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Everything posted by never2late

  1. 1/21 - CT Scan.  Still NED

  2. Another runner! I think it is great that there are more and more survivor's who run. I find it helps me with lung function and the mental side of life. I was not a runner before my diagnosis. After surgery, I started walking and gradually built up to start running 6 months later. Been running ever since. I sometimes wonder what kind of runner I would have been had I run earlier in life. But things happen for a reason and I am grateful I can run and enjoy it now. I would imagine it would be somewhat frustrating to have to compare your current running with your running prior to your diagnosis. Life really does develop into a "new normal" after lung cancer but that doesn't mean you don't chase your dreams - just the opposite. It gives me the motivation to go out and accomplish things like the Canyon de Chelly Ultra (as a side note, after this race I didn't want to "waste" all the training it took so I signed up for an endurance race to see how many miles I could cover in 12 hours. I managed to complete 45 miles in that time period). I suspect you are asking how I built up my mileage/speed after cancer surgery and not related specifically to the race. They actually, in thinking about it, were nearly the same. I focused on the distance to be covered and not so much the time (but like you, time is always in the back of your mind). Do you have a training plan specific to a short term goal? I know you want to do Boston again (congrats on your previous one!) but it is important to set smaller goals on the way. Most people run a 5k and more before they do a marathon. You are basically starting a new running career. While I focused on running the entire distance scheduled in the training plan, I also did what I needed to do to finish it (slow down, walk, break). I'm not sure what issues you are dealing with in your training but I used to be scared to push myself. I was afraid that I would run too fast, get out of breadth and pass out So when I wasn't running, I practiced holding my breath as long as I could to reinforce that I wouldn't pass out and die if I ran out of breath. It also helped with overall breathing. Once I accepted that I could push myself past my comfort zone and realized that I would survive, I started making better progress. Sometimes thinking outside the box comes in handy. I did get faster through the early years but remember "faster" is relative - what's fast for me may not be fast for you. I wear a shirt like the one in this article on every run I do. It helps promote the cause and nobody asks me why I am so slow . I won't tell you how slow I am but will tell you that I shaved off approximately 4 minutes a mile over the years. The last 5 years it has gotten harder to get faster so I have focused more on the utras where I can enjoy covering the distance without as much worry on the time. One thing I did in regards to the race was go the gym and I wish I had done some of this when I first started running. The increased leg strength really helped out as did the light upper body work outs. When you have a compromised respiratory system, it helps to strengthen other areas to compensate. Good luck on your quest for Boston - it is a worthy goal to strive for. Keep us up on your progress! Jerry
  3. Following is an article written about my continued running since diagnosed with lung cancer 12 and half years ago. I hope it provides a little hope and encouragement to others. Lung Cancer Survivor Completes Ultra-Marathon It took 9 hours, 36 minutes and 19 seconds for Raleigh native Jerry Walton to traverse sand, water crossings and a daring climb up and down a canyon to complete the 55K (34.2 mile) 2018 Canyon de Chelly Ultra-Marathon in Chinle, Arizona. While this annual ultra-marathon is a once in a lifetime experience for those who are able to complete it, Jerry was more than up for the challenge. Diagnosed with lung cancer more than twelve years ago at only 52 years of age, Jerry has already faced both the physical and emotional toll of this disease. During this year’s race, as he does for all of his races, Jerry proudly wore a running shirt that said “Never Give Up” across the back. “I’m happy I was able to complete the race, that my commitment to the training and preparation paid off and that I never gave up,” said Jerry. “When I crossed the finish line, after 9-and-a-half hours of running, I really felt like I just wanted to keep running forever.” Jerry was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2006 after he requested a chest x-ray during a routine physical. “Those are some scary words to hear from your doctor – you have lung cancer – particularly when you had no symptoms,” Jerry said. On March 1, 2006, he had surgery to remove the upper lobe of his left lung and then completed four rounds of chemotherapy from May through July. “After surgery and chemo, I knew I needed to do something to take better care of myself,” he said. “I weighed 235 pounds, had no energy, and I needed to do something to keep my lungs as healthy as possible.” Jerry started off by just walking to the mailbox and back. “I did my first ¼ mile run on a treadmill in September 2006,” he said. “I haven’t quit running since then.” Jerry was one of only 150 runners chosen by lottery out of more than 600 entries to participate in this year’s event through the heart of the Navajo reservation. The annual event is the only time non-natives can be alone in the Canyon without a Navaho guide and consists of running 17 miles up Canyon de Chelly and a run up Bat Canyon trail, 1,200 feet high from the canyon floor to the summit and back. “I started training in March of this year,” said Jerry. “I had no time goal for the race, only to finish it within the allotted time (approximately eleven hours). The longest distance I ran in training was 26.7 miles, and my highest monthly total was 192 miles.” In an effort to prepare for Arizona’s elevation of more than 5,500 feet, Jerry traveled to Boone, NC the week before the event and ran and hiked some of the higher mountain trails. “I think it helped, if not physically then mentally, in my preparation,” he said. Jerry always encourages individuals to say “hi” to him on the street whenever they see him running, and he is committed to continuing his encouragement for people to “Never Give Up.” “When I was diagnosed twelve years ago,” Jerry said, “there were only three options to treat lung cancer, at best: surgery, chemo and radiation. Today they treat some lung cancers with a pill! New treatments and therapies are being explored every day. We have a long way to go, but we have also come a long way.” “Never Give Up also applies to survivorship,” he added. “It may take a little time, but we can find and establish a ‘new normal’ with a greater appreciation for life around us.” “I’m proof that lung cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence,” Jerry said. “With earlier detection and proper treatment, survivors can lead a new normal life – and even run an ultra-marathon!" Jerry has been a lung cancer advocate and volunteer of the North Carolina Lung Cancer Initiative for more than five years. He participates in health fairs and other events where he is able to share his story and raise awareness for lung cancer.
  4. I've had a "Bandy" for 7 years now. It is not the original one I received as I am known to give them away to others when the need arises. I've had conversations with survivors and care givers looking for support/encouragement and I have given them the band off my wrist. I tell them that this organization is an excellent resource for them and can tell they appreciate the gesture. I recently gave away my last "Bandy" and felt so lost without one - it has become a part of me that reminds me of my journey and the support I received from Katie and others here. Fortunately I just received a new batch of "Bandys" and am proudly wearing one, ready to give it away when the right time comes. If you look closely, you can see my "Bandy" on my left wrist!
  5. Hello Truke, I read your post and saw a little of myself in your words. I like your attitude! Sorry you have to go through all this - waiting for biopsy and results is certainly a stressful time. Thoughts and prayers going out to you. Please keep in touch during your journey - this groups was a tremendous help as I started mine.
  6. never2late

    7 Years!

    It just occurred to me that I have not visited the board in quite sometime - almost a year! What prompted me to remember is that on 3/1/13 I celebrated 7 years as a lung cancer survivor. At times it seems as if it was just yesterday that I heard those words from my doctor - you have lung cancer - and now it's been 7 years. I was truly fortunate that my cancer was found when it was and my recovery has been as successful as it has been. I'm still running - completed a half marathon (13.1 miles) in the Mohave desert last October and have now run close to 7,000 miles since my surgery. I do believe that exercise has benefited me tremendously in my recovery and my present good quality of life. I hope I can run for many more years. Best of luck to all other survivors and those fighting this disease. I hope to see you all again next year, if not sooner. Jerry
  7. Following is a story I posted recently in another on-line forum: 5 YEAR/5000 MILE EXTENDED RUNNING LIFE Big moments in my life and I had to share …… On March 1, 2011, I will become a 5 year lung cancer survivor. Sometime in April, 2011, I will run my 5,000th mile……… On February 7, 2006, I was diagnosed with lung cancer. On March 1, 2006, I had surgery to remove the upper lobe of my left lung. My oncologist talked about a study being conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of post operative chemotherapy for early stage lung cancers (mine was eventually classified as Stage 1b). I chose to participate. However, on the day I was to start chemo, it was discovered that my heart had gone into atrial fibrillation. I was put on medication for a “weak heart” and went through 4 rounds of chemo between April and June. If you had asked me what kind of shape I was in prior to all this, I would have told you I was in good physical health. I didn’t drink and had quit smoking 7 years earlier. In addition to my full time job I had a part-time job that required a lot of lifting and walking. What a difference 4 months can make in your life. At the end of June I was still on heart medication, diagnosed with mild COPD and couldn’t walk to the mailbox and back without getting out of breath. I had no energy and was scared to death of what my future looked like. I also weighed 220 pounds. I knew I had to do something to improve my health. I did not have a history of being any kind of runner. I played around with it a little back in the late 70’s but was never consistent. I thought maybe running would help restore some of my physical strength and, more importantly, improve/maintain my lung function. In July of 2006, I started walking……. At first it was just to the mailbox and back and then a little more each day. As I walked more and more, breathing got easier and a crazy idea occurred – I should try to complete a 5K. On September 11, 2006, I did my first ¼ mile “run” on a treadmill and, to make a long story short – at the end of October I ran that 5K. Well, one goal leads to another and I made ever increasingly longer goals. Since then I have run several more 5K’s, 10K’s, a 15K, several 5 and 10 milers and I have completed 6 half marathons. On November 14, 2010, I ran the OBX Marathon at the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Thank you for reading this far and please stick with me just a little longer. My cancer was discovered purely by accident (a requested x-ray during a routine physical) and at an early enough stage that treatment and recovery odds were much greater. I’m not usually one to promote causes but occasionally, because of my experience, I feel an obligation to address the issues of lung cancer and the need for additional funding for research. Lung cancer kills more than 160,000 people annually – more people than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer but approximately 60% of the people diagnosed today had either quit or never smoked. If you smoke, please stop. The sooner you quit, the sooner your body can start to heal itself. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. Please support your local cancer groups and lung associations through donations and participation in the many running races sponsored by these groups. I’m proof that lung cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence. With early detection and proper treatment, survivors can lead a “new normal” life - and even run a marathon.
  8. Three years and 9 months since removal of my ULL for stage 1b lung cancer. Last CT scan was 12/03/09 and still NED!! And yes, I did get nervous as the time for the scan drew closer (but notably less than in the past I still lurk here every now and then and occasionally post but life has gotten busy again (that is a good thing!). If any of you remember, I started running after I had cancer - and I am still running today! (http://www.lungevity.org/l_community/viewtopic.php?t=33970) I find myself being more of an advocate for lung cancer research now than in the past. When I run in various races (and on runs around the city), I now wear a t-shirt that proclaims my lung cancer survivor status. I hope it shows people that with early detection and proper treatment, lung cancer is not a death sentence and, within limits, we can live as normal a life as many others. It is rather interesting to see peoples response to the shirt. Some look away from you when you look at them, others just ignore it and some will acknowledge you with a nod or thumbs up. Most simply do not know how to react. I hope by wearing the shirt it at least makes people think more about lung cancer and the need to address the issues it presents.
  9. Hey Don, Thanks for response. By the way, did you ever start playing the harmonica again?
  10. Thanks, everyone, for the "welcome back" and I hope all is well with you. Life continues to go on and I think now I will "cruise" some of the other threads here - it has been awhile.....
  11. Wow - I just noticed that the last time I signed in was in February of this year! Sorry to have been away so long, even though I usually only tend to read and not post. Good news is I have no bad news to report! March 1, 2008 marked my 2 year anniversary since I underwent surgery. My last scan (12/07) was NED and my next one is not scheduled until 12/08. For those who remember, I posted my story "The Race" in the My Story section back in November of 2007 and I am happy to report that I am still running and doing well, everything considered. I've done several shorter races and recently completed my second half - marathon. I hope to do a third one this fall. So much for my update - I actually feel guilty talking about how well I am doing. I was just very lucky that my cancer was "accidentally" discovered in a relatively early stage during a routine physical (in fact, if I hadn't asked for a chest x-ray, I'm sure it would not have been found until much later, with much different results). Even though I went through surgery to remove half my left lung and 4 rounds of chemo as a preventive course, my guilty feelings come when I see what a vast majority of others have had (and continue) to endure through their journeys. My utmost respect and my daily prayers go out to each and everyone who fights the good fight in this battle. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts and feelings. I promise to be back sooner than later - Jerry
  12. Not a toy, but the present I remember the most - We lived on a mountain in Virginia (and, yes, my last name is Walton ) when I was 12. I snuck around and "peeked" at all the presents that were wrapped for me so that when I opened presents on Christmas day I found nothing new. I was greatly disappointed until my dad brought out a present he had hidden. It was a .22 rifle that I had no idea he had gotten. I still have it today, 42 years later.
  13. I wrap my presents when I buy them.....but I don't buy them until just before Christmas
  14. Hi Bruce, I had a situation very similar to yours except my tumor was approximately 6 x 6.5 cm, much larger than yours. I opted for the adjuvant chemo and don't regret it one bit. It has now been 20 months since my surgery and all scans/x-rays have shown no evidence of disease. Chemo was no walk in the park but I had few side effects (meds controlled most very well) other than hair loss and fatigue. Best wishes on your fight with this disease, no matter what course you choose. Jerry
  15. Cleaver (the Beaver's mom-for those of us old enough to remember Leave it to Beaver) Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
  16. Jussi, Your positive attitude will take you far on this journey. Please keep us informed on how things are going with you.
  17. How can you not smile and laugh after looking at this? Thanks for posting it.
  18. White meat, dark meat, gravy, stuffing.....oh, I like it all!! And bring on the cherry pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie.....
  19. never2late

    Off topic

    I so agree with you - quitting smoking was very hard for me, too! Congratulations on the beginning of a heathier life!
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