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A blog by lung cancer survivor Tom Galli

Entries in this blog

A New Chapter

Perhaps you've noticed. My activity on this treasured Forum has declined. Folks have inquired. I've been hesitant to respond; perhaps my faith and hope that things might be different caused a lack of candor. I'm nearing 20 years of surviving Stage IIIB diagnosed, Stage IV progressed squamous cell non-small cell lung cancer. Longevity after diagnosis in my day is a miracle. Thankfully it is much more commonplace today. No, I don't have a lung cancer recurrence. I'm cancer-free as far as I kn

LexieCat, Esquire Rests Her Case

LexieCat joined us on June 29, 2017 after taking advantage of low-dose CT screening for folks at risk for lung cancer. That test revealed a small highly suspicious single nodule that was surgically removed. She had a successful lobectomy; we all hoped she was one and done. Lexie, a screen name for Teri Garvey, was a district attorney in Camden, NJ. In my younger years, Camden, across the Delaware River from Philly, where I lived, was an industrious town bustling with shipbuilding, soup maki

The Stigma

"You have lung cancer. You don't belong here. You gave the disease to yourself!" Those words represent an admonishment bordering on scorn that greeted my first and only in-person cancer support group session. It was fortunately small, populated by ladies, all who had breast cancer.  I smoked; my entire family smoked. I also served as a career US Army officer. I spent months breathing oil fire smoke during the First Gulf War; have instant olfactory recognition of "burn barrel smoke" so preva

Tom Galli

Tom Galli in Stay The Course Blog

Hospice For Sale

I’ve been raging against scam cancer cures for almost 2 decades. Now I learn there is an expanding for-profit hospice industry that is transforming hospice care into a world of fraud and incompetent “care”. Please read this November 28, 2022 expose in The New Yorker Magazine titled For-Profit Hustle. This forum exists to provide information and comfort to those diagnosed with lung cancer. When facing slim odds at the end of my treatment rope, I was comforted knowing a reputable and car

Tom Galli

Tom Galli in Stay The Course Blog

Contributors to cure

From February 2004 to March 2021 I was a lung cancer patient. That is 17 years to reach the pinnacle outcome for our disease--cure! When I think of the people who did the heavy lifting but three rise to the top: wife Martha, oncology nurse Heather Belle, and oncologist Victor Horadam. Only these 3 were with me through every twist of my wild treatment ride. These are my contributors to cure. Long suffering wife is a wholly inadequate term for describing Martha's burden. I'm not an easy going

Eighteen Years but No Toes

Today, I celebrate 18 years of life after diagnosis with lung cancer. Normally, I'd paint my toes and post. Of course after 10 years, I had to invite more feet to the photo-celebration. But, on this day, indeed, in this week my hometown is ice-bound and my planning skills have waned because my celebratory bottle of Lungevity blue nail paint is exhausted. So, no photo this year. There are so many lessons I've learned during my diagnostic, treatment and survival journey. Two among them bear m

Tom Galli

Tom Galli in Stay The Course Blog

Scanziety Builds Character

My CT was on August 30th but I needed to wait till today to get the results—from a new medical oncologist. He’s my kind of guy achieving undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering before going to med school. We talked a bit on how things have improved since the dark ages of my diagnosis. I told him of my rabid scanziety driven by a 12-day dwell from test to results. He told me I’d not receive the same treatment if I was diagnosed today. I told him I was happy I was not being diagnosed tod

Tom Galli

Tom Galli in Stay The Course Blog

On Memorial Day

Could this be the day in America whose meaning has been forgotten? On this day, many in my neighborhood and small town knowing I'm a retired soldier will wish me "Happy Memorial Day!" While I appreciate the salutation; I'm befuddled by our collective loss of understanding and appreciation. Memorial Day is a day of remembrance and commemoration for those who died in the act of serving in our Armed Forces during war. There is a parallel of a lack of understanding and appreciation that ap

A Day of Thanks

It is a beautiful Thanksgiving Day in Texas. Amid COVID mayhem we are suffering, Mother Nature decided to intervene and give us this gorgeous day to remind me about the important things in life. I've been blessed in so many ways since my surprise lung cancer diagnosis in February 2004. I married the love of my life, walked my daughter down the aisle, experience the birth of my granddaughter, enjoyed glorious vacations, and perhaps most important found meaning and purpose for life after lung

Tom Galli

Tom Galli in Stay The Course Blog

10 Steps to Surviving Lung Cancer from a Survivor

MY STEPS TO SURVIVING A LUNG CANCER DIAGNOSIS Step 1 – Invest in sophisticated diagnosics before diagnosis If you smoke, were a long-term smoker, or are in an occupation that exposes you to carcinogenic toxins (asbestos removal, auto mechanic, painter, etc.), I suggest getting a computed tomography (CT) scan, often called a CAT scan, of the chest once a year. Insurance now covers it and CT will detect tumors far earlier than a chest x-ray. Early detection of small tumors dramatically e
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