I was first diagnosed with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) in January of 2014 from a biopsy of the tumor that was sitting on top of my left lung. I had no symptoms I was ill yet I was urged by a radiologist who was a friend of the family to get an early lung cancer detection CT scan of the chest because I had been a smoker years before and grew up in a household of heavy smokers. So for me, it came as a total shock when I was told my diagnosis and “to get into the city for treatment, ASAP. “ For
Summer has ended and baseball is in World Series mode. I’m a long suffering Philadelphia Phillies fan — a Phanatic! To have a lifelong fascination with a mediocre baseball club requires supreme dedication, unusual perseverance, and a strong conviction that tomorrow will be a far better day. These attributes are prerequisites for facing a daunting lung cancer diagnosis and enduring the arduousness of treatment.
Danny Ozark, once manager of the Phillies, took the team from perennial cellar
Around the first of December 2015 I noticed I was having some shortness of breath when I climbed the flight of stairs to my apartment. I didn't think much of it at the time. I just chalked it up to my age (62) and being out of shape. As time went on the shortness of breath became worse and I developed a persistent cough with some transient hoarseness. I decided it was time to see the doctor.
My primary care provider diagnosed me with asthma/bronchitis, which I had many times over the years
Part 3: Resources
One word that is perhaps overused in the professional cancer services field is a word that is also overused in many other humanitarian fields: “resource.” Sometimes, it seems like a catch-all. What do you guys offer? We offer resources! Hm.
What does “resource” mean to you?
To me, it means something that is drawn from by someone in need of help. Something that is stocked and available to give concrete assistance in a particular situation, and is either infinite i
Part 2: Resets
The beauty of the Sunday afternoon chores, in addition to creating a zen moment before winding up for the assaults of phone calls and emails and appointments that can come between 9am Monday and 5pm Friday, is that they serve as a sort of reset. A blessed, welcome reset. Whatever was undone from the week before is still undone (LOL!), but nobody died because of it. The cans of cat food that didn’t get moved from the kitchen counter to the bin in the pantry? Not lethal, it tur
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