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
I am a capitalist! I firmly believe profit is a reward for good performance and indeed it is an expected reward. Nothing is more important in business than making a profit. Nothing! My purpose for writing this is to acquaint you with a new type of business on the lung cancer scene — a for profit advocacy company. That’s right, companies have been formed to advocate for and sustain those in lung cancer treatment and expect to earn a profit -- off us! Let that sink in for a moment.
In the days before computers, college registration involved waiting in long lines. Freshmen were last to register and my hope was an elective in social science, fine arts or music. But when I reached the registration table, I was assigned the only open class, Theology 101—The History of Religion. I was less than excited. And, worse yet, it was a Monday-Wednesday-Friday 8:00 a.m. class.
The professor was a Marianist brother, with PhDs in Ancient Languages and Cultural Anthropology, and f
The lights dim, the announcer’s introduction complete, now all the stand-up comedian needs to do is be funny. We’ve all seen one bomb. Even the best have a bad night. Overcoming fear must be a prerequisite for a comedian. Comedian and author Jerry Gillies developed an excellent approach for handling fear: “Confront your fears, list them, get to know them, and only then will you be able to put them aside and move ahead.”
This is very relevant advice for a lung cancer survivor. I practiced
In 1998, Ruthe Cain was living life in California and enjoying being close to the fresh air and the great outdoors. She was in her late fifties and loved living an active lifestyle, but that year she would face a diagnosis that would change her life: she learned that she had lung cancer. More than 15 years and three surgeries later, Ruthe is still a survivor, and she’s still enjoying life in every way she can.
Ruthe first suspected something might be wrong with her health when she had troub
"Why don't you join us?"
"Can you come? Want to go?"
"I'll check my schedule."
"I will try..."
"I can't. Thanks, though! Maybe next time!"
Doesn't this sound like the common Caregiver script?
I know it does in our house.
Invitations turned down and plans not made.
The secret is:
Even if I thought I could go to the event, I wouldn't want to.
Even when I think the potential plans are logistically possible, I always feel as though I have incre
I was diagnosed with lung cancer in August of 2011 out of the blue, totally unexpected. I went for a regular checkup after experiencing some gastric reflux and abdominal pain. The doctor suggested an abdominal CT scan. He called me back into his office and told me that, although the scan was of my abdomen, a part of my lung had been included. A little shadow had shown up there that concerned him. He asked me to undergo a second CT scan, this time of my lungs. That scan revealed a prominent area
We often hear smoking gun used to describe the “ah ha” moment of a who done it. I was unsure of the meaning and asked Siri. My Apple genius defined it as “as piece of incontrovertible incriminating evidence.”
I know two things with high confidence: (i) there is a very strong correlation between smoking and lung cancer, and (ii) implying smoking as a cause adds to the self-induced stigma that smacks down research for my disease. So, how do we address the stigma without pointing the smokin
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