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Maturation

When I heard this word used recently, twice, I thought it was one of my father's made-up words like "surgerize" and "confliction" risen from his memory to finally enter the world of Merriam-Webster. And so they have, sort of. Apparently, "maturation" is a word some doctors use to answer any and all questions asked by patients inquiring as to why something or other health-wise is happening to them. In short, "maturation" means wear and tear. If Mick Mulvaney were the doctor, he might have said: "

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

Apparently, Not a Stable Genius

Let me get this out of my system because until I do, I won't be able to write about anything else. Not to worry. This is not a cancer column. I am fine until they tell me otherwise which occurs every eight weeks after my bi-monthly CT scan tells the tale of the tape. No, this column is about my lack of understanding and business acumen which twice has led me down the garden path only to be asked to leave before I got to smell any of the pretty flowers. Once (twice, actually) had to do with

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

When Compounding isn't a Good Thing

Dealing with a cancer diagnosis is one thing, and certainly a big thing, but I'm much better dealing with it when the 50 million other things we all have to deal with are not having to be dealt with (ending a sentence with a preposition notwithstanding) at the same time. And not that I'm the least bit unique in having all these other tasks and concerns or even the most bit interesting in that I have them. Hardly. They are simply the elements that sometimes make living more of a job and less of a

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

Medicare Is In The House

More like in my wallet. After worrying for the past 18 months about possibly losing my health insurance, I finally hit pay dirt - and it didn't hit back. I have received my Medicare card and after I "dissenroll" from my interim "Obama Care" within the next week or so, I will officially join the ranks of the millions who have insured their health - so to speak - with the Federal Government. No more will I ifs, ands, or buts about hospitals, doctors ("medical" actually) and prescription drugs (par

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

Time and Again

Not to be morbid in the least or self-indulgent in the most (last week's column, "Something or Nothing" not withstanding), but recently I've had cause to hear about the future and be more concerned about the present. I have a homeowner problem that, like all such problems, is way beyond my limited skills: a crack in the concrete slab which "porches" our house, apparently caused by a very large and old tree growing way too close to this slab. This is not a water-leaking-into-the-house proble

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

Something or Nothing

As you can imagine - or read every week in this space - my health, especially considering that my stage IV non-small lung cancer is incurable/"terminal," is top of mind. (Truth be told, it's middle of mind, bottom of mind, and every other mind in between and all around.) That being said -  I am prone to exaggerate the significance of seemingly unrelated peculiarities and draw them into my cancer "centricity" without any facts to support them. Though I feel fine-ish, mostly, (the previous weeks'

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

Barbasoul

That was a close shave, if I may euphemistically characterize my most recent, blade-free brush with cancer-like symptoms, especially considering that I thought my life was at stake. The pain was located around my left-side rib cage, exactly where the pain was on that fateful January 1st, 2009 day when I couldn't ignore it any longer and thus felt compelled to get off the couch and go to the emergency room. Though I didn't have any shortness of breath, or difficulty inhaling, exhaling and bending

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

Don't Monkee Around With Me

I mean, he didn't even examine me, which he rarely does. (The CT scan pretty much tells him what he needs to know, so he says.) In addition (or is that subtraction?), he didn't even ask me the standard questions he typically does about my quality of life, activities of daily living, and general health and welfare. In fact, near the presumptive end of our appointment, as peculiar and uncharacteristic of an appointment as it was, I felt compelled to blurt out the answers to all the questions that

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

Some Trek: To Go Where This Man Has Never Gone Before

Although I've had a pretty good run of late not writing much about "the cancer"—to quote "Forrest, Forrest Gump"—the reality is, as you might imagine, cancer is ever present - in your head and in your heart (and for me, in my lungs). Never more so than when your quarterly CT scan is imminent. As I sit and write this column on a Sunday, Wednesday—three days hence—Is what you'd call 'imminent.' Not that there's much preparation; there's not. But with electronic media being what it is, one does rec

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

"Come on down!"

Except I was not sitting in the audience for "The Price Is Right" when I heard my name called. Nor was I needing to guess the cost of my infusion with my treatment that day contingent on my guess not exceeding the "actual retail price." And neither were there any of "Barker's Beauties" to wave their hands and showcase what items I would be attempting to price right. No. There were only multiple oncology nurses standing in front of the Infusion Center's entry door calling out the names of the nex

LCSC Blog

LCSC Blog

 

Managing Health Insurance Mayhem

Blog Entry is the Teamwork of both Michelle and Tom Gali:    After receiving a lung cancer diagnosis, the last issue, one would expect is problems with health insurance.    While it’s unusual to have a claim fully denied, delays that effect diagnostics or treatment are quite common. Here are my 10 tips for dealing with health insurance problems.   1. Get your companies Human Resources staff engaged. Find out who has responsibility for claim payment. If it’s the employer, then they
 

Ron Singleton

This story is about my encounter with cancer, which happened in 2014. I had a near-death experience, and was rushed to Kaiser Zion medical facility in San Diego, CA. My doctor, Dr. Tomssi met me in the ICU and let me know that my body was struggling with issues regarding the bowel. I was excreting dark colors, almost purplish in color, which indicated blood. I had lost about four pints of blood and it would have led to death. I think God saved me from that near-death experience. In February of 2

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Don’t Tell Me What to Do; HELP Me Do It! Or: If You Give a Caregiver a Cookie…

I know it’s happened to all of us at some point during our experience as caregivers: the “self-care” lecture. Eat a vegetable! Take a stroll! Get to the gym, even for fifteen minutes! Get a pedicure! And on, and on, and on… How do these conversations make you feel? I confess that they frustrated me immensely in the earliest days and weeks after my mom’s diagnosis. I was actively offended any time that someone had the audacity to suggest that anything was more important or more tim

DanielleP

DanielleP

 

Top 5 Thoughts on Relationships, and What We Make of Them

In my time as a caregiver for my parents, there is one theme that haunts every interaction and every decision: the status of the relationship between the folks having the conversation. (Well, duh, Danielle, because that theme determines most things in life, doesn’t it?) (Sure, Inner Monologue, you are correct, but I’m the one writing this, so shush!) Where was I? Oh, right. Relationships. I know there are stacks and stacks of scholarly works written on the complex n

DanielleP

DanielleP

 

You are not always your own best advocate

Last week I took a local lung cancer patient and long time friend "J" to get his scans. This will be a very abbreviated account of what happened. Even though we are only an hour apart, I haven't seen "J" in a couple of years.  He has an incredible story of being dx in his 30s and some amazing heroic efforts when into saving his life.  He's even been in the news and media.  Since that time 10 or more years ago, he's struggled to live and battled a few recurrences.   They "think" he had

KatieB

KatieB

Cursin' On a Sunday Afternoon....

Cursin' On a Sunday Afternoon....

We are "locked and loaded" for our fifth Transatlantic cruise since I was diagnosed with lung cancer. This Sunday, we depart from Ft. Lauderdale and fifteen leisurely pamper-filled days later, arrive in Southampton, England. Along the voyage, we'll visit Bermuda (a first), the Azores (an other first), Lisbon (been there), Bilbao, Spain (a first), and Le Harve, France (been there). And best of all -- no jet lag! We are serious cruisers and are thrilled to cross the pond in a brand new ship (Celeb

Tom Galli

Tom Galli

 

Esophageal Cancer

Hi my name is Robin.  I am really new to this type of thing.  Guess maybe looking for some insight or guidance.  In July my husband was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He 5 treatments of chemo and 28 days of radiation and then had an esophagectomy Nov 15th.  He was having some breathing issues and finally saw his family doctor where they prescribed him a 10 day antibiotic. A week later he had his 1st CT Scan since surgery (3 months prior).  Results are not exactly what we hoped for or really u

Robin S

Robin S

 

Diane Milley

My story begins in May of 2013. I am a high school special education teacher and for weeks I had a nagging but dry cough, I wasn't worried about it at all as I was running 3 miles a day, just completed a 5k road race and was very rarely sick. I finally saw my primary care physician who put me on a Z-pack and I went back to my normal life. A few weeks later since the cough had not gone away, I went back to my doctor who gave me a prescription chest x-ray, which I immediately threw on the passenge

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Jim Pitts

In 2013 started with pneumonia but wasn't getting over it, Dr. wouldn't give up something just not right he kept saying. Sent me to a pulmonary specialist who found a spot on my right lung. Immediately set up oncologist, surgeon & hospital within 7 days I was laying in the recovery room with minus -one lung. Come through with flying colors, home within 3 days, thought to myself piece of cake! Yeah wrong answer, started chemo 3 weeks later and within 24 hrs I was back in hospital dehydrated &

LaurenH

LaurenH

A Picture is Worth 15 Years

A Picture is Worth 15 Years

I'm the guy who paints a toenail for every year I live beyond my February 4, 2004 diagnosis day.  This year our toes are LUNGevity Blue to honor the foundation that is dedicated to changing outcomes for people with lung cancer through research, education and support. There are many people who've been instrumental in my survival and making a life after; none are more important than my loving wife -- Martha Galli. If I can live, so can you! Stay the course. Tom Galli

Tom Galli

Tom Galli

 

The Simple, Profound Power of a Reset

Happy Monday, my friends! (Yeah, I know, it’s weird, I said “Happy” Monday…it’s not necessarily an oxymoron…hear me out!) I was always the kid who enjoyed the first day of school. How about you? The first day of vacation was pretty great, too! There is great power in “firsts.” We are almost supernaturally (or superstitiously!) drawn to the gravitas of beginnings. I remember very clearly making a circle of hands around my mother when she began her first treatment: my dad, some

DanielleP

DanielleP

 

The Pivot

“You know, I heard that green tea/apricot pits/jogging/apple cider vinegar/kale/broccoli/mustard greens/fresh avocados/yoga/this miracle powder/oil/salve/etc., etc., etc. will cure your mom’s cancer. You really need to try it. It worked for my cousin’s friend’s stepmom’s brother. Let me get you the information!” If you have ever had a loved one with cancer, you’ve heard these offers.  You know exactly how they sound. The personal heroism of a friend or neighbor or acquaintance or coworker,

DanielleP

DanielleP

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