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Pity Party is OVER!

Fay A.

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It doesn't officially end for another hour, but it's really over, except for the cleanup....

Time for those of us who have the disease to concentrate on making our Survival the best it can be, no matter what our particular circumstances.

I woke up this morning with the certain knowledge that there is no cure for my type of Lung Cancer.......YET. But there are treatments that can prolong my life...hopefully long enough that I will be around to take advantage of the cure when it IS found. If I can just tolerate the side effects. And there are treatments to help me do that...if I can just tolerate those.

I have to balance quality of life with my desire to live a very long time. And I have to make honest assessments of what quality of life means to me, personally. I have decided that I'm willing to put up with a lot of negatives in order to keep living. But putting up with the negatives isn't all there is to surviving. I also have to make a concentrated effort to live life. David C.'s decision to go to the Circus was so inspiring to me. I'm serious. Think about it. Think about where we are as Lung Cancer Survivors, and then think about what it takes to get up in the morning. We have to make ourselves do the things we enjoy, within the parameters of what we CAN do. And it's okay to test our limits as long as we use common sense. You know, I'm a one lunged woman with some residual breathing problems. I wanted to learn to play the Recorder. The only way I can do it is to take a little license with the rests in the music, and to use supplemental oxygen. I know it looks funny to see me with my oxygen tank and the nasal cannula up my nose while playing a wind nstrument (we won't go into how it sounds!). But I'm trying to enjoy myself. Which is the whole point of living. To have it be something you look forward to doing...waking up each morning. Loving others, loving life, loving ourselves.

I needed a short little period of "I am just sick and tired of being sick and tired." It was good. But now it's time to get back to the business of living.

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Such solid, reasonable, wise thoughts!! All packed in a woman who aspires to play the recorder, whilst puffing on oxygen to do so!! Ah, Fay....you are one of a kind, dear! :D

But there is no denying the sageness of your thoughts. Just as they say that nobody has "I wish I'd spent more time at the office" on their tombstone....it's also true that we don't wake up in the morning (the majority of us anyway :? ), saying to ourselves...."Boy, I sure do hope today is a miserable, awful, horrid day so I can feel rotten and do nothing but pout and complain all day!!

And the joy of living is more often in the details....not the BIG things. It doesn't take writing the great American novel, or making that big sweep of Western Europe or finally building that boat in your garage. Sometimes it's as simple as sitting in your own home, learning to play the recorder, or knitting a baby sweater (I find such joy in my knitting) or even organizing a box of family photos. Maybe simply just looking THROUGH the family photos!

I too, am looking for a certain balance, Fay. Right now, it's between fearful urgency and the positive belief that I WILL be around for a while yet. Little by little, I pick up a rock off the fearful pile and transfer it over to the positive pile.

It helps too, to come here and find such wise words as those you so often offer to us! :wink: They help to center me again.

I will begin chemo again today, if we can get there thru this bloody snow that won't quit falling. I mentioned to my hubby and some good friends (who also golf) the other day, that at some point before I die, I've always said I want to play Pebble Beach. It will no doubt be humbling and you KNOW it's going to cost a small fortune....but dammit, it's a dream I think it's time I fulfilled. Even IF I live many more years, eh? :wink: So, when I get thru chemo....that will be my reward, perhaps....the trip to Pebble Beach!

I figure with what DH and I are saving by not smoking....we've already paid for the trip! 8)

Thanks, Fay, for.......well, just for being you!

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I think we should all be making a list of all of the things we have ever wanted to do, Survivors and Caregivers, too.

I don't think we should edit the list, even if what we've written sounds absolutely impossible....or even ludicrous. What may seem improbable today could actually happen at some point in time.

And if it's a long term dream, then I hope we will work at making it come true. It may not be exactly what we dreamed....but sometimes we can make a pretty good go of it.

I know that most of us don't wake up with the intent to be unhappy. But it's so easy to be overwhelmed by all the very real BAD stuff. Last week almost every time I ate or drank something I could plan on simultaneous vomiting and diarrhea, along with the pain from whatever it is inside me that is bleeding so much. I was worried about the bleeding, worried about having to go off Tarceva, worried about the cancer coming back/being back. I was worried about my family and friends, both in the real world and online. And in between "worrying" I was planning on how and when and what to eat so I will have the physical strength to attend a concert a few weeks from now, but not be sick during it. I was upset on Friday because a long planned for Ladies Night Out was cancelled because I was too sick to go. My friends (ages 20s to 70s) and I get dressed up in formal or evening attire, absolutely unapologetic in our quest to out sparkle one another, and go out to dinner at the best restaraunt in the small town near where I live. It .is a nice place, but very casual, so we are seriously overdressed. And we don't care. We know people wonder what the heck we're doing. Well, what we're doing is playing dress up and having a grown up "tea party". So while I was being sick Friday Night I was also planning our rain date for the dinner that was cancelled that night. All I'm trying to say is that even in the midst of the really awful stuff (and it really is really awful) we can choose to take those moments of reprieve, however brief, and concentrate on something positive.

I am NOT brave. I am NOT a hero. I AM determined to live what life and time I have as well as I possibly can. I may not be able to do so all of the time, but I can surely find a way to do it in bits and pieces.

And at the risk of angering others, I'm going to say if I can do so anyone can do so. We just have to make up our minds about how we wish to live.

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I am NOT brave. I am NOT a hero. I AM determined to live what life and time I have as well as I possibly can. I may not be able to do so all of the time, but I can surely find a way to do it in bits and pieces.

But Fay, you truly are an inspiration to many.



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You say you are not brave or a hero, but one thing I say that you are that inspires so many is DETERMINED! Your determination to not let cancer or any other illness get control of you is infectious.

Your post here this morning was magnificent and incredibly inspirational. I thank you for writing it!



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You Go Fay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think we all have our moments!!

My List began 2 weeks after I was diagnosed. I decided then to do whatever I wanted.

Eat anything I wanted-afterall cancer pt. lose weight right?? WRONG_not all of us, I gained about 25 lbs. that summer! YUK!!

I went back to work after treatments in the ER. Did pretty good til I relapsed and broke my leg! :twisted:

I went thru treatment then spent a yr working more on a Benevolence agency I have been with for yrs. Then I got up the nerve to teach at the college-CNA classes. You bet I push caring for the PT., I tell them I have been one enough I know a good aid from a bad aid. HA!

I work in the yard-which I love and spend time with my loved ones!

I plan on doing this til the next mountain gets in the way and then I will either tunnel thru it OR go around it.

I still have not been a Grandma yet so I have not finished my time here yet.

FAY- we will be here on this site til that cure is found!!


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That's my girl! Telling it like it is and going for life on whatever level is viable. Fay, the dress-up tea party sounds absolutely wonderful! Wish I lived close enough to participate, but even the cyber description gave me a lift. This is a tough disease, but it sounds like we're all trying to honor the "living-with-cancer" concept rather than its antithesis. Hooray for all survivors!!!

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You go Fay-

I'm not planning the vacation to the caribbean anymore (right now) but there is a new indoor water park/hotel in Williamsburg that we are looking at when it opens in April. Beached whale swimsuit or not, I can lay and watch the kids play.

And if this damn throat yeast infection clears up, I can eat!

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I always look forward to your posts. You are an inspiration to us -- whether we are the "patient" or the "caregiver". You have so much common sense and wisdom. Gotta get going on my list of things I want to do even as you said, they may sound improbable. And Fay, if anyone can hang in there until they find a cure, it's you!

You take care!

Gail p-m

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Fay...When I read your post and you said you're going to get back to the business of living...all I could think of was that you do the living thing very very well. I enjoy being on the "Fay Train"....especially when you're on a roll. Keep sharing your thougts...you have no idea the healing help you offer to others. Thanks

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When I grow up, I want to be Fay.

And I am going to live every day like it's my last day. and I don't have cancer. Thank you for the reminder.

Fay, we did try to go to the circus, but Dave only lasted about 45 minutes. That's OK, because we went, and Faith enjoyed it while we were there, but the circus, frankly, was horrible this year so we lost nothing by leaving early. but at least we did it, and we did it in the middle of a crisis. Lesson learned: we had our doubts and apprehensions about going, but we went. maybe we didn't do it up big, but we did it.

thank you for being a big inspiration to all of us.

p.s. I am such a tomboy that I HATE getting dressed up, but I love the idea of your girls night out!

God Bless,


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