Monthly Archives: December 2014

how will you be remembered?

This was posted to WhatNext.com.  i may decide to answer some or all of the questions, possibly  here on my blog. In the meantime,  i want the questions here where i can them again!
How will you be remembered?
I shared with some of you a list of questions my granddaughter emailed to me. You may want to consider answering some of them for your family: 
1. How did your parents meet? 
2. What has been your favorite thing about being a daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother? What was your least favorite thing? 
3. What are you most proud of? 
4. Do you have any regrets? 
5. What are you most scared of? 
6. What’s your favorite song and movie? 
7. What advice do you have for me about life in general? 
8. Who is someone in heaven you wish you could have lunch with? 
9. What’s the most romantic thing papa ever did for you? 
10. What was the hardest thing about marriage? 
11. What do you think of when you see a sunset or the ocean? 
12. Do you ever miss living in Michigan? 
13. What’s your favorite place that you traveled to? 
14. What is your best memory from your childhood? 
15. What’s your greatest wish? 
16. What’s your favorite quote and why? 
17. Who is your favorite person and why?

Living with Lung Cancer

I will never forget learning i had lung cancer or the reaction of my primary care doctor. She felt just horrible that she discovered i had stage IV lung cancer on my very first visit to see her. I have the complete opposite reaction. I praise God for her every day. I would be dead today if she had not noticed that tiny knot on my collarbone.

Dr. Casey held our hands tightly through those early days of battling the cancer. She requested that we come to report to her after every visit with the oncologist. I remember like yesterday sitting in her office and relaying what Dr Wilfong, my first oncologist, had told us. She asked if Robert and/or I needed sleeping pills or anti-depressants and was amazed when we said no. Not then, not ever have we felt the need for drugs to help us face the diagnosis.

From the beginning, we have accepted the diagnosis, gone for treatments,  and continued on with life. Thankfully, my general good health has allowed us to live pretty normal lives most of the time.

I was at my oncologist’s office yesterday. With every treatment,  i have blood tests, a doctor’s visit, and the immunotherapy infusion. I have had a cough since around Thanksgiving which is driving Robert and me crazy. It was preceded by an unexplained (despite a multitude of tests) fever. Anyway, Dr Gerber was wanting to know how significant the cough is and how affected by it I am.

I told him it didn’t prevent my playing agility all of last weekend. He wasn’t quite sure what i was talking about so i showed him the following videos.

 

My dogs and i love the sport of agility so much! I am sure it is apparent from the videos. How many Stage IV lung cancer patients are out running agility courses? I don’t know, but i am beyond thankful that i am able.

Additionally, the dogs and i meet my friend Linda Lelak nearly every day and walk from 2 to 3 miles. The dogs love it and it is good for us! I am grateful for Linda and her Louie. If not for meeting them every day, i probably wouldn’t make myself walk on a regular basis.

I meet my friend Anna every week for lunch and, if there’s anything worth watching, a movie. I love having friends and the time to get together! I spent nearly my whole life so involved with working that i didn’t take time for friends.

The whole purpose of this post is to point out that a cancer diagnosis doesn’t mean that you have to quit living. I know through a support network that i particpate on that too many people become captives to their disease and their fears of germs.

If i let it make me a prisoner, then i might as well just give up and let it take its course. I have cancer. Cancer doesn’t have me.

Two-Year Anniversary

Two years ago, accompanied by my mom and my husband, I arrived at Texas Oncology at Presbyterian Hospital  (currently of ebola fame) to begin chemo treatments. I wore my agility shirt that said, “It’s about the journey. ” I had no idea what to expect, but one thing I did know was that I was beginning the journey of and for my life.

I will be honest. I didn’t expect to live a year, much less two years from the start of chemo. I watched my dad die in 6 months after being diagnosed with lung cancer. Stats said I wasn’t likely to live. I planned to face the end of my life with laughter, humor, dignity … but I fully expected to lose the battle within a year of diagnosis.

Instead, Praise God!, today, two years after my first chemo treatment, my Sheltie Barney and I were at agility lessons, preparing to compete at the December  Run as One trial in Terrell on December 13-14. Could life be any better?