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5 year survivor

gail p-m

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it's 5 years ago today that my Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. What a shcoker for my Dad (and the rest of my family). My father had quit smoking 23 years before initial diagnosis and he figured he was "safe" from lung cancer. They were dealing with a heart problem when he was diagnosed due to a CT scan.

My scattered thoughts for today: I live 3000 miles from my Dad although I speak to him everyday and was there living with him throughout his chemo during his recurrence. When he had his lobectomy in 2000, his surgeon said something like there was an 80 - 85% chance that he was "cured." I am the kind that always asks questions and want to research. However, living so far away, I was an outsider and my sister who lives near my Dad and attends all "important" doctor appts. got very upset whenever i would suggest further checking into things or come up with something "negative" the doctors haven't mentioned. My Dad too, a very intelligent and educated man, did not want to do further research... So the surgeon said CURE and nothing further was needed. I went back home to my family, job... Then 2003 came around and a recurrence. That was the end of my passive role and the fear of upsetting the "apple cart". Began to really read extensively about lc (thanks Rich for all the articles you provide), joined this wonderful support/educational community and asked my questions aloud. Helped find my Dad a new oncologist -- that is a long story -- but so glad we found a new one esp. with this recurrence. Occasionally, my sister still gets angry with me if I ask questions she does not want to hear but so be it. She sends me notes of oncological visits and I sift through them to make sure things seem "correct" to me. When I want more info. about it, I get it. When I attended Dad's oncologist visit in July and talked about Tarceva, the oncologist was most impressed with my knowledge. Where did I get the knowledge? Almost exclusively through you people who have so generously shared your experiences and the reserach articles. What a long-winded way of saying thank you to all on this list.

In the 5 years since diagnosis and living with the "NEW NORMAL', my father has "lived" for much of the time. Thank goodness for antidepressants and sleeping pills too. He has continued some of his favorite activities: going out to breakfast each day and reading the newspaper, volunteering at his temple, coffee at Starbucks, Tuesday and Sunday dinner with my sister, a cruise last year to celebrate his 80th birthday (it did not go as smoothly as we hoped but we did it!)... He has seen two of his grandchildren graduate high school, 1 graduate law school and most recently knew of my son being accepted into medical school. Perhaps best of all, he danced at my sister's wedding in 2003!!! Yes, there have been ups and downs on this rollercoaster but he has dealt with them and continues to as he takes Tarceva right now for most recent recurrence. In just 3 more weeks, he is coming out for my daughter's wedding -- this won't be easy either as he has a number of other health problems -- but he's goiing to do his darndest to be here barring unforseen circumstances.

So i wanted to share his 5 year anniversary with all of you and squish those darned statistics which get all of us down from time to time.

I say prayers for all of you each and every night and daily marvel at the courage and the fight each and every one of you show against this da__ disease. You are all survivors!

gail p-m

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It's sharing THIS story that motivates me to jump through the hoops in order to receive continued treatment. I want to see all of my kids married and graduated from college and building good lives for themselves and those they love. I want to be a Grandmother, I don't care if the kids are born during the marriage, or come as part of a package deal with a man or woman who marries into my family. I love kids....all of them.

Gail, thank you so much for sharing your Dad's anniversary story with us. Your Dad is an amazing guy. Being a Survivor is not an easy thing, even when things go relatively easy. Tell him I look up to him.

Best Wishes for years and years of happy experiences.

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Thank You sooooo much, Gail for sharing. That was a wonderful story.

By the way, I had tommorrow for his anniversary date, so I was going to congatulate him then. I'm glad you posted today so we can celebrate the correct anniversary.

Congratulations! DAD

Many Many more.

God bless you,


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Congratulations to your dad on reaching his fifth aniversary!!!

And congratulations to you for developing the inner strength and confidence to overcome your sister's need to control your dad's situation - in the long run, your persistance will mean your dad will not miss out on help he could use. Best wishes to you and your dad!


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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 weeks later...


WOW!! What a strong man!!!! I know I am responding kind of late but I just read the post. By the way, how is he doing on the Tarceva. I started Tarceva in July and so far have had success.



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Hi Gail,

What a wonderful story!!! The knowlege we learn from this site, especially from the articles and our members on hand experiences, has helped so many of us with all kinds of situations. Thank G-d for this board.

Congratulations!! on the upcoming wedding of your daugher that is wonderful. And with your proud dad there is PRICELESS!! :) I pray all goes well with him. I read you also have a son who graduated Medical school. Wow, Gail you must be so proud. :mrgreen:

Maryanne :wink:

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