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Judi L

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    Lung cancer patient/survivor
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    Helping people and connecting with others living with lung cancer.

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  1. Thank you all for your welcoming messages. I wanted to respond to each of you directly but have not yet figured out how to do that. I’m new to blogs/forums so it’s a guessing game right now. I’m not even sure if I used the right icon to “like” each reply. My cancer was inoperable bc there were 4 tumors of varying sizes which had totally collapsed my lung...they were so intertwined that they couldn’t even be measured accurately. The diagnosis seemed to come out of nowhere...a long story. I opted for an aggressive treatment (SWAG) of chemo and radiation, simultaneously over an 8 week period...5 days/week. I’d lost my brother, mother-in-law and a few friends to LC so I wasn’t playing around. Looking back, I got through those 8 weeks like an out of body experience. I don’t think I broke down until they were over and every now and then I’ll get a flashback and wonder if that was really me needing to use my knuckle to turn on the microwave bc my finger wasn’t strong enough. One month after SWAG I began what was to be one year of immunotherapy infusions, every 3 weeks. One year turned into 2 and now I’m in year 3. They can continue as long as the cancer remains stable, my body tolerates the treatments and insurance covers it. So far, so good. After my initial treatment, the tumors shrunk dramatically although not as much as the Drs had hoped for and there were lots of complications along the way. I have radiation induced pneumonitis in one lung which has closed the bronchial tube. I developed a severe infection in a cavity that formed where a tumor had been...it took 3 months of mega doses of antibiotics for that to clear. Next came a met brain tumor...talk about scary. Gamma Knife Surgery ( not actually surgery) and a month of heavy duty steroids took care of that. Next was a pulmonary embolism...apparently fairly common with LC. After a few months on Xarelto it shrunk, only to be followed by the discovery of another brain tumor....much smaller though since I was having MRIs every other month. So...another Gamma procedure. The great news is that my brain has been clear since May 2019! There have been other minor speed bumps along the way, mostly effects of medications. WHY AM I TELLING YOU ALL THIS????? To encourage every one that there is SO much hope and to never give that up! I never imagined ever going through all this and being able to say that I’m doing well....a different kind of “well” than before but well nonetheless. I will admit that Covid has me more freaked out than the cancer. My heart goes out to Lisa not being able to see her son! I can’t wait for the day when I can hug my kids and grandchildren again. I’m fortunate to see them....outdoors, masked and 6’ apart...but in person. As the numbers go down and others are out and about, I’m even more fearful. We live at the shore so there’s an influx of people for the summer months and I won’t go near the beach or boardwalk which I’ve always loved. Home has become the only place I feel safe. NJ is definitely in a better place than many other states right now but I fear getting complacent. The stakes are too high with such damaged lungs. All of you get that for sure!! It’s crazy how I rarely talk about my “situation” and found myself rambling on to people I’ve never met. I apologize if I bored you all! Be well!
  2. Hi! My name is Judi and I’m new to this so please forgive me for not knowing what to say. I’m not even sure this is where I’m supposed to introduce myself. 🤔 I’m 73 and live in Ocean County NJ with my husband of 50 years. I was diagnosed with Squamous NSCLC in October 2017 and, needless to say, life as I knew it changed overnight. Being an optimist, my mindset was (and is) that someone survives this so why not me. I’m fortunate to have an amazing medical care team and personal support system but realize that I need a connection with others who are also living with lung cancer. Despite challenges throughout my LC journey, I’m doing well as I continue with immunotherapy. But there are moments when the enormity of LC overwhelms me, especially since Covid. I rarely let anyone see me with anything but a smile on my face, not even my doctors. So I guess that’s why I’m here....not to complain or be a downer, but to feel less alone and hopefully help others as well. Thank you for “listening” and be well! Judi 😊
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