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Well my little view on the subject...


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Katie, this posted as guest, don't know why? Rich

As a patient I feel it is up to me to battle my lung cancer with everything I have, to try as hard as I can, to leave no stone unturned and keep pushing for that cure. It’s easy to rollover, get mad, take it out on everyone, everything, feel sorry or the why me, that is not going to solve the problem or make it go away. To me it is just wasted time and energy, only going to add to the problem. I have my moments like anyone else but they are few and far in between. It’s up to me to get up everyday and make the best of it; nobody can do it for me. Up to me to flip the coin over and look at things in a more positive light. To still live and enjoy life to the fullest as best I can. Not focus on dying but living. Not focus on what I can’t do but what I can do. To be in control of my cancer not the cancer in control of me. Make it as easy as possible for family and friend(s) and to let them live their lives also. Have to be understanding and fair to them. To stay positive and upbeat not only for family but also for my friend(s) and myself. I think it is harder on my caregivers, family and friend(s) then it is I. They still have to deal with the stresses of everyday (jobs, kids etc) life etc, not just me. All things considered I’m very blessed, lucky and fortunate. I have it pretty good, pretty easy, and pretty simple. I’m under my own steam, can still get around, not in any pain or discomfort, can still do things, (not like before/will not light the world on fire/do have to adjust and except something’s) but I’m still alive and still here. Always could be worse. I know I have been extremely blessed with great doctors and nurses and the very best care available in my case. They are doing everything humanly possible to help me, never had a problem or worry that I was not getting the very best possible care or that they did not have my very best interest at heart. My experiences with the medical community have been very positive, can’t ask for anything more. I’m very blessed with a great family and friend(s) also. Where would I be without them? Things I would like to see happen with lung cancer are stopping the blame game, more compassion for the patient/as well as caregivers, family and friend(s), a better understanding of lung cancer, more research, the best possible care for everyone, more public awareness and education. For everyone to get a fair shake, for no one to feel left out, abandoned or to suffer more hardship.

Another great idea Katie! Looking forward to reading how others view (lung cancer) it. Rich

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Rich you've said it all. You have put into words what a lot of us live and feel everyday.

My way of dealing with cancer was very matter of fact with a lot of very black humor. When the onc told me that I would lose my hair (my first meeting after dx) he almost choked when I told my husband that at least I would stand out on the Christmas pictures this year......the flash would reflect off my head!

Most people cried when I spoke to them for the first time after dx and my reaction was that this is your only kick at the cat, next time you cry I'm hanging up. This worked very well for me and the hand wringing stopped.

My passage through cancer was much easier than most that I read here, no hair, a new best friend called john, pneumonitis and a few other side effects that became quite vague memories when john was replaced by NED (very much like childbirth).

I'm almost 4 years from dx and my in your face attitude is still working, I've had my share of pity parties and tests still worry me but on the whole I'm having a ball.

For those reading this who are still waging the battle.....take heart that I'm not unique, there are plenty of us out there, we're busy catching up with life and are not always as supportive as we should be.

Yours in survivorship


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I could just copy what Rich said and paste it here! :wink: Excellent, Rich!

I don't think of cancer with a capitol C - it's just a disease that needs more research to cure. People used to die by the thousands from things like typhoid and cholera that have been curable for a long time now. It's only a matter of time and money and everything I read on the net seems to show the researchers have a good start in all sorts of new directions.

I don't mind telling people I have lung cancer or talking about it. I don't feel any stigma. I have genes that mutated and need to be repaired, that's all.

A sort of miracle saved my life when I was dx'd or my story would have been over in January. I've decided I was given a second chance to get life right, to appreciate it, to learn to love and forgive myself and others, to discard lifelong habits of self-sabatoge. I am very conscious now when I start to slip back into pessimism, procrastination, and self-doubt. I remind myself I didn't get a second chance just so I could throw it away!

I've decided it doesn't matter if I'm going to die next month or next year or in 20 years; I will get the most out of life (and give the most to others) if I live in the moment, take time to really appreciate things - that means noticing the beauty and mystery in everything and feeling truly lucky I get to experience it.

This doesn't mean I skip around like Pollyana, always smiling and humming a happy tune. Life is full of all sorts of experiences and sometimes tears make the most sense. I live my life as a whole person, complete with a whole variety of emotions. I still feel fear every time I think I feel "funny" in my lungs. I still feel disgusted when I step in a hairball the cat threw up. I still feel utterly sorrowful when I watch the news and see the things human beings do to each other. I still sigh when my husband leaves the empty milk carton on the counter instead of taking three more steps and putting it in the garbage. I just don't let those feelings last too long. It takes practice and time, but, eventually, reacting like this becomes as much habit as the old, negative ways were.

Sounds cliche, but it could always be worse. I'd rather have cancer and face what I face than be completely paralyzed like Christopher Reed was. That horrifies me! And yet, he was able to go on living and laugh and enjoy things and not spend all his time in terror and depression. It can always be worse.

Christopher Reed would have said to me, "I'm sorry you've got this thing. It's rotten isn't it? And I hope you have a long life. But, since you can still walk, since you can still put your arms around your husband and hold on, since you can still dance around to some great CD while you clean the house, why don't you do those things? I'd give ANYTHING to be able to do those things!"

You just have to define your own life goals, define what "a good life" means to you, define what "overcoming illness" means to you. I may not achieve someone else's definition of cancer survivor, but I can achieve mine! Every day.


And P.S. I know I have had about the easiest time anyone could have with stage IV lung cancer so far. So maybe it seems easy for me to say these things and some of you may feel I have no right to "preach" until I've gone through what you have. That MIGHT be true if I were judging or "preaching." But my beliefs that you can always make your experience of life better with some mental effort, that it could always be worse and to someone else YOU have it easy, and that you can define your own terms is still valid.

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Very nice post, Rich. Leslie, I'm glad you didn't simply copy it...your post truly illustrates how perception is EVERYthing in how we choose to experience life's lessons - good and bad. I especially like the references to the myriad other feelings that continue to be a part of the human condition, regardless of this illness - It doesn't have to define who a person is.

Thanks to you (both) for sharing :wink:

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