Part 1: Routines
Are you a person who likes routines? Or are you a person who likes to play things by ear, deciding in the moment?
See: I had always thought I was the latter. I am not the most organized person in the world (sorry, family!), except in those moments when I absolutely have to be. So, it’s always seemed easier to me to make plans on the fly, at the last practicable moment.
Or, so I thought.
Funny thing about lung cancer: it’s a “canceller.”
My husband, Allan, died from stage IV lung cancer in June 2009. I was feeling a need to get involved with an organization dealing specifically with lung cancer. I researched LUNGevity, and thought it was a very worthwhile organization.
My first experience with LUNGevity was in November 2009. At the time, my daughter, Stephanie was a college student in NYC. She formed a team for LUNGevity’s Walk to Beat Lung Cancer, which later became Breathe Deep NYC. My son and I joined Stephanie and her
There are advantages to receiving lung cancer treatments in small clinical settings. Among them is everyone knows your name and treatment circumstances. Scheduled for a CT scan with contrast yesterday, when I checked in I was routed to the infusion area to have my IV device installed. Chris, the radiology technician who’s been scanning me for almost 14 years, is well aware of the difficulty of installing an IV. So he passes me to the infusion nurses who yesterday managed to capture a vein, f
When my dad, Fred Gontarek, was diagnosed with lung cancer, I felt lost. I wasn’t sure where to turn. I searched the internet as most people do to see what support was out there and what was being done to raise funds for research. Sadly, there were not many local organizations or funds being raised for lung cancer. I vowed to try to change that. I found the Breathe Deep Philadelphia Event was coming up in the Fall of 2011 and knew we needed to be there for Dad and with Dad.
Team Fred starte
Don't help me.
I am a fiercely independant woman. i am a survivor. I am strong. I will beat this (insert cancer type/condition here) and my life will inspire others. If I show weakness then it wins. I will get up everyday and tackle the world. I will do my hair and put on lipstick and look as amazing as I can so no one will know that I am "sick". I will not ask anyone for help. I will carry all of the groceries into the house. I will change the water bottle on the water cooler. I wi
I was 52, a wife, mom and teacher when diagnosed with stage 3a NSC Adenocarcinoma lung cancer in September 2012. I had no symptoms and did not fit the criteria of a lung cancer candidate.
An observant radiologist had noticed a small shadow in my lower right lobe when viewing an unrelated abdominal scan in 2010. Because I didn’t fit any of the LC criteria, no specialist or surgeon thought that it would be lung cancer. They adopted a “wait and see” plan using two six-month scans and then mo
By: Deborah R. Burns
“Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You only need a heart full of grace, A soul generated by love.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Charlotte Jamison is many things: a Christian, a mother, a teacher, a friend, and a volunteer.
Over the past two years, Charlotte has volunteered her time and talents to assist in the efforts of the LUNGevity Foundation’s Annual Breathe Deep DC 5K Walk. Charlotte serves as the backbone and chief fundraiser for Team
It came as quite a surprise when I was first diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer in 2007. It was an even bigger shock to learn that my lung cancer was caused by exposure to high levels of radon gas in my own home. I want to keep sharing my story with the hope that it might prevent others from getting lung cancer from radon gas.
My husband and I did extensive renovations on our house to turn it into our dream home. About five years later, I developed a nagging cough. I went to the doctor, wh
I had an interesting chat with my general practitioner over the Fourth of July holiday. He’s a gentleman rancher with an abundance of tomatoes so I brokered an invite to his beautiful ranch to relieve him of his abundance.
A social cup of coffee segued into a wide ranging conversation about medicine, ranching, politics, engineering and cancer treatment. Doc has lots of opinions but they are founded on deep study and comparative analysis. But, unlike most intelligent people, he rarely use
In March of this year I was diagnosed with stage IV NSCLC, Adenocarcinoma, as the result of a case of pneumonia. Already under the care of a Medical Oncologist as the result of having been treated for another type of cancer the previous year. That treatment went well, NED. On my first consultation he explained the standard treatment options for stage IV. What I was hearing ( and said to him), was, "So the bottom line is I'm dead." I have to admit that I taped the consult and was a bit ashamed o
I am a two year survivor of a stage 4 gentic autoimmune liver disease. Although I am stable and in "good" health. I suffer from abdominal and muscular pain- rhumatoid arthritis and side effects from diabetes and Hashimotos thyroid disease. It's a lot- but it's manageable and I'm living very well with chronic disease.
Before I was diagnosed- I was a high energy non-stop person. I didn't stop working until I had finished every last "to-do" on my list. I didn't have unfinished projects in
I noticed something recently at the in-person support group I facilitate.
Caregivers in my group didn't speak up about issues or feelings unless the facilitator or group leader mentioned them first.
"Like Jan said, I have feelings of ____ too."
After the third time, it occured to me that caregivers are either waiting to have their feelings validated by someone else or didn't realize they had been feeling those feelings.
I remember being a caregiver for my father and how al
I'm writing this from a Florida Hospital radiation clinic waiting room. My daughter is having intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) to treat her meningioma residual left over from surgery 3 months ago. This was her second brain surgery and in between was the birth of my granddaughter. Ironically, our greatest joy was sandwiched between our greatest fear.
She'll have at least 30 fractional sessions. I'm here doing grandfather and father stuff, the former fun, the latter hard as nails
Allison Doan has been on a long journey of self discovery, from a life of elite privilege to a brief time in federal prison, and then a battle with stage IV lung cancer. Through years of ups and downs, and finding forgiveness and strength she didn’t even realize that she possessed, Allison has remained determined to share a message of hope.
Allison’s broken road has led her to a place of peace. She’s written an inspiring memoir, Bruised and Beautiful, which will be published later this mont
Hello, my dear friends!
I. Have. Missed. You!
It is so tempting, in my relationship with caregiving, to take on blame. Blame myself for this or that. Plans didn’t go off accordingly? It’s my fault. Time got away from me without my control? Oh, that’s my fault, too. Sign me up!
Since my last post, our “best laid plans” were thrown out the window. Forcefully. To be totally real with you, my friends, I had wanted so badly to post about ALL THE HOPE in May. I wanted to fill your inbox
I was diagnosed in April 2017 with lung cancer (stage 4 adenocarcinoma with malignant pleural effusion). I celebrated my 47th birthday in May. My husband and I will celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary in July. We have a 12 year old daughter. This is my second stage 4 cancer diagnosis.
The first was shortly after my husband asked me to marry him. I was 23 years old and had stage 4 Hodgkins. I was treated with a combination MOPP ABVD regimen. My life was placed on pause while I took 24 tre
Advocates are courageous and brave as they raise awareness or work tirelessly to change injustices and create a better world.
Most people become advocates because they were personally affected by the cause they are fighting for. While they have smiles on their faces and work to inspire...there's a part of their hearts that are always grieving for the love they lost or the life that once was.
At least thats true for me- even after 15 years.
While our personal experience fuels us during a
Start with any whole positive number. If it is even, divide it by 2; if odd, multiply by 3 and add 1. After a string of calculations applying the even-odd method, regardless of the starting number, the answer will always be 1. Well maybe because all numbers have not yet been checked. But up to 10 raised to the fourteenth power have been. And that is a very big number! This mathematical oddity is called the Collatz Conjecture.
For example, here is the calculation string applying the even-o
I am writing this from the pool deck of a cruise ship while on a transatlantic sojourn. Our fourth transatlantic and our favorite form of vacation, we cross then pick several countries and explore. This year, after docking at Barcelona, we fly to Ireland and tour the wild and unpopulated western coast, then spend a long weekend in Edinburgh, and fly home. The cruise and the touring after is wonderful. The flight back is a nightmare because my incision scars throb in pain in a pressurized aircraf
Hello, my friends!
I HOPE, wherever you are, that you are having a beautiful Spring!
I HOPE, whatever you are up against, that you are finding support and peace in your endeavors.
I HOPE, however you need, that you are finding the time to create room for yourself in your busy schedule.
I HOPE, above all, that you and yours are doing well.
Thanks to #LUNGevity, May is officially “Lung Cancer HOPE Month.” This particular awareness campaign places a much-needed focus on all
I like thinking about choice. It is an interesting concept and can involve logical, rational thinking and irrational and illogical thought — sometimes concurrently. Choice is not just a human phenomena. Animals make choices, some deliberate and some random. But when all is said and done, a choice is a decision that has an outcome (or consequence). When we make rational choices, we are said to be informed of the consequences. Irrational choices are those where consequences don’t matter.
Perhaps you’ve heard? The federal government is a large insurance business with a standing army. Social Security is insurance — a specific kind of insurance called an annuity. The insured and employer pay premiums every month to fund a defined benefit at a specified year (normally your federally mandated retirement year). Everything is peachy-keen till a disability affects work because one has late stage lung cancer. And, when a lung cancer survivor files for disability, allowed by law and
"Boy, what a week!"
...How many of you know that phrase by heart? All of you! (And not always starting with such an innocent word as "boy...")
Well, that's been my week. And I know it probably has been for you, too.
Just by way of illustration: I went to the grocery store a week ago. On the day of my mom's most recent treatment. Mom's treatment stays usually last about 6 hours, so the day is toast by the time we get home, and we are "pooped."
So, back to the groceries.
I. Just. N