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Found 21 results

  1. I was dx with Stage 4 non-small cell squamous lung cancer in December 2018 (on my birthday) at 47 years old. My only symptom was a swollen lymph node in my neck that didn't go away after a month. Blood work only showed a slightly elevated calcium level (should be between 8.6 and 10.4mg - I was 10.6)...normally wouldn't raise the alarm. However, I had a history of smoking, so my doc suggested a CT scan. The CT scan was from my neck to top of lungs. It showed a mass in my right lung. Doc then sent me for a biopsy of the lymph node & it showed NSCLC squamous. Next up, PET scan...was only in my lung and lymph mode. Onco put me on Keytruda because my PDL1 was 100%. Oh, the side effects were terrible. I lost 30 lbs and believed that I was close to death. At the end of 3 months, my onco did another PET scan. Now, my cancer was on my skull, shoulder, lymph nodes, adrenal glands, ovaries, hips, femurs and foot. By this time, he had gotten back my biomarker testing. I had MET amplification with 3 others, but MET amplification was high, so he put me on Crizotinib (Xalkori). During this time, I had radiation on my hips, femurs and foot. In the middle of radiation, I broke my femur (left) and foot (right). I was unable to have my femur repaired for 3 weeks. There were no painkillers to help this pain. I didn't take a shower for 3 months, because I couldn't get upstairs. I finally had my femur fixed (had rod installed) and foot was in a boot. Crizotinib started working within a week. The lump on my skull went away. I could breathe better and my lymph node was gone. I had to cut down from 2 tablets a day to one, as I did have some side effects. I had SBRT to my lung lesion and had no side effects. It shrunk my lung lesion. In 2020, my rod in my femur failed and I had to have a partial hip replacement. I'm happy to say, I have no pain anymore & wish I would have been given that option in the beginning. I also had cryoablation done on my adrenal gland. As of today, I am 22+ months stable and I'm still on Crizotinib. I only light up some in my lung and one adrenal gland. They both may still be residual inflammation from the SBRT and cryoablation. In between these past 2 years, I had pneumonia once, pain in adrenals and c-diff which required a weeks stay in the hospital. So, hold on to hope!! Get a great onco and team (preferably a bigger university hospital or cancer only center). Do as much research as you can and advocate for yourself!!
  2. Hi all, Since my other discussion thread was getting quite long and it's been 1 year since my mom started Keytruda, I decided to start a new thread here, where it might be better seen by those who are looking for information on immunotherapy. So, the 1 year update on my mom....she survived and lived to talk about it!!! She got her CT results yesterday and it was all good news....area around the cancer is stable and may look better (inflammation-wise). We have not been able to see the mass on the back of her trachea since October (2 months after beginning chemo + Keytruda). It still could be there, but it is not causing any problems. I don't know if the term NED will ever be used with her since we cannot get a perfect picture of where the mass was, so we are just using the term "stable". So, for us, "stable" is great news!!! There is a "shadow" that is showing up in her left lung that appeared out of nowhere. Her pulmonologist thinks it is most likely some inflammation or infection - he will keep an eye on it, but is not alarmed by it. Her shortness of breath still persists, she has 1 more heart test to do to see if that is the problem. If it is not, we are to the point where we will likely accept shortness of breath as a new normal for her. Luckily, her pulmonologist does not believe that Keytruda is the culprit, so we plan to stay on it as long as possible. Keytruda side effects: severe itchy skin - it drives her crazy especially at night. She currently takes Benedryl at night if itching is out of control and she has also found an Aveeno excema cream that relieves itching for a bit. Although the itching is bothersome for her, she would rather deal with it than cancer. Other side effect, but it is controlled by meds is her thyroid. She had a slow thyroid to begin with. It got slower, she just increased her meds and it is now controlled - no big deal. Docs keep an eye on it and increase/decrease thyroid med dose when needed. This time last year, I felt hopeless. My mom's lung cancer recurrence was a punch in the gut. I was heart broken when we were told that due to the location of the mass, it could not be surgically removed, nor was it recommended for the first treatment attempt to use radiation (some of the mass was in the original radiation field from her previous bout of lung cancer). So came the recommendation of Keytruda + Alimta/Carbo. I was unhappy and scared of this new "immunotherapy stuff". But this"immunotherapy stuff" is the best thing that has happened for my mom's lung cancer. If you are a newcomer to lung cancer and/or immunotherapy, do know there is hope. My mom has more hope now of surviving cancer than when she was originally diagnosed in 2015. And it is all due to continued lung cancer research and development of new treatment options. My main take away from this last year is: 1) My mom is tough as nails, 2) Even in the darkness of a lung cancer diagnosis, there is hope. Take care, Steff
  3. Tom Galli

    What of Hope*

    And, what of hope? What is the essence of it? Words inspire me. They lift my spirit and excite my soul. Especially two simple words: faith and hope. These words have a natural order. Indeed one must have faith before hope is possible. So the question becomes, what is faith? Faith is belief, conviction, an unshakable confidence, that something unseen, untouchable, or unknowable exists. I have faith my chemotherapy treatments will arrest my cancer. I cannot see them working, nor can I touch the chemicals. I cannot know they are working but my belief is strong, resolute and unshakable. I have faith. And because I have faith, hope is possible. What is the essence of hope? Hope is an expectation of a good outcome. For those with lung cancer, we hope against hope. We cling to slim odds; we rejoice at possibility despite monumental probability. Indeed, we who suffer lung cancer are hopers. And, "hope is a good thing"; "hope is maybe the best of things." Hope gives us purpose. It stiffens resolve. It creates strength to endure. Hope sustains. Without doubt, hope lifts my spirit and excites my soul. "Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be, For my unconquerable soul." I believe I shall live to enjoy the simple things, the little things, the important things. My faith in life is unshakable. I hope to live each day to find little pieces of joy. When found I shall rejoice. For the magic of life is joy. But the essence of life is faith and hope. Stay the course. *Previously posted as a blog response.
  4. Sometimes, HOPE is a kitten. Okay, okay, sure, I know, that sounds a little weird. And a little bit like a desperate attempt to pass a poetry exam. Let me explain… Hope is strong and confident. Hope can be fickle. Hope can be hard to corral, name, and predict. Hope can be ephemeral, and hope is also everlasting. Hope can be full of contradictions. Hope can take many forms, directions, shapes, and sizes. You’ve heard the expression “herding cats?” Hope is one thing that cannot be herded. It is inspired, it cannot be forced, and it is felt differently by different people. And hope, like most emotions we encounter after lung cancer has entered our lives, can have a complicated duality. An ambivalence. A way of being prickly when it doesn’t fit in our hearts, and a way of busting our hearts wide open. A way of showing up without telling us why it’s there, and staying with us, warm and fuzzy and comfortable and soft, exactly when we need it most. And that duality and ambivalence is essential to its nature. It isn’t going away. …Okay. You get it. Hope is like a kitten. I’ve gotten just about everything I can from that analogy! But, that’s not entirely what I mean. Let me explain (some more). Let me show my hand. By way of update: My mom is one of the people for whom I am a “caregiver.” She has been living with Stage IV NSCLC for a little over three years now. She was on a clinical trial of an immunotherapy medication for just over two years. She’s coming up on a year of having not been on any active treatment. She left the trial by choice, after experiencing some vague side effects that were determined to be likely due to the treatment (more on that another time). She is exhausted every moment of every day, to some extent. This woman who was always the most productive, vital, “type-A,” energetic soul I had ever met is now essentially housebound. Her profound lack of vim and vigor is the antithesis of her identity, and it has left her feeling robbed. Some days she feels like going out to lunch or running one errand; but there are usually weeks between these good days. (Side note: we have long made her medical team aware of her severe fatigue, and it was determined to likely be a result of her treatment. Because every patient and every situation is different, please always make your loved one’s medical team aware of every side effect that is experienced, especially when these interfere with your person’s quality of life!) So, with these long hard days of being stuck at home, not feeling like herself, one might imagine that she would feel glum, and downtrodden, and defeated. The answer is: of course she does! She’s human! (Trick question, with a trick answer…) See, the thing is, that isn’t ALL she feels. Nope. Lately, despite choosing to not be on treatment, and despite being overwhelmed in the way that only a very tired person who has gone through a lot can feel (I know you all understand), she has also felt…hopeful. Which reminds me: She woke up a couple days ago wanting kittens. You heard me. KITTENS. She wanted kittens in the house. Kittens. Baby cats. Catlings. Cat blossoms. Cat kids. Cat puppies. We currently have two grown cats. We worship the ground they walk on. We have had both cats and dogs in the past. Pet adoption is an important cause to us, and we tend to make a new addition to the family every 5-8 years. Following our normal timeline, we have talked about adopting kittens a few times since mom’s diagnosis in 2015. But, 10x/10, she has decided against the idea, once even as I was literally walking out the door to head to the shelter. She has been on a scale somewhere between hesitant and heartbroken each time, and each time because she did not feel she could handle the joy that a new pet brings. Let me repeat that: she felt she could not handle, or did not want to welcome, the particular joy that a new pet brings. The joy of a new pet is like Spring: It’s promise. It’s a belief in a tomorrow. It’s hope. Disclaimer, because I feel I have to make one: the decision to adopt a pet is a serious one, and should not be made lightly. We are very experienced cat owners, and we have gone through the cat-to-kitten introduction process many times over the years. In a caregiving situation, pet care should be particularly deliberately and honestly discussed, since caregivers may or may not have the ability or desire to assume those responsibilities. But, in our case, that situation could not be more perfect. I mostly live with my folks as part of my effort to help out, so I am around (and, let’s face it, more than willing) to contribute my part to Project KittenHope. At the end of the day, the kittens will become part of the whole family, owned and loved by all of us. When my mom declared that the haze had lifted and that she was ready to take this step, it was an automatic victory. It was a sign. It was hope. Thus: this week, into our lives walked a two-month old little girl cat and a two-month old little boy cat. And, yet, those of you who are here reading this understand, not needing any disclaimer. Because -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*- …one of the kittens just typed that. As I was saying: because you understand this daily tug of war, seeking and understanding hope. So, the past few days, while welcoming our new additions, I have literally been herding cats…and herding hope. It appears where it will, often when least expected, and gives its gift of easy breathing and lifted hearts. Just like the kittens. This past weekend, LUNGevity hosted their National HOPE Summit in Washington, D.C.: an annual gathering of lung cancer survivors and co-survivors (caregivers!) that is regularly the largest such meeting in the country. It is part family reunion, part medical conference, and part survivorship bootcamp: fellowship with folks who understand what the lung cancer experience feels like; experts who inform the crowd on the most cutting edge treatment and diagnostic research; and tips and tricks for living one’s best life as a lung cancer survivor or caregiver. The event leaves everyone enlightened, invigorated, and aware of information and tactics that can introduce HOPE where there may have been none. Thanks to the LUNGevity Foundation, May is officially National Lung Cancer Hope Month. We HOPE (see what I did there?) that you will join us every day this month in ongoing conversations about all the HOPE that is out there in the lung cancer field: new diagnostic tests, new medications, new genetic sequencing, new surgeries, new forms of radiotherapy, new places to turn for assistance, new clinical trials, new emphases on patient navigation, and more. (See LUNGevity.org for more of this. Seriously, it seems there is breaking news every day!) We also HOPE that you will share with us those moments, long and brief and in-between, that give YOU hope, inspiration, and a reminder of why we wake up every day to advocate for patients: for new treatments, for access to help, for better resources, for more information, and—as LUNGevity says--for a world where nobody dies of lung cancer.
  5. I posted here back in Feb, overwhelmed by juggling my husband's chemo, bills, family, fear and not knowing what would happen next. The oncologist had used the word"unique" about my husband's cancer journey several times, most recently this afternoon when he told us that yesterday's PET scan found no cancer. It has been six months and one week since he was diagnosed. Four months since his lobectomy and three months of chemo. But he is clean and clear today and we are embracing the future. I truly did not believe we would get here so please, please, have hope, have faith.
  6. Hello, my friends! I HOPE, wherever you are, that you are having a beautiful Spring! I HOPE, whatever you are up against, that you are finding support and peace in your endeavors. I HOPE, however you need, that you are finding the time to create room for yourself in your busy schedule. I HOPE, above all, that you and yours are doing well. Thanks to #LUNGevity, May is officially “Lung Cancer HOPE Month.” This particular awareness campaign places a much-needed focus on all there is to be HOPEful about in the #lungcancer world. To that end, we will be talking frequently this month about what HOPE looks like; what it feels like; what it means to you and to your loved ones involved in this lung cancer experience. Also: I had the extreme honor of attending LUNGevity’s national HOPE Summit this past weekend. For the first time, the Summit featured a separate day of sessions designed for Caregivers: the “COPE” Summit. My suitcase is still in the hall; I am still sore, sleepy, and overwhelmed: in the MOST productive and phenomenal way possible! If you have not yet attended a regional or national HOPE Summit, I could not possibly recommend it more wholeheartedly. The experience is hard to explain, other than saying it is a near-necessity for anyone touched by lung cancer: there is nothing more uplifting than being surrounded by fellow survivors, Caregivers, experts, and researchers who are ALL working through the same difficulties to reach the same goals. The sense of community is intoxicating, and the sense of forward progress in policy and knowledge is inspiring. It is part conference, part congregation, part school, part party, part reunion, part group therapy, and ALL heart. Thank-you, LUNGevity!!! I had briefly considered writing a novel-length post that would recap all of the Caregiver-specific takeaways from the weekend, but then I realized that that would be unfair: unfair to you, my friend, having to read all of that at once, and unfair to the extent of the material itself. I have plenty of talking points from the conference to share with you, all about HOPE, and since this is HOPE month…you see where I am going with this… Stay! Tuned! Let’s start conversations! Let’s put our heads together and be honest and be open and reach out. I would be honored to hear from you! To kick off this month-long conversation, our regular monthly #LCCaregiver Twitter chat will be tonight (Wednesday, 5/3) at 8pmET. You know the drill: follow the hashtag #LCCaregiver to participate. (I highly recommend using a chatroom service such as tchat.io as well. Just put tchat.io in your address bar, and enter #LCCaregiver when it asks for a hashtag). If you are not on Twitter, please join! The lung cancer support community on Twitter is large, active, and incredibly helpful. There is no need to face any of this alone! The message boards and blogs here on LCSC are profoundly comforting, and the Twitter presence of fellow advocates is a meaningful complement. For tonight’s chat, we’ll be focusing on breaking down a large question: what is the role of Caregivers in spreading and advocating for HOPE in lung cancer? One major thought I’ve had since the HOPE Summit—one major takeaway I will explain in more depth later—is that HOPE can be complicated. It can be especially complicated when the Caregiver is taking the natural backup role: we are not the patient. What are our boundaries? When should we captain the HOPE ship? When should we yield? Is it a different skill to help our loved ones be HOPEful than it is to help spread HOPE in the wider community? Think on that. The specific topics I’ll be asking about tonight are listed below. I can’t wait to “see” you tonight! Bring your popcorn and a friend (or two)! Love and thanks, Danielle Topics for #LCCaregiver Twitter Chat 5/3 What does HOPE look like to you? What brings you HOPE? What does HOPE look like in the broader cancer community? What have you done to bring HOPE to your loved one? What can we, as Caregivers, do to bring HOPE to our loved one? Is there something that we, as Caregivers, can do to bring HOPE to our loved ones with cancer? What specific actions can Caregivers take to support Lung Cancer HOPE Month? What actions are appropriate for us to take as Caregivers to promote HOPE? What do we do if we have different ideas about #HOPE than our loved ones?
  7. I discovered I have stage 4 SCLC about 3 months ago, Dec of 2016. I was told without treatment I would have approx. 2 to 4 months to live. With treatment I could live up to a year and if really lucky I could live as much as 2 years. This devastated me! I have always had a strong faith in the Lord and so does most all of my family and many of my friends. However when it has come to my cancer I seem to want to rely on facts and not faith. I have gone through depression, which some of you here on this site have helped me with greatly, but now I realize I have had trouble believing in some of my own words. I have said "I know God can heal me if He wants." I had some in my family , who I have since talked to, want to only talk about a healing or an overcoming of this cancer and me living for years. I needed them to see my side of things and acknowledge the possibility that I could die. It has not been until today after a conversation with my mom that it really hit me that I am currently unable to acknowledge the possibility that I could live. Here is, I believe, my problem. When I was told I had cancer it hit me and my family hard, especially when we just lost my father a year and a half ago and he too had cancer. We knew he was dying of emphysema already when they discovered his body was covered in cancer. He died a week later. I was able to accept his death fairly easy because there was no hope of him living. In the same manor I can more easily accept my own "inevitable" death from cancer if I don't start, in my own words, "messing around with the idea of hope of being cured or healed." I feel like if I entertain those ideas and I am wrong then I will be devastated again. To me death is less scary then the depression I have gone through and am just now getting out of. The last thing I want to do is to go through it again. I also do not want to give my kids a false hope only to see them go through the devastation of it being wrong. I'm not real sure what to do or how to deal with this right now. I feel better just getting this out but if you have any suggestions those might come in real handy too.
  8. Susan Cornett

    Mantra

    We've all experienced that sucker punch to the gut when we, or a loved one, are diagnosed. But several physicians have told me and others on this forum that a positive attitude is so important in this fight. There are so many wonderful survivors on this forum that gave me, and continue to give me, hope. I read this today and think it applies to all of us on this forum: Don't die before you are dead. So, I move on with life and have decided not to die before I'm dead. Cancer be damned - I'm going to Hawaii in 4 months.
  9. until
    The National HOPE Summit takes place each Spring and kicks off Lung Cancer HOPE Month in May. This year At HOPE Summit, participants learn, collaborate, advocate, and share their stories about living with lung cancer. The summit features inspirational speakers, medical expert forums, lung cancer survivor-specific sessions, and opportunities for lung cancer survivors to connect with other survivors. There are sessions for both those in active treatment and those out of treatment to address their specific needs. In addition to lung cancer survivors, caregivers and medical professionals wanting to learn more about lung cancer survivorship are also welcome to register. Click here to learn more about National HOPE Summit!
  10. This book is a must read!! I finished "Scanziety: A Retrospection of a Lung Cancer Survivor" over the weekend. I highly recommend this book for patients, caregivers and friends of patients. I don't think that most people understand what our bodies go through during treatment, and Tom certainly had a tough time. I think the book also helps people understand that, while cancer patients do have a cloud of uncertainty that will follow us the rest of our days, we should live each of those days to the fullest. I enjoyed this book and I enjoy Tom's comments and support in this forum. His success story gave me hope when I had mentally started to give in to the dark place. Thank you, Tom.
  11. I am going to be setting up a booth to bring awareness and raise funds for Lung Cancer at local fairs and festivals. My booth will provide information, bandies and a donation bucket. I have acquired a small list of venues to set up my booth but would like to hear from everyone on any ideas they may have on any other settings to get our message out. I live in Mobile, AL. Thank you for any suggestions.
  12. Hot off the presses, there are still a limited amount of travel grants available (paid for accommodations) for LUNGevity's 6th annual HOPE Summit in DC! Please help us *share* the word. Here is the link to register:www.LUNGevity.org/DCHope
  13. I'm Christine this is the beginning of our journey with Dad, who called me distraught after being seen for what he assumed was bronchitis. He was informed by the on call Doctor that he had lung cancer and had a six month prognosis. I was heartbroken for him and infuriated with the unprofessional and callousness of this statement for a few reasons. Firstly there was no biopsy this information was based on evaluations of X-ray images and a CT scan. Secondly, I have a very close friend that is battling NSCLC Stage IV. She is responding to treatment and I have informed myself about this disease. My sister traveled to help dad get more information and get the kind of referrals to begin conversations about treatment options. His care has been excellent so far and we are very optimistic. Here is my summary of the last two weeks. It was a great visit, ten days of loving, laughing and caring for each other, days of gratitude. I wasn't prepared to hear the raspy breathing that the fluid is causing for dad. I am thankful for his doctors and remain hopeful for him getting more quality time. It's difficult being so far away, Dad lives in Idaho and I am in Hawaii. I am already thinking of when I can go see him again. He had a biopsy, finally, yesterday, soon we will know his mutation. He is meeting with his oncologist and also with a redial oncologist. The cancer has indeed metastasized to his brain and they are recommending aggressive radiation therapy, ten days consecutively and begin chemotherapy infusions as well. We are asking if he can receive immunotherapy as well. It's going to be a very long year. We are keeping a binder of all his doctor reports and summaries up-dating as needed. Also compiling best practices for mitigating the side effects of any treatments. Included are meal plans shopping lists. balms, tips to help keep him as comfortable as possible. If any of you have recommendations for a wedge that he can use for sleeping comfort I'd appreciate that. Aloha, Chrisitne
  14. We are only weeks away from the LUNGevity Columbus, Ohio HOPE Summit! You will not want to miss this amazing opportunity. Please share this! www.lungevity.org/columbushope (The summit is free, however registration is required.)
  15. We are only weeks away from the LUNGevity Columbus, Ohio HOPE Summit! You will not want to miss this amazing opportunity. Please share this! www.lungevity.org/columbushope (The summit is free, however registration is required.)
  16. HOPE is knowing that other people have survived lung cancer. What or who gives you HOPE?
  17. The Pacific Northwest is home to a vibrant community of lung cancer survivors and advocates and is proud to host a Regional HOPE Summit. This summit provides an opportunity to meet peers and experts, and enjoy the beautiful area. Regional HOPE Summit Northwest (Portland OR) registration is open! Join us Sept 12 in Portland for this great event! www.lungevity.org/northwesthope
  18. Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. I just wanted to let you know that there are ONLY 50 seats available for the FREE research lab tour on Friday during the Tennessee HOPE Summit. Please register today to save your seat, they are going so FAST! If you want more details please send me a private message. www.lungevity.org.nasvillehope
  19. MAY 1-3, 2015 Our National HOPE Summit takes place the first week of May, Lung Cancer HOPE Month. The goal of the weekend is to provide a summit for survivors with educational sessions covering topics like research, immunotherapy, ask the oncologist, pulmonary rehabilitation, communicating with your caregivers, managing your medical team, living with lung cancer, nutrition, writing and blogging, becoming an empowered advocate, and sharing lung cancer survivor stories. This 2½ days of celebrating lung cancer survivorship is an experience you won't want to miss. http://lungevity.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=534
  20. TAMPA HOPE SUMMIT A survivorship conference for anyone who has ever been diagnosed with lung cancer Saturday, March 7, 2015 While lung cancer survivors are encouraged and invited to attend, caregivers and medical professionals wanting to learn more about lung cancer survivorship are also welcome to register to attend. All conference sessions will be geared toward those who have been diagnosed with lung cancer. LOCATIONMoffitt Cancer Center Vincent A. Stabile Research Building, Ted and Marty Couch Auditorium 12902 Magnolia Drive Tampa, FL 33612 REGISTER NOW OR Attend by webinar! Register to attend online via Zoom. ABOUT THIS EVENTOn Saturday, March 7, in Tampa, Florida, LUNGevity is partnering with Patient Power for HOPE Summit Live! — a free in-person forum at Moffitt Cancer Center, where you and your loved one can hear the latest in treatment and research from leading lung cancer experts. Hear about emerging therapies, understand current treatment options, and learn about support resources. During this interactive summit, you will have the opportunity to meet and to connect with experts, other patients, survivors, and caregivers touched by lung cancer. Our hope is that you’ll share your knowledge with your peers, learn, and become inspired! Please join us in person for this FREE interactive summit to learn: Explaining lung cancer todayWhat do we know and what do we do about it? Where are we headed and how quickly? How is this personalized to you? What does this mean to you? Patient, caregiver, nurse, and social worker perspective: how to live well Tips and resources How and when to get support Financial, social, and logistical information Our expert panel will take your submitted questions, and advocates will be on hand to offer support and to connect with a broad range of resources. GUEST PRESENTERSDavid Carbone, MD, PhD Director, James Thoracic Center, James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute Scott J. Antonia, MD, PhD Program Leader, Thoracic Oncolocy, Moffitt Cancer Center SPONSORSThis in-person forum is sponsored by the Patient Empowerment Network through educational grants from Pfizer, Genentech, and Novartis, with additional funding from LUNGevity. http://lungevity.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=532
  21. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/connecting-people-hope-katie-brown?trk=prof-post I recently read a quote from a cancer survivor about online support. “”When I stumble, there are so many virtual hands to catch me.” This is the same sentiment that has been expressed about LUNGevity’s Lung Cancer Support Community and our groups on Facebook. People impacted by lung cancer can come online and be embraced by others who have walked the same journey and who understand what they may be going thru. There is power in the written word and from receiving support from a group of people. Building a community of support can help you feel less alone in the cancer journey. But there are times when people need more. For example, newly diagnosed patients and their families often feel overwhelmed with the medical process, uncertainties and fears and they need additional support. Some people are not active social media users. Some people need more than virtual hands to catch them. What they need is a strong hand to hold onto. Those are the people who benefit from the personalized support of LUNGevity’s LifeLine Program. This free program, originating from the Lung Cancer Support Community “Support Buddy Program”, is in its 13th year of helping people. Based on individual needs, LifeLine has supported people online, through email and by telephone. A personalized match is made between a survivor mentor and a patient and they begin their supportive relationship based on commonalities whenever possible, like age range, gender and stage and type of lung cancer. LifeLine also matches caregivers and family members to other more seasoned caregivers and family members. Oftentimes caregivers and families bear the brunt of the responsibility of caring for their loved ones physical, emotional and financial needs and neglect caring for themselves. Those caring individuals we call co-survivors need support too. We’ve matched survivors, patients and caregivers from across the country. We’ve matched people at our annual HOPE Summits (a survivorship conference for people impacted by lung cancer) and we are a resources for many hospitals, clinics and social workers across the country and internationally. Here’s what one support seeker said. “It’s amazing. I never knew anyone with a lung cancer diagnosis, now I’m matched with someone like me who has survived these same treatments. She gives me so much hope.” If you or someone you know has been impacted by lung cancer and would like to request a LifeLine Support Mentor or if you would like to volunteer to become a LifeLine Mentor, please visit www.lungevity.org/lifeline If you would like more information on our regional or national HOPE Summits, the LifeLine Program, or would like to request materials please email us [email protected]
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