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 know. My annual oncology consult with low-dose CT is in September but I'm not concerned. My daily trial is pain. I've had chronic pain from taxol (burning toes sometimes called taxol toes) and a constant throbbing at my open thoracotomy incision site. Eighteen taxol infusions have left their mark; three open thoracotomies in the span of 7 months are the painful surgical side effects. Now nearing 73 years of life, 2 Army injuries have joined my parade: herniated disks in my neck and lower back. Moreover, muscle cramping, another taxol-induced problem causing low magnesium in my bloodstream, is worsening. I'm not sleeping, at least not having restful sleep. And yes, my physicians have tried every sleep remedy. My GP is still trying.
In a recent consult with my GP, he advised that I not seek surgical care for my herniated disks. He is concerned about my pulmonary insufficiency, and I'm waiting for my pulmonologist's view. Of course, the orthopedic surgeon counsels little risk. But surgeons are surgeons. My neck and back may be correctable, but I might not survive the surgery. My GP also wants me to ask the pulmonologist about O2, 24/7. I'm currently using O2 at night (attempting to sleep), but 24/7 tethered to a leash would be a new chapter in my life.
I check the Forum every day and thankfully we have a team of folks who welcome and provide meaningful suggestions and support. I'll be in the wings cheering all on from the sideline. As always...
Stay the course.