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Neighbor with SCLC


KatieB

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Before my dad was dx. I never knew a soul who had L/C. I never knew a thing about L/C. Now I know 500 souls touched by Lung Cancer and I know more about this disease than I ever cared too!!

We have a neighbor two doors down from us. Just found out tonight that he has extensive SCLC like my dad. He's in the beginning of his dx. and is ill from treatment. It reminds me all too well of how my dad was in the first few months and learning of our neighbor tonight brought back all my memories of how it felt when dad was first dx.

We were so scared. We had been steam rolled over and our lives were upside down. Everyday was a struggle to keep from crying as we mourned the uncertainity and gravity of this disease. I remember it so vividly and I cried thinking of what it was like for us and what he and his family must be going thru now.

I sent Rick over with some books and info about our group and website. Hope he or his wife decides to visit us. If they do, I want them to know that I am always here if they need anything. DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR ANYTHING.

I know exactly what they are going thru, and I want them to know that as long as there is a fighting spirit and love and breath in our bodies, there is hope. This is a group of SURVIVORS with amazing stories that have carried us and inspired us every single day.

Before I go, I would like to ask everyone who prays to say a prayer for my neighbor and his family. This is so new for them. They have a small child my sons age.

God Bless us ALL

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Unbelievable Katie! This seems to be happening a lot here lately as one of our best friends was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. I really believe you do go through the phases...shock...denial...anger...helplesness..etc. I can't though put myself in Jan's shoes, or your Dad's shoes...only they know how they feel with this disease, and we know how we feel as those who love them. It blew me away last year with my Dad in the hospital, ate up with cancer, when I realized that he was no different than any of us who were not afflicted. That he at 74, still thought young, and still enjoyed life to it's very fullest, but had to come to grips with the fact that his body was diseased and probably not going to make it. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't put myself there. There was no way I could truly know how he must have felt. Same with Jan. She can try to explain it to me...I can try to tell by her looks or whether she's "on" or "off", but for all intents and purposes, I know that I don't have cancer now and most likely will wake up tomorrow morning not having it either. So it amazes me even more when I see people like Jan or your Dad, or the many others that post here, or people we know that are afflicted with this terrible disease, come around with determination and drive to fight it. My first thought would be to go crawl in a hole, but I can look again to those who are actually living this for themselves and see their spirit and will to fight, and that crawling in a hole would be the last thing they would do. Jan's first thought after we were told for sure her dx was to "let's kill this crap inside of me". I was the one who got bogged down looking up everyting I could find on the internet, and getting let down night after night because I couldn't find anthing good or promising about it. It wasn't long after that that I started reading postings here, and that people were beating this and living much,much longer than the doctors or the stats said they would. I hope your neighbor and his family realize that the fight is just beginning and to not get overwhelmed by the negative stats and the non-promising prognosis's. Keep reading all the positive stories here, they will hear posaitive stories from their friends and familyand co-workers too. They are out there and we will be here for them.

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Consider it done! What you said about way back when your dad was first diagnosed got me thinking....It's unbelievable how ones life can be changed so dramatically & turned upside down in a matter of a day, or even just a few hours. I don't think I ever would have believed it had it not happened. I must have been pretty naive thinking it couldn't happen again after I lost my dad. Not in a million years did I ever think it could happen to my mom as well. I remember you mentioned it once before Katie, about how life was before diagnosis.....the good old days.

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We already had a year with bad news about Friends with cancer problems, parents with heart attacks etc etc . We were always counting ourselves lucky to be so relatively fit in comparison. And than our world was under attack.And it is just like in a war.Bodily and mentaly attacked.

Richard had been treated for pneumonia for about 4 weeks and was given 8 different antibiotics at the same time .Than we had enough, left Spain driving 3000 km to get to a doc friend of ours ,who than send him to a special clinic where he was diagnosed.

All that time we were still together in" it" .....when the big bang came we were for the first time in 20 years on different sides.

That is how it felt for us.

I did exactly what you are talking about....research like mad because we had to go back to our home and I was controling Richard's treatment every inch of the way beeing terribly afraid that they would get things wrong again....which they did with tremendous frequency....like to much chemo / to little / it all went to the floor because the tubes were leaking ....often we played down what happened for not to feel totally lost.

We both speak spanish but when it comes to complicated medical situations we had to ask twice from time to time.

What really hit us were the very very young people we met ....it is not understandable...nothing is about this illness...I know that now...I love him so much...

I too meet more people with cancer problems than before ...I think I learned to see.

Wishing everyone to develop muscles for your mind to fight the beast.

All the best to your neighbours , hopefully they come here and don't surf the net !!!!It is just not worthwhile.

Bettina

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Katie , you're noticing it too! I have been a nurse since --well a long time but it seems to me I never saw all the lung cancer til I got it myself! Ask Connie, I am forever finding new people that should be coming to our local support group. I "float" in the hospital I work at and it seems to me that at least once a week I meet someone new with lung cancer. It is like I am being "sent" there. The "Cure" magazine arrived today . The front cover is some depressing. "Today in the United States, 438 people died of lung cancer. Deborah Shaffer wasn't one of them. pg 16" I wish they could have said " at least 491 people survived lung cancer" instead. Thanks Katie for helping one more person at a time. Your neighbor is so fortunate to have you.

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Now that we've been through it, we know what to do for others. We know the deer-in-the-headlights look of fear. I have sat with many people through their initial diagnosis period, until I can see some strength returning to their brains.

We educate others with our experiences. The first thing I do is roast a chicken. Nothing fancy, not even pretty. But it is received well. I tell them my husband used to stand at the door waiting for dinner to be delivered. I carry Love, Medicine, and Miracles.

We are teaching through our surviving. And yes, this disease sucks. And other people are suffering too. I know an MS patient who is now wheel chair bound, and she is younger then me. We just lost two local college girls in an accident Saturday afternoon on the way to the mall. I see students suffering from physical and emotional neglect, and know their adult lives may be seriously screwed up.

Katie, go visit them. Show them how to breathe.

gail

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KATIE,

CANCER HAS NO AGE GROUP. THAT IS WHAT IS SO FRIGHTENING. WHAT IS OUT THERE GETTING INTO OUR BODIES? I GO OVER THIS IN MY MIND EACH DAY. WHAT CAUSED MY HUSBAND, MOM, DAD, BROTHER, THREE DEAR FRIENDS AND NOW SOME OF YOU OR YOUR LOVED ONES TO GET THIS HORRIBLE SICKNESS? IT HAS TO BE MORE THEN CIGS....WHY DOESN'T THE GOV REALIZE THAT I AM ONE PERSON WHO HAS STOOD BY AND WATCHED 6 DEAR DEAR LOVED ONES PASS TO ANOTHER SIDE ALL BECAUSE OF WHAT????????WHAT IS CAUSING ALL OF THIS PAIN... WHY CAN'T THEY REALLY FIND OUT???????? ENOUGH IS ENOUGH...... THIRTY YEARS HAVE PASSED AND VERY LITTLE HAS CHANGED. PEOPLE ARE SURVIVING LONGER FOR THE MOST PART BUT NOT LONG ENOUGH.

I KNOW, I AM OFF THE PATH HERE, I HOPE AND PRAY FOR YOUR NEIGHBOR AND ALL THE NEW PEOPLE WHO HAVE COME ON BOARD THESE PAST FEW WEEKS. I PRAY THAT THEY WILL TAKE TO THE CHEMO AND RADIAION WELL AND GO ON WITH THEIR LIVES. ESPECIALLY THE VERY YOUNG. MY HEART IS SO HEAVY FOR THE YOUNG....YOUNG IS EVERYONE UNDER 100.......HAD TO BRING SOMETHING LIGHT IN HERE....I WAS MAKING MYSELF TEAR UP......GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU.....

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Your neighbor is very fortunate to have someone as well-informed as you close by to help. It was a wonderful gesture offering them information that will help them cope with this monster of an illness. Tears came to my eyes when I was reading your post regarding the feelings you have when diagnosis is first made. I was at work when my husband called. Normally, he would not have delivered bad news over the telephone but I think he was so devastated that he couldn't think about how or what he was doing. I was standing near a wall, when he told me what our family physician said. I slowly, almost in slow motion, slid down the wall and onto the floor. I must have stayed on the floor for almost half-an-hour, just trying to mentally absorb this news and the impact it would have on my life. From that minute on, life as I had known it for twenty five years was over. Everything ahead of me was new and very foreign. I learned all too many new words too fast. Words like chemotherapy, radiation, blood transfusions and the difficult to pronounce names of way too many drugs!

From that moment when I received that call, I was "numb" from the neck down. I was able to think and function, but was somehow unable to feel too much. My body cooperated with my mind and went through the motions of "getting things done" in an extremely efficient manner. For 9and 1/2 months, my life consisted of fighting. I helped Dennis fight for his life and at the same time I fought with all the mixed signals going on on my head. I was in denial...then anger. I was angry with Dennis for not quitting smoking many years before. I was angry with God for letting this happen to us. Then I was angry with myself for being angry with Dennis and God. The emotions that one feels when they are dealt this unfair blow are very extreme...as all of you know. Because we know the magnitude of what this disease is capable of doing to the patient, the caregivers and friends is the reason we need to help others...just as you are doing, Katie. I pray that each of you on this board find complete healing.

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