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Blog Comments posted by Steff

  1. Susan - I echo your and Tom's thoughts - my mom says all of the time...I didn't beat lung cancer to die from this crap! lol

    I've been lucky enough to work from home too.  I've come to absolutely love it and dread the day I must return to a physical office and coworkers (who aren't the furry, 4 legged type).  As a part of management, I have had a voice in what our "new normal" will look like.  My state has 4 phases of start-up, each County is considered a separate entity (apparently COVID doesn't cross county lines!).  My county just entered Phase 2 (don't ask what that all means because I have no idea!), but it does mean that we are getting closer to going back to "normal" in a month or so.  Now that I have a general timeline, my anxiety has peaked.  I feel that if I am forced back into my physical office, I have to choose between my job and hugging my parents.  I hate that this is a choice we have to make not only for ourselves but our loved ones.  While I am less worried about myself or husband contracting the virus, our isolation is driven by our need to see our family. 

    Although my concern has not been related to recreational activities at this point, I have given some thought as to what future concerts and similar large events will look like.  I'm scared to think about it because my mom and my favorite thing to do is go to concerts.  She has also gotten into the local non-professional hockey team in her town.  I got her season tickets this year (prior to COVID) because she had so much fun with her friends at the games last year.  I am sort-of hoping that the season will be cancelled so my mom isn't torn as to whether she should go or not.  I really wish you had a crystal ball so you can tell us what to expect and what to do! lol

  2. Danielle,

    As always you have eloquently put into words how I feel every freaking day!  Thank you!  

    My to-do list is sometimes the most satisfactory thing I have during my day (especially since I gave up "bad carbs" at the beginning of the year! lol).  My to-do list is the only thing I have control over most days.  And although, 4 years into this, the to-do list has less to do with cancer related stuff (right now anyway), I feel it is still my way to have some control over the crazy life of a lung cancer caregiver/advocate.  

    I have an aunt that always tells me to get some sleep or, take care of myself, when her idea of taking care of herself is heavy drinking.  She always says she is there if I need any help, but it's only help that she wants to give when it is convenient for her.  Her way of helping is to text me late at night (when she's inebriated) to tell me thinks like "I think your dad needs to go to a rest home so your mom can focus on herself" or "Your parents need to sell their house to get something smaller", and the list goes on and on and on and on....  On one hand, I sometimes feel closed off because our family and support system is tiny (2 aunts is all), but on the other hand, I only have 2 other people telling me to get some sleep.  No matter what the situation, managing the "do gooders" in our life is a full-time job in and of itself!

    Your support for your mom and dad is so similar to mine that it is scary.  We are 2 peas in a pod and I am thankful for you every day.  

    Take care, my friend, (or don't, do what you need to!)

  3. Tom,

    I am sorry for the loss of your friend.  It sounds like she lived a life we all should strive for.  That being said, thank you for this.  Living a full life DESPITE lung cancer isn't something I would have ever accepted 1 year ago for my mom.  Accepting that we will likely only ever hear "Your cancer is stable" and never hear "There is no evidence of disease" has also been hard for me to except.  But hearing stories like this and meeting wonderful folks at the HOPE Summit has helped me to begin to come to acceptance.  My mom and I's daily phone conversations have turned from lengthy discussions about lung cancer to what creation did she work on or what kind of shenanigan did my dad cause.  It's a much needed break for the both of us.  I appreciate hearing how 2 tenured lung cancer survivors talked about all things "life" instead of all things "lung cancer".  So once again, thank you.  Your post put a smile on my face and solidified that it is okay to go on with life.

    Take Care,


  4. Susan,

    I often think about how things might be if the roles were reversed and I was the cancer patient, not my mom.  I always wish that I could be the one who had gotten cancer, not my mom. She has enough to deal with with all of her other medical issues and taking care of my dad.  But then I really think that my mom would probably worry even more if her only child were the one with cancer.  I couldn't even imagine having to tell my parents that I have cancer.  You are a brave woman to not only confront your battle head on, but also to try to soften the blow for your parents.  And it sounds like you are lucky to have Neil!  I have a very small family too - no siblings or children either.  It's pretty much just my parents and I (my husband isn't as supportive!).  I understand the stress that comes with a small family unit and how we try to soften the blow for any type of bad news.  I am so sorry you are having to battle this recurrence and I am as equally as sorry that you had the stress of sharing your news with your parents.  Sometimes I don't know which is worse.  

    I hope that your treatment begins quickly so you can get this bout done and over with!  I am thinking of you and your family, sending hugs and awaiting to start my happy dance for you.

    Take Care,


  5. Susan,

    I read your post a few days ago and it really hit me, but I didn't have the words or thoughts of how I wanted to reply since I am not the cancer survivor and don't want to make everything about me.  But I too, as a care advocate for my mom, feel the nagging thoughts in my everyday activities.  And honestly, I think you all do so much better in dealing with those nagging thoughts than I do.  I will use my mom as an example...I speak to her everyday via phone.  Yesterday happened to be the first day we did not talk about cancer, how she is feeling, upcoming appointments, etc for nearly a year.   I had decided after reading your post that I would not be the one to bring up cancer in our phone visits unless something major was going on (I really had to look at what I consider to be MAJOR because I think EVERYTHING is MAJOR!!!). I realized that I was probably putting my nagging thoughts onto her and that is the last thing she needs.  And voila, when I did not bring up cancer she did not either! So, although I cannot help with any "words of wisdom" in regard to dealing with nagging thoughts (since I totally suck at it!!!), I want to let you know that you are not alone. And I also want to say thank you...although I am sure it wasn't your intention, you helped me to realize how I can be unintentionally placing my baggage onto my mom when I really try hard not to.

    I hope that those nagging thoughts lessen for you and for all survivors.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Take Care,


  6. Thank you, Danielle.

    Thank you for putting so eloquently everything that I feel and everything that I don't know how to say (or don't want to say). I personally thrive with schedules and routines. Anything out of the ordinary puts me in a fury and I want to melt. My mom's cancer feeds my fury daily!  I typically want to punch people when they tell me to make sure I am taking care of myself. Your statement "so much of what we really want for self-care is actually just a return to routine" hits the nail directly on its head.  There is no better way to describe the joyous and often tumultuous job of care giving. Thank you, thank you. I am crying because someone else "gets it" and has so perfectly written what so many of us feel. 

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