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Jan Poulsen's Story

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

LaurenH

LaurenH

Second Opinions

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

Tom Galli

Tom Galli

My Stage IV S.B.R.T. Experience

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

Judy M.

Judy M.

Reality vs Fears

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

KatieB

KatieB

Permission to Feel

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

KatieB

KatieB

Deja Vu All Over Again

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

Tom Galli

Tom Galli

Allison Doan's Story

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

LaurenH

LaurenH

HOPE, Support, and "Best Laid Plans"

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

DanielleP

DanielleP

Paige Black

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

LaurenH

LaurenH

Grief is a Part of Advocacy

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

KatieB

KatieB

The Lung Cancer Conjecture

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

Tom Galli

Tom Galli

Voyage of Hope

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

Tom Galli

Tom Galli

Caregivers and HOPE!

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

DanielleP

DanielleP

Having and Eating Cake

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.

Tom Galli

Tom Galli

Social Security Disability by Disapproval

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

Tom Galli

Tom Galli

Caregiver Conflict? Why? Let's just...not.

"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

DanielleP

DanielleP

Advocating For Profit

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. Why

Tom Galli

Tom Galli

Faith, Hope and Life

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

Tom Galli

Tom Galli

Fearing Lung Cancer

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

Tom Galli

Tom Galli

Ruthe Cain

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

LaurenH

LaurenH

Taking Care of You

"Why don't you join us?" "Can you come? Want to go?" "I...hope to?" "I...wish to?" "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

DanielleP

DanielleP

Rose Vining's Story

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

LaurenH

LaurenH

The Smoking Gun

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

Tom Galli

Tom Galli

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