Cancer is nothing when you have hope!! This site is all about living … and living well … with late-stage cancer. I hope you will journey along with me through the ups and downs of living with lung cancer.
Back in the day, when it was suspected that we had cancer, we were sent for a biopsy. The cells were studied to determine if we had cancer and what kind of cancer we were facing. And, we never had another biopsy.
Rethinking how we approach treatment
But, we need to rethink that in today’s world. Dr. Fred Ashbury, Adjunct Professor at Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto (along with many other credentials), explained in a recent webcast why we should always insist on new biopsies when our tumors begin to grow or spread.1
Like with all of us, my cancer diagnosis threw a real wrench into my life. Suddenly, what was easy and taken-for-granted was no longer easy at all. For instance, working at an 8-5 job became a true challenge.
Feelings of guilt
I was actually fortunate that my employer was fairly generous with the time off they gave me. They never complained about me leaving early when I became so fatigued I had to go home, the multitude of hours I missed to see the doctor, or the days when I was simply too sick from chemo to go to the office. Even though they didn’t complain, I felt terribly guilty.
Do you remember when you were first diagnosed or when you received word that your tumors were on the move again? It was a very scary time, without a doubt. But, in my mind, it was also a time when life slowed down. Not in terms of doctor appointments and all manner of tests, but in general. All of a sudden, I started looking at and seeing everything around me.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Melody Beattie
Begin your day with gratitude
Sometimes when we are delivered a blow, like learning that we or a loved one has lung cancer, it is hard to find reasons to be grateful. But, I believe that searching for and finding gratitude, even in the face of adversity, is vital.
To tell you the truth, I may be preaching to the choir. When I think of my friends who are also lung cancer survivors, they all are wearing smiles. I swear they are literally some of the most optimistic and happy people I know.
Several days ago, I got a text message telling me that a former colleague and friend had passed away unexpectedly. I had seen her recently and she was her usual happy self. We made plans to get together for lunch soon. I guess none of us realized that her days here on earth were coming to a close. …More
Okay, this post is probably going to have a lot of people looking at me and thinking I have gone stark-raving crazy. But, here goes anyway!
What would life without cancer be like?
I participate in a forum whose participants have all kinds of different cancers. Today, a post was made that asked, “Do you get wrapped up in thinking about what might have been if cancer hadn’t come?” The person who asked the question is livid that she has cancer.
I recently saw a study that found that lung cancer patients who do not have anxiety or depression live longer than those who do.1 I was surprised to find this information because I have always been told that attitude might make your remaining life happier, but it has no impact on how long you live.
When I was diagnosed with lung cancer, I didn’t know anyone else who was still alive and fighting the disease. I started searching around and ultimately landed on a group where I feel totally at home – it is called WhatNext.
I am going to post two links below that will help you know if you think WhatNext will be a good fit for you. I go to a lot of different lung-cancer related forums, but I spend most of my time on WhatNext. It feels like home to me.
On WhatNext, there are caregivers and loved ones, survivors, and people from the medical field for all kinds of cancer from skin cancer to liver, lung, or lymphoma cancers. Take a look at the information below and please join, if it sounds like a place you’d like to be a part of!
Fighting lung cancer is nearly a full-time job. The time is long since past that we as patients should sit back and just turn over our health to our doctors. The fact of the matter is, we are in a battle for our lives and no one, no one, cares as much as each of us does about our own survival.
Take charge of our own care
Don’t get me wrong. I am not by any means saying that our doctors and medical team don’t care. I believe they do. But, doctors are overworked. Many have so many patients that they just don’t have much time to spend with each one individually. If you go to a community cancer center, chances are very good that your doctor treats a patient with breast cancer, one with prostate cancer, then one with lung cancer, and next one with colorectal cancer….