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New chemo--so far so good


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I haven't posted for a while--I have been kind of grumpy, but I have been reading.

The good news is that the taxotere is SOOOOO much easier to deal with than the Cisplatin. I have been more active and felt better in the last couple of weeks since I started it than I have since I went under the knife in February. I am hoping for better news in a few weeks when I have another CT scan.

More good news is that I am going to teach a class in less than two weeks--after being off from teaching since Valentine's Day. (I could have come back in mid May if the semester hadn't ended about then.) It is going to be so good for me psychologically (and, of course, financially) to get back in class. My daughter and my students keep me sane in normal life, and I have really missed the students in these last six not normal months.

I just met another devastated 25 year old with stage IV lung cancer on another board. She hasn't responded to me yet, but I hope she'll come here and meet some of you. The more people close to my age I find with lung cancer--well, in some ways it's comforting to find people who are in shoes more like mine, but it scares me. I know that tobacco is almost certainly not the cause of my cancer, but I don't know what is. I suspect it has something to do with pollution of some kind or another. I like to blame it on the gas guzzling tanks known as SUV's that everyone in Texas seems to drive. :roll: It's arbitrary, I know, but I hate the darn things anyway, so why not blame cancer on them? :wink: A friend this week driving a nice fuel efficient car totaled her car in a 15 mph accident when she rear ended an SUV whose bumper was WAY above her bumper height.

I could rant for days about pollution, fuel economy, US policy, and related issues, but that's not getting my class planned or solving anything.

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So blame it on SUVs, that's a gooda cause as any I can think of! See, I personally think it's related to stuff put in the air by our good ole Uncle Sam. All those experiments. Too many young people getting cancer! Lung cancer use to pretty much be confined to 60-70. There are 30 yrs. old with it, and with breast cancer. Too much colon cancer. There are reasons, but I doubt we ever know.

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So glad the Taxotere is doing well for you and that you're looking forward to teaching again. It's so good to have things other than the LC to focus on! I know you take great joy in your little one... a real incentive to stay positive and keep forging onward. Blessings.

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Becky -

I hope you're finding your way out of the "grumpies" - although you're certainly entitled to 'em!


I've been very concerned too about the number of younger and younger people getting lung cancer (I'm 41 myself and thought I was way to young!)

But between our environment and hereditary issues, I don't think anyone can ever get a definite answer to the "why".

Hug your little one for me - and I hope you're feeling better - both physically and emotionally!

Hugs and prayers,


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Dear Becky,

I thought of you last week when I visited the doctor. I was thinking about age and how I am always struck by how young I am (I'm 54) compared with many of the other patients.

Thursday, I swapped surgery stories with a woman who is 75--2 weeks out from her surgery, she was doing a lot better than I was at her stage! Actually, she was quite an inspiration to me.

I know this is very hard on you. You are finding out, at a very young age that life doesn't always make sense. At your age, you are at the young children, just beginning, new career stage of life. It probably makes you feel awkward to have cancer, but it sounds like you are thriving under very tough circumstances.

I am praying that the Taxotere will do wonders for you.


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Guest DaveG

Hi Becky, fellow Chemo Sabe:

Good to hear you are doing good on the chemo. I wish I could do as well, but for some reason or other I seem to go down about 3-5 days following the chemo.

I wish that I didn't have smoking in my health history, but I do. Of course, as is with non-small cell, the question is always raised as to whether smoking is an issue or not. I like to think that cancer is cancer and it, through random nature, hits a specific organ (or organs) without any rhyme or reason. If they really knew what causes cancer, then we wouldn't be where we are today. Don't get me wrong, I am not for smoking and I am a spokesperson for non-smoking. The reason that I feel the way I do, is because you and I, and others here, grew up in different eras under far different circumstances and peer pressures. Yet, we both have lung cancer and that puts the smoking issue in a far different light. I am a strong proponent, if one is looking for an outside reason, or blame, to point the finger at, of enviromental and man made problems as a possible source of cause in lung cancer.

Again, however, it still gets back to the fact that medical science still doesn't know what causes cancer. Medical science has it's theories, but is yet to be able to put their finger on the exact cause. When that happens, then cancer, like polio and small pox, will be history.

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Dear Becky,

I'm glad to hear that the Taxotere is easier on you, and that you are going to be able to go back to doing something that you obviously love.

I am a former smoker (averaged 3 to 6 cigarettes a day for about 19 years.) I developed lung cancer at age 32, but wasn't diagnosed until I was 44, and the kind of cancer I have isn't usually associated with smoke exposure-first or second hand.

I think that over time the experts will be able to prove that genetics plays a far greater role in who will develop Lung Cancer than was previously accepted. In my family my Mother, her sister, her brothers all died of lung cancer, but not all of them were smokers. Digging a bit deeper I've found that many of my Mother's first cousins also died of lung cancer, and many of them did not smoke either. In my Mother's family there is this cluster of Lung Cancer, Colon Cancer, Breast Cancer, benign brain tumors. The only thing we all have in common is a great Grandfather, and the formation of tumors.

I hope that you continue to do well, and that the Taxotere kicks all the cancer cells into a complete remission.

Fay A.

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Great news to hear you are doing so well with the Taxotere, and will soon be returning to work. I know how much it really helps Keith, mentally and emotionally to be able to focus on something other than LC and have some normalcy every day.

Teaching children is a joy, and hopefully will bring you lots of rewarding moments.

We too have Screamed out about how UNFAIR and WRONG it is that we have to deal with this at our age. Not that anyone should have to at any age, but it was just so unexpected and unusual. We were told that less than 1% of LC patients are under the age of 55. But if that is so, why is it that I am now hearing and meeting through this site, so many of us 30 and younger folks. I keep thinking that something must be going on environmentally, genetically, and technologically that are causing this. We are inventing new pesticides and consumables all the time, we are filling the air with more toxins daily. It is all so unnatural, and of course our bodies are going to pay the price. I just don't know where to blame, don't know that blaming would make me feel better, and don't know where I'd stop once I started. So, instead I just rant to God and ask WHY?


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Thanks everyone for the nice replies. My big wish right now (besides that the taxotere is really destroying my tumors) is that I could convince my family that not everything in my life is about cancer. Sometimes I am mad about things I was mad about before this happened. I don't get mad at my husband for leaving dishes all over the house because I am shorter of breath than I used to be--I get mad because I am not the maid and he knows that dishes on the living room floor aggravate me. But if I ever express frustration about anything, I get patted and hugged and told that the chemo is working and it will all be better soon. Grrr.

As for my class--I am not teaching children. I teach college kids in general, but this group is composed of middle school teachers who are in a program we have here to get them certified in math (many of the students will be older than me!). The course is being developed and taught at roughly the same time, so I am swamped with work, but I am enjoying it. It's good to have something new to think about.


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