Time is supposed to heal our wounds, that’s what people say; but when you lose your best friend you realize that no amount of time will heal that void that is left.
My mother was diagnosed with non small cell lung carcinoma three months after I turned eighteen, only weeks after what would turn out to be our last family portrait. The day the test results came back the only words I heard during the meeting were “cancer” which meant someday I’d be burying her. I don’t recall anything else; but
Back in 2009, my mother-in-law, Sue Fosco, was diagnosed with lung cancer. It came as a huge shock to our family. Sue was a very healthy oncology nurse and non-smoker. At first, she thought she had a cold or sinus infection, but it wouldn’t go away, so she went in for further testing. The people administering the tests were her colleagues and friends at the Edward Cancer Center in Naperville. Sue was diagnosed with Stage IV bronchoalveolar adenocarcinoma in both lungs.
Sue was a wonderful w
Today we celebrate 13 years of surviving NSCLC. I'm borrowing three toes from Martha, my wife and caregiver extraordinaire, who deserves most of the credit for my continued life. Martha did the heavy lifting during treatment, asking the right questions at the right time, and prodding my medical team with just the right touch. By comparison, I was at wit's end during my nearly 4 years of continuous treatment. Doctors McK (GP), H (Oncologist) and C (Thoracic Surgeon) also deserve a lion's shar
Welcome! Settle in. Get comfortable.
If you’ve joined us here, lung cancer has touched the life of someone you love, and has thereby touched your life as well. I am sorry.
Well: I am sorry you are going through this, for sure, but: I am so glad you have found us here. Excited, even. You have found a new family, and a new wealth of resources. You will not be alone in this (insert your preferred word: some say “fight,” some say “journey,” I say “process”)!
A few words about me, so
I've seen the star of Bethlehem, very early on Christmas morning. While peacekeeping in Egypt's Sinai Desert, I would run before daybreak as soldiers are prone to do. Although the desert is quite cold in December, dawn running was a habit hard to break. I ran the camp perimeter to check the defensive positions and greet soldiers enjoying the banter in three different languages. Starting in the south perimeter and running counterclockwise, the predawn western sky was dark except for the stars
After losing my mother to lung cancer in 2010, I had been looking for ways to help raise awareness for the disease and educate people that lung cancer is not just a “smoker’s disease.” My mother's efforts at raising awareness were very important to her and I wanted to honor her life and efforts by continuing that community outreach.
After participating in Breathe Deep Nashville in 2012, I indicated in a post-race survey that I would be interested in helping out the following year. One of th
Today, in the United States, we celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving. Our first president, George Washington, called for an official “day of public thanksgiving and prayer” in 1789 and although the Congress heartily agreed, the proclamation was lost in the bureaucratic press of politics. It fell to Abraham Lincoln to rekindle the Thanksgiving Holiday shortly after the pivotal battle of our Civil War—Gettysburg in 1863. Thus in the mist of warfare and uncertainty, a holiday dedicated to thank
Nothing can prepare a man and his family for a lung cancer diagnosis. I remember the night five years ago when my mom called me with bad news. My uncle, Keith, had just been diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer.
Keith is my dad’s youngest brother, who is always making everyone laugh and giving the best bear hugs. He is a husband, father, and small business owner who coached all of his kids’ youth sports teams and never missed a game. My grandfather passed away from paranasal sinus cancer whe
I am not a statistics wizard; an engineer, I value the predictive power of statistics. Indeed, if one can precisely control variables, a statistics-based prediction of the future is remarkably accurate. The joy of predicting end strength for a new carbon-nanotube concrete mix design melts the heart of this engineer. But, concrete is a thing with but 4 variables to control. Human beings have perhaps millions of variables, thus predictions about people are vastly more complicated and inaccurat
My Journey Belongs to Me
Based on statistics, lung cancer has a five-year survival rate of 17.4%. For many, it’s a death sentence but for me, this meant nothing since I am not a statistic. I came to the realization that, everyone else’s cancer is not my cancer, because my journey belongs to me, my symptoms were different, and the recovery process seems to be a lifelong event.
My journey began in September of 2013, with the stigma that somehow I brought this on myself, that it was self-infl
Hi my name is Terry Gillespie.
I am a 13-year lung cancer survivor. I started my lung-cancer journey back in October 2003.
In the fall, I am prone to sinus infections, so as usual I got one. It just so happened this time that I let it go a little longer because I had just lost my job and had no insurance.
When it got so bad and I coughed so hard that I had a little blood in my sputum, I called the doctor and made an appointment.
My doctor prescribed the usual antibiotics, a
Hello there …. my name is Alisa Brenes and I am a 16-year Stage 3 lung cancer survivor.
I guess you can say my lung cancer journey started before I was born. My mom, my maternal grandfather and many of his siblings all died of lung cancer. I am motivated to do my part to end our family history now.
I have been a lung cancer advocate for over ten years, most of my work behind the scenes, but little by little I’m coming out and sharing my story. I hope to follow this introduction with
I am now on disability, fighting my cancer is a full-time job. In my past life I was the Business Development Manager for a technology company in Rohnert Park, CA. When not doing advocacy work you can usually find me in a spin class or out in Mother Nature hiking or biking with my friends.
I was dx with Stage 4 Lung Cancer in June of 2009. Since then I have done radiation, six cycles of chemotherapy Taxol, Carbo and Avastin for the lung cancer. That was followed by six cycles of Genzar for
Amazon Kindle Royalties Donated to LUNGevity.org During November:"I am not a doctor; indeed, I possess little medical knowledge. I am, however, a very experienced and long-tenured lung cancer patient. That gives me a unique perspective on the disease that kills more people—many times more—than any other type of cancer. I do not intend to fill this story with statistics. They are readily available from any number of reputable resources. I have a firm belief, however, that lung cancer resea
I first got involved with LUNGevity in early 2013. My husband had been recently diagnosed with lung cancer and I was looking to participate in a walk to raise the much needed funds for research.
I chose to work with LUNGevity because I saw that they had many walk/runs throughout the country. Prior to my husband's diagnosis I didn't know much about lung cancer and like most people believed it was unlikely to ever touch my life as we both have never smoked. After his diagnosis I learned that
I will donate all Scanziety Amazon Kindle Store sale royalties for the Month of November to LUNGevity.org to support much needed research. I wrote for the book for three reasons. First among them is “to raise a call to arms for funding lung cancer research.” Help me raise the call to arms! Read a book about surviving lung cancer and donate to sponsor research to find, fix and finish lung cancer.
Stay the course.
Get your copy of Scanziety here https://www.amazon.com/Scanziety-Retrospec
Meet Charlett Emilyrose Wilson, my first grandchild. Her parents, daughter Melissa and son-in-law Bill, are overjoyed. I am ecstatic! Proud would be a vast understatement!
Charlett was born 12-years, 8-months, and 13-days after my diagnosis with NSCLC. I celebrate this joyful milestone in my life for but one reason. If I can live, so can you.
Stay the course.
The other day, in conversation with a newly minted medical school graduate, he told me low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) was dangerous. Dangerous! If LDCT is dangerous, what is late discovery of lung cancer? He nearly fainted when I told him I had perhaps more than 40 CT scans in my treatment history, telling me I was a candidate for radiation induced cancer. It didn’t seem to register that I was a candidate for extinction by lung cancer.
We are told the only effective way of treating our
I just completed a most unusual intellectual assignment—evaluating molecular biology and pathobiology research grant applications. When I learned of my assignment, I wondered how I’d make the academic stretch from civil engineer to biologist.
Sure, on a good day, I can spell pathobiology correctly without aid of a spell checker. Why would someone deliberately assign me to review molecular biology stuff? I’d forgotten. I was a lung cancer survivor and expert, not by education but by expe
LUNG CANCER ACCOUNTING—A METHOD TO WIN THE BILLING BATTLE
Treatment for lung cancer was, hands-down, the hardest thing I ever endured. What’s the second hardest? Without a doubt, it is settling treatment bills. After nearly 13 years, I still get them. Despite all of the advances in information technology, medical invoices, including medical insurance invoices, are the most unnecessarily complex documents ever created. Their level of useless intricacy bests even lawyer generated minutia
Chances are you pay attention to new treatment developments. I was aimlessly scrolling through a social media app when I happened on a dramatic interview. Everything was staged to look legit. The interviewer looked like a TV reporter, the background scene looked like a doctor’s office, and the set up question “doctor, let me talk about cancer a little bit” got my attention.
The camera changes views to the doctor as the reporter says, “what are some of the things you’ve seen in terms of y
The summer Olympics kindles an unpleasant anniversary. I was in hospital recovering from a failed bronchopleural fistula surgery complicated by pulmonary embolism, further complicated by pneumonia, and then aspirational pneumonia. After surgical mayhem and ensuing coma, I settled into a nil per os or NPO recovery from a uncooperative epiglottis. July, August, and early September of 2004 were clearly the worst days of my life. The only joy was watching Katie Couric’s daytime TV Olympic broadca
“Terminal stage IV lung cancer patient miraculously cured by cannabis oil.” “Frankincense oil kills cancer cells while boosting immune system.” “The real reason pharma companies hate medical marijuana is because it works.” If you are a lung cancer survivor, you’ve read these pronouncements. Hopefully, you don’t believe them. The purveyors of miracle cures are so persuasive that some people avoid conventional treatment and rely instead on the unconventional.
I remember my frantic web search