Saigon Kids Emporium
August 2017
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By Admin

A quick update to my previous post.

As of yesterday the unofficial diagnosis is in.

It’s not good!

Additional test and evaluations are being completed by specialist. They well be finished by August 8th. Official diagnosis will be made at that time.

As it stands now the unofficial opinion is I have Stage 4, Small Cell Lung Cancer. The most aggressive type. The only treatment option available is Chemo. Time wise I’ve got from 1 month to a max of 6 months.

I’ve already started putting my affairs in order.

I’ll post another update once the official diaginois has been issued.

Until then …

Rock Onnn… Saigon Kids


“In the end all we are left with is memories.”


Why Don’t Doctors Routinely Include A Chest X-Ray Anymore During Patients Annual Physical Exam?

Well that’s what I asked my doctor.

During my annual physical exam in late June it occurred to me I hadn’t had a chest X-Ray since 2012 – 5 years ago. I mentioned it to my doctor who informed me they are no longer done routinely. I told him I’d like to get one as I thought it would be interesting to compare to the one done in 2012. He replied they are only done now if there are symptoms to warrant one, such as, experiencing some type of pain, etc.

So I commented to him (with a slight smirk on my face) that I hadn’t mentioned it before because it didn’t seem significant to me, but that I do occasionally get a light to mild pain on the right side of my chest in the upper rib cage. But, it goes away in a few seconds, so never thought much of it.

He immediately said “let me listen” and proceeded to listen to my chest/lungs front and back. Then commented sounds good, but if you’ve had chest pain we better do an X-Ray just to be safe. He wrote up an Image Order and told me where the X-Ray department was located in the building.

About the 2012 chest X-Ray. This was done in the ER. (Why I’m mentioning this will make sense later.) At the time I was in the process of transitioning off high blood pressure medication. One day I had a reaction so phoned the doctors office explaining what I experienced. He instructed to go to ER as he wanted to make sure I hadn’t had a minor stroke. While in ER they did an X-Ray along with 8 1/2 hours of other tests and scans, etc. Finally, telling me everything was good concluding I must have developed a sensitivity to the blood pressure medication and to stop taking it unless my blood pressure went up then to only take 1/2 dose.

After leaving my doctor’s office I went over to the X-Ray department and got the chest X-Rays.

The next day my doctor’s office contacted me saying the X-Rays showed some nodules on my lungs; and, recommending I have a CT Scan to check for cancer.

Two days later I had the CT Scan. The next day my doctors office contacted me with the results and recommendations from the doctor who read the CT Scan, then emailed a copy of the report to me.

It was a lengthy report and of course written in *Doctor-EZE*. That strange foreign language that only doctors understand and comprehend, but leaves us lay people, such as myself, totally clueless as to what the hell they are talking about – LOL.

The essence of the report was there are multiple nodules of varying sizes on both of my lungs. Two of which are of primary concern. A round 8mm one on my left lung and a round 1.8 cm one on my right lung, which according to the doctor who completed the report appear to be okay … BUT … (there is always that damn but, isn’t there – lol) to quote him, “… Cancer can not positively be ruled out. No biopsy should be considered until completion of a PET Scan …”

He recommended doing a PET Scan now. Or, as a minimum do another CT Scan in 3 months. And, that I might want to talk with a lung specialist.

DAMN! What the HELL?! All I know so far is that I have multiple nodules on my lungs and that 2 of them seem to be of concern. (By the way, nodules on the lungs are not uncommon and nearly everyone has them. Less than 2% are cancer. There are over 80 known cause of lung nodules.)

And now I have a long list of additional questions, such as, are the 2 nodules in question cancer or not. Are they stable. Or are they growing. If growing, at what rate. Which brings me back to the 2012 chest X-Ray.

The 2012 X-Ray was done mainly to check my heart. But, the doctor who wrote up the report on the current X-Ray did compare it with the 2012 X-Ray. The report for the 2012 X-Ray mentioned multiple lung nodules that appeared to be stable at that time. This made me curious why I wasn’t made aware of this finding. So I asked my doctor about it who replied because the X-Ray was done in ER he was never made aware of it. It seems that ER only brings to his attention what they consider to be *abnormal* findings. Since the main focus of ER doing the X-Ray pertained to the heart and it didn’t reveal any heart abnormalities the report was not forwarded to my doctor. Had I been aware of the nodules on the 2012 X-Ray I would have insisted on annual X-Rays to monitor them.

Lesson learn: Always, always, always insist and demand that I personally view all images of X-Rays, MRIs, and Scans with a specialist who can translate them and explain the finding in lay terms I understand and comprehend.

After learning I might have lung cancer I did considerable research on the Internet into the scientific medical literature on lung cancers. One of the first things I discovered is that lung cancer rarely, if ever, have any symptoms. They are usually only accidentally discovered when they show up on X-Rays (or other types of scans) done while treating people for other ailments by which time they have usually progressed spreading to other areas in the body.

This reinforces my conviction that annual chest X-Rays should be routinely done as part of annual physical exams, thereby, increasing the chances of finding lung cancers earlier before they’ve spread.

So What I’m I Gonna Do About All This?

I’ve decided to not do the PET Scan at this time (I’m not fond of injecting radio active material into my body, if it can be avoided). Instead I’ll do another CT Scan in 3 months to see if the nodules in question are stable or if they are growing. If growing, at what rate.

Also, I’ve made an appointment with a lung specialist to view the X-Rays and recent CT Scan with me and translate the findings into lay terms that I understand, etc.

After meeting with the lung specialist I’ll get 2nd and 3rd opinions then re-evaluate.

So Does Bob Have Lung Cancer?!


But I’m sure I’ll be finding out in the near future. I’ll update as I learn more while on this little adventure.

Until then …

Rock Onnnnn … Saigon Kids

PS:NO! I’m not turning this site into an old people’s health discussion site. I just thought some of you might find things I’m discovering on this journey of benefit.

PSS: If any of you are knowledgeable in these areas please feel free to share anything you feel might be helpful to me in the Comments below.

Saigon Life 1955 – 1965: A Day In The Life …

by Admin and Richard Turner, Contributing Editor
© SaigonKidsAmericanCommunitySchool.Com

A Day in the Life: Saigon 1955 – 1965

The Saigon Kids American Community School website is assembling an archive of stories by people who lived in Saigon between 1955 and 1965.

This is your story.

We need your help.

The structure for the narrative is *A Day in the Life* of the members of the American international community in Saigon and their French, Vietnamese and Chinese friends and acquaintances.

The project will be completed in stages of 1 to 2 months each, ending in one year.Saigon Life 1955-65

The accompanying outline (with suggested topics) is the framework we will use to organize your accounts of life in Saigon.

Many of you have already sent poignant, humorous or thought-provoking recollections to the website.  We will begin the task of creating *A Day in the Life* by plugging these entries into the outline in the appropriate places. The author of each entry will be identified as will the years that the author lived in Saigon, eg. Jane Doe 1961-1963.

These entries and the material you send us will be arranged chronologically in terms of the time of day that it references and by subject matter.  For example all of your stories about afternoons at the Cirque Sportif would be grouped together.

Your contributions to *A Day in the Life* can be fact or fiction.

They can be brief or lengthy.

They can be something you have written or something written by another person, so long as the original author is credited.

We also want your images of life in Saigon to illustrate this history. Scan your photographs, slides, etc. and send them to the website. Identify, as best you can, the people in the photos and the events that they represent. If you have home movies taken while in Saigon that you’d like to transfer to DVD contact us for assistance instructions.

So, send us your stories and your images.

We were participants in a unique period of history.

No one can tell this story better than we can.

Submission Guidelines:

Submit all stories via the *Contact Form* on the website.

Stories should be submitted as a text document (MS Word, Note Pad, Open Office Writer, etc.).

Please include your name and the time period you were in Saigon. Ladies please include your maiden and married last name.

When submitting longer stories, please submit them as an *Attachment* to your message on the Contact Form by copying the text document with your story to a File Folder on your computer, ZIP (compress) the File Folder and send the File Folder containing your story as an *Attachment*.

Photos and images should be cropped, re-sized to 1000 pixels wide, and submitted in JPEG format.

Photos and images should include information identifying the people in them, location, event and approximate date taken (month and year, or at least the year).

Photos and images should be sent as an *Attachment* to your Contact Form message. When submitting multiple text files, photos/images copy them to a File Folder on your computer, then ZIP (compress) the File Folder and send the ZIP File Folder containing the text files and photos/images as an *Attachment*.

All photos/images must be your own. If they are not your own photos/images you’ll need to submit documentation the owner and/or copyright holder of the photos/images has granted you written permission and license to use them.

Phase Two

This phase of *A Day in the Life* project will focus on — *Saigon Arrival*. This phase will last for about 2 months during which we invite you to submit your stories about why and how you came to Saigon.

  • How did you arrive in Saigon – plane or boat?
  • What were your first impressions when Saigon first came into view?
  • What was your and your family’s reaction upon disembarking in Saigon?
  • Who greeted you upon arrival in Saigon?
  • What was your trip to your first living quarters in Saigon like?
  • What sights, sounds, smells, people did you experience while traveling to your temporary quarters?
  • Where did you stay in Saigon until your permanent housing was arranged?
  • What where your first impressions and reaction to your temporary quarters?
  • Who introduced you to the other kids in Saigon?
  • What was your first day in Saigon like?
  • What do you remember most about your first day in Saigon?

Submit your *Before Saigon* stories and photographs by using the
*Contact Form*.


Phase One

The first phase of *A Day in the Life* project will focus on — *Before Saigon*. This phase will last for about 2 months during which we invite you to submit your stories about why and how you came to Saigon.

  • What Brought you to Saigon?
  • Where were you when you learned you were going to Saigon?
  • How did you learn you were going to Saigon?
  • What was your initial reaction when you learned you were going to Saigon?
  • What was the reaction of your family members when they learned you were going to Saigon?
  • What was the reaction of your friends when you told them you were going to Saigon?
  • What was the reaction of your teachers and other community members when you told them you were going to Saigon?
  • What was preparing for your trip to Saigon like?
  • What was your trip to Saigon like?
  • What places did you visit en-route to Saigon?
  • What do you remember most about preparing for and traveling to Saigon?
  • How did you feel about moving to Saigon?
  • What feelings did you experience leaving your friends, class mates, family and community members to go to Saigon?

Submit your *Before Saigon* stories and photographs by using the
*Contact Form*.


Use the Comments form below if you have questions or need additional assistance or guidance.

Saigon Life 1955 -1965: A Day In The Life … Saigon Arrival

by Admin and Contributing Editors Richard Turner and Kevin Wells
© SaigonKidsAmericanCommunitySchool.Com

Below are Saigon Kids™ stories about our Saigon Arrival – when and how we arrived in Saigon and our initial impressions and experiences.

Bob LaysonBob Layson (1959-61)
How Did Mrs. Yamaguchi Know?!

After landing the plane taxied to the arrival gate. I watched out the window as they rolled the exit ramp in place. Once it was positioned they announced we could exit the plane and proceed to the terminal. Since we were in First Class they had us exit first. Following my parents I stepped out of the plane onto the ramp…. Continue Reading HERE

Kevin Wells

Kevin Well (1959-62)
USOM Guest House

Everybody new to Saigon had to start somewhere and our start was at the US Overseas Missions (USOM) Guest House. It was our first night and I lugged the luggage up the stairs, flailed my way through the mosquito netting and fell face-down on the bed. By the morning, the air conditioner had lowered the air temperature to a mere … Continue Reading HERE

Submit your *Before Saigon* stories and photographs by using the
*Contact Form*.



by Admin

A long time, since the 1960s, very good Chinese friend and former business partner sent this to me.

“The best man was not long life enough to live. But, on the contrary, the Heaven was not fair without protecting the good human beings.”

Sunday In Germany: More Rantings…

Submitted by Ken Yeager (ACS)

I haven’t been very active on this site for quite a while but the same can be said for many others….have we run out of things to talk about? Well, being the mouthy type, I suppose I can add a few worthless comments to help pass the time.

My wife and I have now been retired for 13 years or at least partially since I did some part time work between 2005 and 2010. Now fully retired and passing the time visiting family and friends in Germany, ride the motorcycle, gardening and generally relaxing…isn’t that what retirement is supposed to be about…not just waiting to die, which, of course, will happen and without an appointment.
Our little dorf (village) is a kind of boring place of about 9000 people. We have the usual assortment of stores but not a lot of any type in particular. Three churches, no mosque or temple, two elementary schools and one high school, three U-Bahn (metro) stations and two gas stations. We had a small wine fest a few weeks ago which was nice and, for a change, over a dry weekend. Not sure but I think there were three or four wine vendors that travelled up from the wine areas around Frankfurt. We tasted a few but we order most of our wines from wineries that we know and have done business with for years. We drink mostly whites but I enjoy red wine too. Not to say I don’t enjoy good beer and the occasional drink of scotch, rum or gin thanks, gives me headaches. Oh, we also have five restaurants (three Italian, one Greek, one “international” and a couple of fast-food type joints, one specializing in roast chicken and one Turkish “doner.” Oh and one ice cream place. The best place to eat close by is in the next little village called the Alte Schule (old school) which is indeed in an old school building converted to a restaurant and with an add on, a hotel. We’ve spend many a New Year’s Eve in the restaurant and hotel. The restaurant is excellent but a bit too fancy for this meat and potatoes type of guy.

For shopping, we buy in various places…a twice weekly open market for fresh foods in Volksdorf about 15 minutes away by car, various things including clothing in Ahrensburg 7-10 minutes away by car and then, of course, shopping for those special things in Hamburg which as you all know is the second largest city in Germany after Berlin. The recent G20 meeting in Hamburg did not affect us as we were on Sylt at that time. We were as shocked as others at the violence that some of the far leftist protestors carried out. There must be elements of society that just like to destroy things….looting stores, burning cars..why? what is to be gained by doing that except for causing the government to have to make right for all of the damages with taxpayers money. Frankly I think these summits are a total waste of money….the German government came out before the summit with a cost estimate of € 130 million and for what? A gab fest that probably accomplished nothing but required 14,000 police officers. Hamburg will never host such a meeting again. The people in this city rejected the idea of hosting a summer Olympics which in my humble opinion was a good thing…it seems it is always the taxpayer that winds up footing the bill for these extravaganzas. In the mean time, Hamburg has an affordable apartment shortage.

Haven’t seen or read much on the next possible SK get together Is that still in the works? I don’t plan a US return trip for three more years UNLESS my son gets married before than…that will change our plans.

So know you know that Yeager is still alive and kicking although not as high as previously. Motorcycle has 25,000 miles on it in 12 years (remember, it gets cold here in Germany during the winter), we bought a one year old Tiguan this year, trading in our 2012 after getting what we think was a good deal, we are both in reasonably good health although colds have laid us pretty low just recently. And our vacation on Sylt this year was pretty awful thanks to the weather…still it was somewhat enjoyable nonetheless. Happy to be home now.

Stay safe everyone. Until the next adventure in writing.



Submitted by Stephen Lowe (ACS)

I, bro & sisters were living in Saigon 1957-59. Dad was among 1st 100 advisors, his 2nd tour, Dep. Commander Danang.

Lots of 8mm, photos, docs, stories to share.

Dad’s 96 and still sharper then me. Given the chance, he’d put Ken Burns’s Vietnam War film on a more truthful reality vs cliche dramatics.

Us kids-? Ever hear about the nuns kidnapping my sister for a couple days and the entire army searching for her? Yea, and more.

Admin Note: Welcome to the group Stephen. Glad you found us. Feel free to join in and share your Saigon experiences with everyone.