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dianew

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  1. I haven't posted in so long, that I am not sure how the new site works. I can't find my signature to update it, but suffice it to say I am still stable. Please let me know if I've done something really wrong or posted in the wrong area. Two months ago during my six month check up my oncologist mentioned that with one exception (me), every single one of her female lung cancer patients was a never smoker. Yesterday I had cataract surgery. Because I am on oxygen 24/7, and it is difficult for me to lay flat for any length of time, I was sitting up chatting with the anesthesiologist while waiting for the eye surgeon. He asked me about my lung cancer history, and of course his first question was, disappointingly, “were you a smoker?”. After explaining that I had quit smoking 18 years ago I went on to fill him in on all the relevant up-to-date information I could, about the increased number of never or non-smokers diagnosed, the lack of funding, the lack of early detection for all kinds of reasons, including ignorance in the medical community which can make just getting dx difficult. What bothered me most was how surprised and uninformed he seemed to be about it all. He was polite and very receptive, and hopefully took some of what I said to heart, but he was young (probably late 30s) and I would have expected him to be more in touch with the reality. I know awareness has come a long way, but it seems there are many just not getting the word. dianew
  2. Hi Rockygirl and welcome - although I'm sorry you had reason to find us. I was diagnosed 2a in 1998. I had surgery to remove my left lung, and no chemo or radiation. I'm not sure what type of surgery you had (they now have VATS, but that wasn't done in '98) - but whatever type you had it takes a long time to completely recover. First, depression is not unusual. Being hit with a lung cancer diagnosis is a pretty big deal and knocks most of us for a loop. I was told I was completely cured and to go live my life. Easy for them to say! For me I'm not sure what was worse, the fear or the depression. If you think anti-depressants might help - don't hesitate to talk to your doctor. As for the fear - that just takes time. I think it took me most of 4 years to really get over most of it. Getting over the surgery was, thankfully, faster - but although I was feeling pretty good at 6 months, I truly was not 100% until almost a year out. Be kind to yourself, you've been through a lot! You will get back to normal (perhaps a new normal), but nothing take the place of time. I lost my entire lung and eventually could do as much after as I could before the surgery - but as I said, that came slowly over the course of the first year. Please come back and let us know how you are doing.
  3. Usagi - welcome. I'm glad you found us, but am so sorry you are having to go through this. You didn't mention what chemo drugs they are giving you. Everyone is different, and while some will tolerate one pretty well, the next person will struggle a little more. I also have squamous, and started off with Cisplatin/Etoposide. I tried everything, but nothing really helped. I was finally switched over to Carboplatin/Taxol and did very well on that. There are a lot of other anti nausea drugs for you to try as well, and I would not hesitate to talk to your doctor about giving them a shot. I do know one thing that is important is not to wait until you are nauseated to take the meds -- you want to stay on top of it if at all possible, so I was told it was best to take the medications on a regular schedule. That did seem to help. Drinking lots of fluids helped as well - although it was sometimes hard to do. For some reason I couldn't handle just water, but I could handle a very very watered down orange juice. I would try anything that sounds appealing to you, and hopefully you can hit on something that will help and you can sip on to keep hydrated. It really does help. I can't personally speak to the problem with the esophagus - although it is very common. When I had my left lung removed on my first diagnosis, my esophagus moved so when I had radiation with my 2nd diagnosis the radiation beam missed it. There are lots of people here who suffered with that, and hopefully someone will have some good advice. You need to take really good care of yourself, and don't hesitate to let your doctor know what is going on. Treatment is not easy, but it can be made more tolerable. If you haven't already found it, you might check out www.cancergrace.org as well. Please come back and let us know how you are doing.
  4. Michelle - I can't think of anything nicer than getting a quilt someone has made for you! What a special gift. Are you taking classes? or are you teaching yourself? I just love quilts, and am in awe of anyone who can make one. Our weather has been crazy as well - day before yesterday it was windy, rainy, and in the 50s - yesterday it was sunny, hot and almost 90! I'm sure I shouldn't complain, but a little less extreme would be nice Supposed to be really warm again today, but then it's supposed to drop back into the 60s. Not much planned today except for a dental appointment (can't get too excited about that). I would like to do some shopping, but the heat makes it much harder for me to breathe so I think I will probably just hang out around here today. I'd love to open the house up - but unfortunately all the allergens seem to be out in full force. I hope everyone has a good Tuesday and for all those going to the Summitt, a safe trip.
  5. Michelle - thanks for opening the air. I'm sorry your ankle is still hurting so much. I never broke mine, but only sprained it badly, and I remember how long it took for that to heal - I can't imagine how much worse a break must be. I hope it gets better really soon. It is cold and rainy here - 50 something with a low of 36 tonight - and then next Wednesday/Thurs they are calling for mid 80s . . . much too drastic a change. I think I just have to accept the fact that I will have to keep both my summer and winter clothes out for awhile longer! We are going camping at the coast for a week the middle of May, and although it will just be nice to get away for a few days whatever the weather - a little sun would sure be welcome. Have a safe weekend everyone.
  6. We are having rain this weekend too - no sun in sight until sometime next week. I have to root for the Portland Trailblazers - my sons would disown me if I didn't. I don't think they've won much of anything since 1976 - but I guess it's true that hope springs eternal. My youngest son takes it all much too seriously in my opinion. If they win he's in a great mood and fun to be around - if they don't Football season is the most competitive here - my two oldest sons are die hard Dallas fans, and the youngest is just as fanatical about the 49ers. Makes it interesting! I am planning to work most of the weekend, but that is only because I want to take off the better part of next week off once the sun shows up again -- so I'm not complaining. I keep putting away more and more of my winter clothes, but it has still been so cool I can't quite get rid of them all yet.
  7. Michelle, sounds like you have the kind of job I like I hadn't ever thought of garlic - might give that a try this year! I sure envy you the room to plant corn. There is nothing quite like just picked fresh corn on the cob!
  8. Well late as usual . . . Cindy, I have been trying to solve your joke all day . . . my brain is just too slow. What do you call 4 rabbitts hopping backward? Cool and rainy here - we are actually getting some thunder which is a little unusual for us this time of year. The dogs really don't like it much. The sun is supposed to be back next week and I sure hope the weatherman is right. This is always the time of year I wish I had a greenhouse. I am anxious to start planting tomatoes etc. and it is still too early. We used to plant all kinds of vegetables, but the farmers' markets have such good produce that we only do tomatoes, some peppers, and herbs - also Walla Walla onions when I can find them. Any gardeners out there - what do you like to plant?
  9. It is absolutely beautiful Michelle!
  10. Cindy - I think I knew this all along, but wanted to delude myself
  11. Eric - great to hear from you and thank you for opening the air! Sounds to me like you and Liz are a great pair and seem to enjoy so many of the same things. I could not be happier for you. Our weather here has been wonderful as well, although the rain is back this week. It is supposed to snow in the mountains, so that's a good thing as it has been too dry and without the snowpack wildfires are a much bigger problem. Last summer I was stuck in the house for weeks because of the fires - so I'm hoping for clearer air this year. We are planning a cross-country road trip this summer. It's been 40 years since we've done that and I am really excited. The hard part is deciding where to go - there are soooo many choices! Had my follow-up appointment with my oncologist this morning, and I have now graduated to seeing her every 6 months instead of 3, and for the time being no more scans unless there seems to be a reason - or I feel I need one. Hooray!!!
  12. Sharon - welcome to the club none of us ever wanted to belong to, but I am glad you found us. You have obviously had quite a rough road to diagnosis. Good for your regular doctor to get you in for a biopsy without delay. It is good news that you are almost finished with your treatment, although at the same time that is when the scanxiety sets in waiting to find out how well the treatment worked. You don't say specifically, but it sounds like you have handled the treatment pretty well, and hopefully the results will be excellent and you will be able to have the surgery. I can't imagine how stressful it must be to go through this as a single mom with a young son. I will be keeping you and your family in my thoughts for the best possible results. Please come back often and left us know how you are doing.
  13. Hi Karin - Unfortunately I think the symptoms your Dad is having can be hard to pin down. For what it's worth I suffered from both during chemo, but I was on a more standard type of chemo treatment and not Tarceva so I can't speak to that. We do have members who are/have been on Tarceva, and hopefully they can shed some light. For me, I started freezing during chemo - and although it is better, it has never gone away - even on a 100 degree day I don't leave the house without a sweater. I also struggled with major water retention, and just like being cold, it got better after treatment was done, but it still seems like I have more of a tendency toward it now than I ever did before chemo. Sorry I can't be of more help. I hope his doctors will be able to hit on a solution that makes your Dad more comfortable.
  14. Hi Michelle - good for you! I love quilts and always thought making them would be such fun - but I never learned to sew. I'm super impressed - and sounds like you have the winters there to enjoy lots of beautiful quilts! It is trying to warm up here and I think it's made it into the 60s most days lately - but the rain is back (which will be good come summer). How is your foot?
  15. Hopefully you've mentioned the flushing to your doctor. Most people get steroids when they have chemo and if that's the case, some people do have an allergic reaction. I'm glad to hear that it has been a good start otherwise.
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