Judy M. got a reaction from Mally in Introducing myself
Yes, I really never had a desire to be in the elite 3 separate primary cancers group. One would have been more than enough. I do feel blessed that my first 2 were caught in an early stage. And hopeful now. Especially after what Tom said. My Oncologist first told me it was stage IV and their goal in that stage is to control not cure. Then said he thought we should try the cyberknife/chemo route and go for a cure. The reason being because it's oligo. I thought he was saying illegal ( which all cancer should be) and had to ask him to spell that for me. Just means it's confined to my lungs according to P.E.T. scan. I've since learned on this forum that we say NED not cured. Ceetainly makes sense to me after my 3 cancers experience, but those were the terms he chose to use. Tom, how is your breathing? Did the cyberknife treatment have an effect on your ability to breathe? You don't have ( or haven't seen that you have) emphysema, but you did have the lobectomy. Can you exercise? I'd hate to have to give up exercising. Other than for 2 weeks after my lumpectomy and a period toward the end of radiation I was able to exercise through my previous treatment. Had greater shortness of breath after radiation but it was temporary. Glad to hear you're 5 years out from your 3 cancers Mally. Great encouragement to 'fight,fight, fight' as my oldest son says. He's an MMA coach. He keeps me focused on winning the battles.
Judy M. got a reaction from Mally in Media Opportunity for Mobile App Users
I downloaded the app yesterday, but it won't let me sign in. A sign in page appears first and when I tap the box to sign in nothing happens. Any suggestions? I downloaded from Google Play and have it loaded on my Samsung Android phone. Would love to be able to use it.
Judy M. got a reaction from Suzanne in Introducing myself
Thank you, Tom. I also have asthma. My lungs were pretty much a mess before the cancer but I was doing all I could to keep them strong. Pulmonary test done last year said I had 45% capacity. But since it was done at a time when I had a resp. infection and was having a C.O.P.D flare up hope I have a bit more than that. Glad you are still moving as much as possible. You are an inspiration for all of us.
Judy M. reacted to Don in Here's What I Did To Fight SCLC
This will be long so sit back relax and say I CAN DO THIS:
1. Had a long talk with the lord of course one sided, he choose not to speak. I explained that this cancer thing was alot bigger than I could handle and ask him to handle it. Said Lord, I know if I die that I will wake up and be in heaven and attend a real big family reuinon and I thought that was great. If I wake up here thats OK too. I have my wife, family, friends, my horses, dogs, cats, and maybe I can help someone else so you handle this. My promise to him was I would always talk to someone everyday about the lord, someone everyday about their cancer (not mine), and I would encourage people to quit smoking like me(3 weeks before I was told I had cancer). Well a friend gave me a coin with a cross on one side and the prayer from Mark on the other that said: With God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. Well I carried this coin in my pocket at all times and when I was scared, nervous, or unsure I would rub that coin between my fingers until I remembered that my faith was stronger than the cancer.Today I buy those coins by the box and pass one out everytime I go somewhere. Especially when I go and visit at oncology ward.
2. I had to realize that I wasnt punished just bad luck. I went to the hospital for radiation and chemo and I would sit in the lobby at Brook Army Medical Center and watch people come in without legs, arms, young kids from Iraq with their faces nose, ears burnt off. And I mean off. They are 19 and 20 and will walk the rest of their life with these marks. Hm can you see my cancer. Nope. So I would make it a habit to sit and talk with them over lunch and let them know that its whats inside that counts and again, the lord will take care of them.
3. Well after my pity thing was over I began to start a new life, a life with cancer living inside of me. Now you have a choice here: Let the cancer control your life or you control the cancers life. By now you know what I did..
4. Now here is the plain facts and its so simple.
I raise horses and cattle and I remembered a old saying of mine. Have you ever seen a fat cow die. NOPE. The skinny ones do all the time. So here I am with a fried throat from radiation and cant eat and the doc's want to put a tube in my belly. Hm, again not a chance that this is going to happen so for 4 1/2 months while I couldnt eat solid food I drank 4-5 ice cream shakes a day, bowls and bowls of ice cream, Nestle's milks of banana's, vanilla, 3-4 cans of boost and I went from 165 to 210 during that 4 months. Also and here is a biggie hint, I ate a half watermelon everyday. Has that old vitamin (Lycopene) that doc's are now figuring out that helps fight cancer. Gave me the water I needed also and is a natural stool softner for me and I love ice cream and watermelon so seemed like a wise idea to me. LOL. Boost has many many vitamins in it so that really helps. Now while I am talking about vitamins I asked my onc, if I take vitamins during chemo can you for sure tell me that the vitamins will not help to heal cancer cells like it does good cells. He said and I quote, no, I cant tell you for sure that it will not help cancer cells to come back. Well, Boost is made to help your system with vitamins so that is all I used. After chemo stopped yes then I went on to a multi-vitamin called Miracle 2000 wich just seem to have a good balance but also had high seleium which is good to fight cancer cells. Got it at GNC. During chemo you do not want to eat thin skin fruit. Like apples, grapes, and such. The dirt and pesticides can lay under the skin so if you have to eat them make sure they are cooked. Eat lots of bananas, cantalope, watermelon and thick skinned fruit. All meat should be well done and please eat more fish than red meat. When your counts are down from chemo you can get any infection there is and then some. After I could eat I had plenty of cottage cheese with green olives. Lots of salads, veggies, carrots, and made up for 53 years of not eating veggies LOL my mom loved it.
5. Drink one gallon of water everyt day. Each time you drink a glass think to yourself I am washing my cancer away. I am washing my cancer away. Positive mind picks up where the oncs leave off. I told myself that Cancer was a temporary inconvience and I believed it.
6. Lots and lots of green tea. Hot with orange blossom honey in it. Very tasty. Would drop a peppermint or spearmint candy in it now and then. At night I couldnt sleep like most of you so I would have a big cup of sleepy time tea then take my sleeping pill. Well after awhile you condition your body to go hmmmm sleepy time tea , lights out. Got off the sleeping pills that way. Condition your mind and body to work for you not the cancer.
They also have a Lipton Green Tea out now. Its a cold drink that has citrus in it and is very tasty. Remember Green Tea, GOOD.
7. Your body heals best when you sleep so sleep away. I would get up in the morning so I could go lay on sofa and take a nap. Buy a big screen TV and rent lots and lots of movies. Take care of yourself, make yourself the number one priority in your life for a change. When you get better you can pick up where you left off or maybe change your life altogether.
8. A pet is always a good caregiver. Will lay with you and give you something in your heart that will comfort you 24/7.
9. Walking. When you can force yourself to walk and help them muscles. My wife and I would walk miles and miles when I could get up. Better to throw up outside than in the house anyway. By the way, after all this I am not on oxygen either and I believe its cause I walked alot even when it hurt.
Well in closing this is not a commercial, ad or a must do. This is what I did cause I wanted too. I might die from a truck, a horse bucking me off, maybe a heart attack but I WILL NOT DIE FROM CANCER.
Take care and God Bless,
Feel free to ask me a question but ask it here where everyone can read it.
Judy M. reacted to Tom Galli in Introducing myself
Good questions about breathing. I have one remaining lung that was treated 3 times for tumors (two by chemo and one by CyberKnife). Each tumor area is scar tissue so I have about 38% of normal lung capacity. I am as active as I can be. I can't walk distances without a rest and hills give me problems. Aerobic exercise is out of the question. Thankfully, I do not have emphysema but because of the several surgical repairs to my airway and stent insertions, I have a very sensitive area of scar-like tissue in my airway that is quite reactive. I get an asthma-like reaction in the spring and fall pollen season and that scar tissue is not well supplied by blood vessels. Consequently, I am very susceptible to catching the flavor of the week cold or flu.
But, I am a worst case example. I served in the Army with a soldier who had one lung removed as a result of a combat wound. He participated in all physical training and field problems and was combat deployable. We were also much younger.
Your tumors are small and if CyberKnife works -- and it will -- you will have hardly any lasting effect on your aerobic capacity. You should be able to enjoy your active lifestyle.
Stay the course.
Judy M. reacted to BridgetO in Newby to cancer
Welcome Karin. I'm so sorry for the loss of your sister.
I too was diagnosed when I felt fine. I had a routine CT scan as a followup for an unrelated cancer, and a small slow-growing nodule was found. in my right lung. I had surgery and it was diagnosed as adenocarcinoma stage 1a. I didn't need chemo and I'm also feeling fine.
I know first-hand how difficult it can be to be a survivor. I've had 3 unrelated cancers, one of them rare, stage 3 and aggressive. For several years after that, I was living day by day and being grateful for that, but not making any long term (or even medium term) plans, because I didn't think I was going to live long. I was 5 years from the end of treatment on that one, NED, and finally getting to the point of (almost) not being anxious when I had my routine twice yearly CTs for surveilance and believing in my long (or at least medium) term survival, when this lung cancer appeared out of nowhere.
My perception of myself, life, and time is really different than it was pre-cancer. I've come to see cancer as an interesting journey. I've learned a lot, including about myself. I've heard people say they were grateful for having cancer because of what it taught them. I'm definitely NOT one of those people. I'd give up all of what I've learned and all of these "interesting" experiences in exchange for not having had cancer. But, since that's not possible, I'm doing what I can with it (most days at least) and maintaining a sense of curiousity about it and also gratitude for each day and for my experiences.
I'm now in Santa Fe, accompanying my spouse who's on business here. I'm ready to go out this morning and have some new experiences.
I'm hanging in there and you can, too.
Best wishes to you, Karin
Judy M. reacted to Chuck Maniscalco in Thriving With Cancer
Thriving With Cancer
A year ago, I was the healthiest 60-something year-old person I knew. Worked out every day; ate well; kept my weight down. My blood work-ups from my annual physicals were suitable for framing. Then, the bomb hit. In October 2016, I was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer. I had thoracic surgery, and due to the recovery from that plus the pain from the disease itself, I was on a hefty dose of opiate medications. For the rest of that year, I was pretty much a pain-ridden, groggy-headed vegetable.
Lung Cancer Death Sentence?
But, fortunately for me, that is not the end of my story, just the beginning. For anyone who knows about this disease, my diagnosis used to be a death sentence, and frankly still is for many, many people. I, however, had the good fortune to have tested positive for a genetic mutation that could be treated with an oral medication called Tarceva; more effective than chemo and with fewer and less severe side effects. I started on this medication on November 1, 2016. Before updating you on my status, let me digress just a bit.
My Unwanted Intimacy with Lung Cancer
It is my great un-fortune to have considerable history with lung cancer. I held my mother’s hand 8 years ago when she took her last breath after her bout with this disease. More recently, just 3 years ago, I held my little sister’s hand when she too succumbed to this miserable malady. And so, now it’s my turn. I am now 5 months into my treatment, and pretty much back into my normal life. At the same point in time for them, my mother was dead, and my sister was desperately trying a variety of chemotherapy cocktails, to no avail. So, what is different today?
The Foundations for a New Approach to Treatment
The difference today can be traced back to Richard Nixon (off all people), who declared a war on cancer way back in 1971 and funded significant research efforts to fight this war. I never thought I’d be thanking Nixon for anything, but he has my gratitude. The difference is also due to Craig Venter and Francis Collins, who sequenced the human genome in the early 2000s. And, the difference is due to thousands of researchers since then who’ve utilized the foundational research that resulted from these efforts and designed whole new approaches to treatment for cancer.
When my mother was diagnosed 8 years ago, she had one option for treatment: chemo. When my sister was diagnosed 4 years ago, she had two options: chemo, or targeted therapy for a couple of gene mutation. When I was diagnosed, lung cancer treatment was already in the midst of a revolution. Chemotherapy, the go-to approach for all advanced lung cancer not that long ago, is the choice only half of the time today. The other half of lung cancer cases are being treated by either targeted treatment (like my own), or immunotherapy, both of which are far, far superior.
So, I am the beneficiary of research. Pure and simple. The team of people who are caring for me at Lurie are fabulous, but it is the research that led to targeted treatments that is the key to my life.
Where to Next?
With a need and desire to do something with my gratitude, I spent time with Dr. Platanias, who heads up The Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, and he told me about OncoSET. This, my friends, is research that will lead to the next revolution in cancer treatment: PERSONALIZATION. If you haven’t already read the summary of this effort on this page, please do. Treatment of many diseases, cancer included, will become one-to-one. Each of us treated for exactly our unique profile. I believe it, but more importantly, so do those who truly know what they are talking about. I’m in the process of sending over a hefty donation of money to jump-start the lung cancer part of this program, and am participating in the research with my own data. I will update you on what I learn about myself through this process.
Thriving with Cancer? Really?!
When I started this note, I told you that a year ago, I was the healthiest person I knew. A year later, I am the healthiest person I know, who happens to have cancer. It’s not SURVIVING, it’s THRIVING. And, I have research to thank. I can think of no better place to invest your support, so please join me in giving to this worthy effort. Our children and their children with thank us, even if we’re not Nixon or Venter.
Judy M. reacted to Mally in Introducing myself
Ive had 3 cancers but different to you ladies and it was on surveillance scans for my sarcoma cancer that they saw a nodule that had grown in my lung and it turned out to be a primary cancer so ive had surgery and now chemo and the sarcoma was treated with radiation for 5 weeks and then 2 surgeries and that was going on 5 yrs ago so ill still be checked up to 10 yrs for sarcoma because its notorious for recurrence
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Judy M. got a reaction from Mally in Introducing myself
Thanks to everyone who replied. I would have responded sooner but thought I'd get notification on my phone and didn't see it. BridgetO we really have a lot in common. I also had cervical cancer many years ago, but was found while still in situ so surgery was the only treatment required. Then stage 1 breast cancer a year ago and now stage IV lung cancer. Tom, your comment about my treatment is very encouraging. Thank you so much.Skmcornett will be good to have a buddy in this treatment. I've not had chemo previously so will be new to me. My doctor also told me the chemo would be mild and I shouldn't have very bad side effects. From what I've read the major treatment is the cyberknife radiation and the chemo is just to keep the cancer from spreading. Do you know when you'll be starting your treatment? I don't have a date yet. I'm seeing my radiology oncologist on Monday. So thankful I found this group.
God's blessings to each of you.
Judy M. reacted to Susan Cornett in Introducing myself
Good morning, Judy. You and I are walking a similar path for lung cancer. I was diagnosed with stage IV adenocarcinoma last spring after a lobectomy. I followed with four rounds of cisplatin/alimta. Regular screening just found a recurrence in a lymph node in my chest, so I'm preparing to start 6 weeks of concurrent radiation and chemo (carboplatin/taxol). I'm told the chemo won't be as rough as it was last year.
Please keep us posted on your progress.
Judy M. reacted to BridgetO in Introducing myself
Welcome! I'm a breast cancer survivor (Stage 1), too. I also am a survivor of a clear cell cervical cancer (Stage 3b, grade 3). The lung cancer is the most recent, Stage 1 adenocarcinoma. For it, I had a lobectomy and don't need further treatment at this time.
For my cervical I had concurrent chemo and radiation plus additional carbo/taxoterre afterwards. Because my gut was radiated and not my lungs, the effects may be quite different. I had some unpleasant times during my treatment, but stayed well enough to drive myself to my treatments.
Hang in there and best wishes to you.
Judy M. reacted to Tom Galli in Introducing myself
Welcome here. Sounds exactly like the right treatment plan. CyberKnife finally eradicated a stubborn tumor 10 years ago and did the trick for me. The post CyberKnife chemo is also standard fare to ensure killing any cells that may be circulating through the blood stream. Here is information on treating lung cancer with radiation that may be useful.
I hope your treatment progresses smoothly.
Stay the course.