This is a great chance for the state to be able to put a little bit of money in and leverage a lot of private sector activity,” says John O’Dea, with Associated General Contractors of Maine. “This will have the effect of putting construction workers to work, companies to work, and rebuilding our downtowns.”

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Brothers Jailed On Drug Charges

Updated 5 years ago

Two brothers from Hampden spent the weekend in jail following a coke bust in Bangor. Police say they were arrested late Friday night after buying cocaine in Portland. Authorities say they got a tip that 25 year old Christopher Fillian and 24 year old Michael Fillian had gone to buy the drug. Their car was stopped by drug agents. Police say they found 6 Ounces of cocaine in the car. Both brothers are accused of drug dealing. Their bail was set at $250 cash. Police say the brothers live together in Hampden and planned to sell the drug in the Bangor area.

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Child Killed In Parking Lot

Updated 5 years ago

A 20 month old boy was run over and killed in a church parking lot in Skowhegan Saturday.Police chief Michael Emmons says Kai Hansenstab of Madison was standing with his 5-year-old sibling outside his mother’s car as she was parking it in the parking lot of the Skowhegan Federated Church, when Kai was struck.Chief Emmons says it was a horrible accident and there will be no charges filed against the boy’s mother.

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Penobscot County Grand Jury Indictments

Updated 5 years ago

More than 40 people have been indicted by the Penobscot County Grand Jury, including 32 year old Jason Dean.He’s charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault.Police say he walked into Java Joes in downtown Bangor earlier this month, and cut a woman’s throat with a knife.The owner of the coffee shop tells us it was a pregnant relative of his who was attacked, and she did not know Dean.She was treated at the hospital and released the same day.A man who helped run a daycare in Glenburn, has also been indicted by the Grand Jury.49 year old Ronald Tewhey is charged with three counts of unlawful sexual contact and unlawful sexual touching.Police say the 10 year old female victim was in Tewhey’s care at the time of the crime.Tewhey is a former selectman for Glenburn.Also indicted, 19 year old Kyle Cunningham. He’s charged with arson.Police say he started a fire in a rooming house on Webster Avenue in Bangor last November. Other people were asleep in the home at the time.

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Orono Nightclub Cited

Joy Hollowell

Updated 5 years ago

A nightclub in Orono has been cited for liquor and building violations.Orono police went to 103 Ultralounge on Route Two just after midnight Saturday.They tell us they received complaints of overcrowding at the club as well as underage drinking.That prompted police to conduct a compliance check.Officers from Veazie, Old Town, State police, the fire marshal’s office and liquor enforcement all took part.Owner Robbie Snow is accused of 11 violations, including overcrowding.He says the the fire marshal’s office claimed there were about 800 people in the establishment that night. Snow showed TV-5 a copy of his crowd inventory for the night. It totalled 513 people. Snow says his fire code allows for 527.Captain Chris Ewing of the Orono police department says two fights broke out while officers were carrying out the compliance check.As a result, six people were taken to the Penobscot County jail on a number of charges including disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.Earlier in the evening, police conducted an alcohol sting at a number of businesses in the Orono, Old Town and Veazie area. Officers sent in under age people to try and purchase liquor.Captain Ewing says he pleased to report that the majority of places refused to sell alcohol to those under the age of 21.

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America’s Coolest Small Town – In our Backyard?

Updated 5 years ago

A Maine town known for it’s lobstering industry and once called Lime City is up for the award of America’s Coolest Small Town. Got a guess? If you picked Rockland you’re right. With a population of nearly 8-thousand Rockland isn’t actually a town, it’s a city, but Budget Travel doesn’t mind. The magazine only asks that the nominees have a population under 10-thousand. Budget Travel has had more than 150 nominations, which have been cut down to 22 now. The magazine that has about 1-million subscribers isn’t looking for the small country store type town, but rather a place with an edge that’s offering a variety of attractions from museums to nature trails. Folks who live and visit Rockland told TV5 News Monday that the working waterfront city is a place that has so much to offer, including a vibrant downtown, art galleries galore, and of course the Breakwater Lighthouse. You can vote for Rockland as your top pick by logging onto Budget Travel. Voting ends April 3.

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Milo Elementary Futures Day

Wayne Harvey

Updated 5 years ago

About a hundred fifth and sixth graders from Milo and Brownville got together Monday to think about their futures.They visited throughout the day with folks from various careers.The kids spent about 20 minutes with each guest to learn about their jobs and what it takes to do what they do.This is the third year for the futures day at milo elementary. A lot of professions were represented including Veterinarian, Marine and Business owner.

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Police Chief Suspended

Wayne Harvey

Updated 5 years ago

The Police Chief in Milo ended up on the wrong side of the law Friday night.Michael Poulin was arrested. He’s accused of domestic assault against his wife.The town wants to waste no time in deciding what happens next according to Milo Town Manager Jeff Gahagan. “Wednesday night at seven o’clock, we’ve got an emergency selectmen’s meeting.” Until then, Gahagan will be talking with as many people involved to have facts to present at that meeting. “I’m trying to gather as much information as possible about the events so that I can report to the selectmen. The selectmen will ultimately be making a decision on the disposition and his job going forward.”It stems from an incident at a restaurant in Milo between Police Chief Michael Poulin and his wife. “Right now, Mr. Poulin has been charged with assault on his wife,” says District Attorney Chris Almy. “It’s a domestic violence case. It happened Friday night at Elaine’s Cafe in Milo. The business was closed at the time and the initial evidence that we have involves two police officers who witnessed it.” Almy continued. “She was grabbed by the arm and pressed against the wall and beyond that I don’t have anything else to say.”The residents that we talked to in Milo didn’t want to go on camera, but say they were surprised and shocked by the news. Many didn’t know until seeing it on TV or reading it in the paper.They could know more after Wednesday’s meeting, said Gahagan. “Depending on the info before them that night, they might be able to render a decision immediately.”Poulin is out on bail and until the Selectmen reach their decision has been suspended with pay.

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Living with Cancer Part 1

Updated 5 years ago

Cancer is a word that strikes fear and rightfully so, it claims a lot of lives each year.But doctors say more people are now living longer with types of cancer that were once considered a death sentence.Not only are more people surviving cancer, doctors say they are living longer and can expect a better quality of life with it.They say the message is one of hope but it doesn’t come without challenges.Nearly two-thirds of adults diagnosed with cancer five years ago are still alive. The National Cancer Institute says it’s living proof that having cancer is no longer a death sentence.”A big part of it is we are certainly diagnosing cancers earlier and you can find them at a time when they are treatable.””I also think there’s been great advances in treatments. That has helped people live through cancers that were previously terminal.”Doctor Molly Collins is a surgeon at the Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth. Collins says a lot has changed since she started treating patients.”Cancer treatments were much more debilitating. Much less-you might survive your cancer but you really felt damaged and now it is much less that.We take as little tissue as possible and achieve the same or better results.””When I started here 17 years ago and I would do a breast operation on someone I would tell them you’ll be in the hospital for 5 to 7 days and now if they stay over night it’s unusual.””Even if you have a cancer that isn’t right now treatable there are a lot of things that can make your quality of life while you are still breathing worth embracing.”The Maine Cancer Consortium says the progress is remarkable but it’s also introduced a number challenges to cancer survivors and their families. They say the physical, social, economic, spiritual and pyschological issues were often overlooked when survival rates were lower.”As a physician you think the day you tell someone well you don’t have to see me for a year is the happiest day of their life but for some people it’s a very scary moment.””There’s more recognition of the impact on somebody’s life just having cancer. Living after all of your treatments with cancer.””I think people who have had a diagnosis always have some fear lingering but how they deal with that can make all the difference in the world and I think generally that’s a very positive outlook now.”Five years ago an assessment was done in Maine to identify some of their needs.”A lot of times you need to find a new normal. Some people are not able to go back to work or maybe they are unable to do what they previously did so you have to develop a new routine, maybe a new outlook on life.”Financial strains are one of the most common problems.”Insurance issues are major and people with better insurance have more options for treatment.””To this day there are people not choosing treatments because they can’t afford to pay for them or they can’t afford to be out of work that long.”Officials say the transition to life after cancer can also be difficult for the person with it and everyone around them.”One person is being a caregiver and when the treatments are over maybe that person is no longer the caregiver. Do each of them give up their roles, the previous roles they have been involved with? How easily do they do that?””How do I reestablish contact with friends? How do I get back involved in my community.””It’s obviously a very positive adjustment and people embrace it but it is a transition.”There are lots of support services and people now looking at ways to address the needs of people living longer with cancer.Doctors say attitudes are changing and people talk more openly about cancer.In part 2 of this series 2 cancer survivors will share their stories.

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Officials Search for Teen

Joy Hollowell

Updated 5 years ago

Hampden police are asking for your help in finding a missing teenager.17-year old Nate Clark was last seen Sunday night, near the gravel pit on Back Winterport Road in Hampden.He’s five foot ten and 135 pounds.Clark was wearing a tan or brown Carhartt jacket when he left home Sunday night.Hampden police say Nate was upset at the time.Officers from a number of agencies spent most of the night looking for him. We’re told there was concern the teen could harm himself. He reportedly took multiple muscle relaxers and possibly had a knife when he took off around 9:30 PM.Game wardens were back out searching Monday with sleds and an an aircraft.That search was called off around 2 in the afternoon, when authorities determined that Clark was most likely trying to avoid being found.

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Pittsfield Fire

Joy Hollowell

Updated 5 years ago

Fire crews from 10 towns in central Maine spent Sunday night battling a fire at a lumber yard in Pittsfield.A night watchman at the Hancock Lumber Discount Outlet on the Stinson Road called in the blaze around 1:15 this morning.The fire broke out in the mill area only, the store was not affected and is open for business today.Pittsfield Fire Chief Bernard Williams says when he arrived on the scene last night, flames were shooting up to 40 feet in the air. It took crews about four hours to finally get the fire under control.No one was injured.Chief Williams says the fire likely started in an area where wood shavings are packaged for animal bedding.He believes that part of the mill will have to be re-built.There is also water damage to a section where some machinery is housed.The blaze is not considered Suspicious.

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Two Injured When Car Crashes Into House

Updated 5 years ago

Witnesses say it’s a miracle no one was killed when a car smashed into a house on Broadway in Bangor Sunday evening.It happened at about six thirty, near the I-95 on-ramp.Witnesses say a white car was speeding southbound on Broadway when the driver apparently lost control.The car hit a snowbank and went airborne, then crashed into an abandoned house near the UPS store.The car landed on its roof.Fire crews were called in to pull the two male occupants from the car…they were both trapped inside the wreckage.It took quite a while for firefighters to get the driver out of the car, since the car was crushed on his side.Both males were taken to the hospital.Police say the driver is in serious condition. The passenger is listed as critical.Witnesses say they could hardly believe what they saw.< "i saw it right up in the air, it was coming across broadway. It was like something out of a movie! It was just airborne and going really fast.""when we came over we saw the car upside down with the hole in the house.">Police have not released the names of the victims, but will say they are 18 and 20 years old.An investigation is underway.

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Police Chief Arrested for Domestic Assault

Updated 5 years ago

Milo’s police chief has been arrested on a domestic assault charge.Town Manager Jeff Gahagan confirms that Chief Michael Poulin was arrested by Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Deputies on Friday night.Gahagan isn’t releasing details, but will say Poulin is on paid leave while an investigation is conducted.Poulin was booked at the Piscataquis County Jail Friday night and was released on bail later that same night.

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Maine Maple Sunday

Updated 5 years ago

Mainers had their first sweet taste of spring Sunday.”Maine Maple Sunday” is celebrated every year on the fourth Sunday in March.Syrup producers around the state open up their operations to the public, so folks can see what goes into making pure syrup.At Nutkin Knoll Farm in Newburgh, owners Len and Nancy Price had packed crowds all day.They offered tours of the sugarbush, syrup making demonstrations in the sugar shack, and free samples of their syrup, served over vanilla ice cream.< "many people come and say they had no idea how much work, time and money is put into making pure maple syrup. They really appreciate having the chance to be able to see that and for the time we put in to show them that.">This is the fifteenth year the Price family has opened up their farm to the public for Maine Maple Sunday.Len Price says he’s hoping this season will yield more syrup…since production across the state was down the past two years.

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Lincoln Couple Charge With Passing Thousands of Dollars in Bad Checks

Updated 5 years ago

Police say a husband and wife from Lincoln passed thousands of dollars worth of bad checks all over Penobscot County over the past few weeks.27-year-old Samuel Thompson and his wife, 29-year-old Jennifer Thompson, are charged with Class C forgery and negotiating worthless instruments.According to police, the two wrote the checks to businesses in seven different towns from Lincoln to Bangor.A movie store on Main Street in Lincoln received several bad checks from the Thompsons, according to the store manager.Alan Dill of Movie America says the couple wrote five hundred forty four dollars worth of checks to the store since the beginning of the month.Dill says every one of the checks bounced.< "I WAS BORN IN THIS TOWN AND I'M PROUD OF THE COMMUNITY AND THE PEOPLE IN IT. AND WE DIDN'T NEED THESE PREDATORS OUT OF THE STREET GOING BUSINESS TO BUSINESS DOING THIS. WE WERE LOOKING FOR A WAY TO GET THEM OFF THE STREET. I'M GLAD TO SEE SOMETHING'S FINALLY BEING DONE ON THIS WHOLE THING.">Police searched the home and say they recovered several of the items that had been purchased with the bad checks.Some of those items have been returned to the stores.Officers want to hear from other business owners who may have taken checks from the couple recently.Anyone with information is asked to contact Lincoln Police.

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