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Lung Cancer and Smoking


shellycollins74

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HELLO EVERYBODY, I AM NEW HERE, MY NAME IS SHELLY, I AM 33 YEARS OLD. I AM THE WIFE OF A LOVING CARING AND SUPPORTIVE HUSBAND, MONTY AND MOTHER OF 2 HEALTHY, BEAUTIFUL, LOVING, CARING, SWEET AND FUNNY CHILDREN. CHARLES WHO IS 16 AND ALEXIS WHO WILL BE 12 ON THE 30TH OF THIS MONTH. I WAS DIAGNOSED JANUARY 2007 WITH STAGE IIIA NSCLC, LARGE UNDIFFERENTIATED CELL TYPE. THIS PAST YEAR HAS BEEN AN AWAKENING AS WELL AS A ROLLER COASTER RIDE BUT I CANNOT COMPLAIN AND WILL NOT BECAUSE I AM STILL HERE! :D I HAVE BEEN READING SOME OF THE POSTS AND REPLIES AND I AM FINDING THEM VERY INTERESTING. ALOT GIVE ME HOPE AND ARE VERY INSPIRING BECAUSE WE ARE ALL AFFECTED BY THIS HORRIBLE DISEASE IN SOME WAY. ALSO THERE ARE ALOT OF THINGS THAT UPSET ME AS WELL. FOR ONE THE MORE AND MORE I WATCH TELEVISION, THE MORE I REALIZE THAT THERE IS NOTHING ON ABOUT LUNG CANCER, EVER! I SEE ALL THESE COMMERCIALS FOR BREAST CANCER AND PROSTATE CANCER AND COLORECTAL CANCER AND ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT LUNG CANCER EXCEPT 1 COMMERCIAL I HAVE SEEN IN THE RECENT MONTHS ABOUT SMOKING AND LUNG CANCER, I AM SURE YOU HAVE ALL SEEN IT WHERE THE BOY IS TALKING ABOUT HE AND HIS BROTHER NO LONGER HAVE A MOTHER BECAUSE SMOKING CAUSED HER LUNG CANCER AND SHE DIED. MAYBE THATS WHY THEY DON'T EMPHASIZE ON LUNG CANCER AS MUCH BECAUSE I THINK MOST OF THE WORLD IS NAIVE ENOUGH TO BELIEVE ALL LUNG CANCER PATIENTS SMOKED AND THEY PROBABLY GET WHAT THEY DESERVE. WELL, AS A PERSON WHO SMOKED SINCE I WAS A TEEN, I AM HERE TO SAY JUST BECAUSE I SMOKED DOES NOT MEAN I DESERVE TO HAVE CANCER. THERE ARE AS MANY PEOPLE WITH LUNG CANCER WHO HAVE NEVER SMOKED IN THEIR LIFE AS THERE ARE WITH LUNG CANCER WHO DID IN FACT SMOKE. THERE ARE PROBABLY MORE PEOPLE WHO HAVE SMOKED ALL THEIR LIVES AND WILL CONTINUE TO SMOKE AND WILL NEVER GET LUNG CANCER. I AM TIRED OF BEING ASKED "DID YOU SMOKE" WHEN I TELL SOMEONE NEW OF MY CONDITION. WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE, REALLY. THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WITH LC WHO HAVE NEVER SMOKED TO ME IS PROOF THAT CANCER DOES NOT CARE WHO IT ATTACKS OR WHEN. I STRONGLY FEEL THAT CANCER IS A GENETIC PREDISPOSITION THAT UNFORTUNATELY SOME OF US ARE GOING TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH WHETHER IT BE LUNG CANCER, BREAST CANCER, COLON CANCER, ETC... I DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE REST OF YOU BUT IT IRRITATES ME WHEN I AM ASKED THAT SIMPLE LITTLE QUESTION. CANCER, ANY TYPE, IS LIKE HITTING A RAFFEL DRAWING THAT YOU DON'T WANT TO WIN!! IF I AM RANTING I'M SORRY BUT SOMEONE NEEDS TO WAKE THE WORLD UP ABOUT LUNG CANCER, WHY ARE THERE NO WALKS FOR LUNG CANCER LIKE THERE ARE BREAST CANCER? IF THERE ARE I KNOW I HAVE NEVER HEARD ABOUT THEM. WHY IS LUNG CANCER NOT COVERED AND TREATED LIKE THEY TREAT AND COVER EVERY OTHER CANCER IN THE NEWS AND ON TV AND ON RADIO? THIS REALLY UPSETS ME AND MY FAMILY. LIKE I SAID NOT EVERYBODY WITH LUNG CANCER HAS SMOKED AND FOR THOSE OF US WHO DID OR DO OR WHATEVER WHO IS TO SAY THAT SMOKING IS WHAT CAUSED IT. MY ONCOLOGIST TOLD ME IN THE VERY BEGINNING THAT HE BELIEVES SMOKING DID NOT CAUSE MY CANCER. BECAUSE OF MY AGE, HE BELIEEVS IT WAS EITHER GENETIC OR SOMETHING ELSE THAT TRIGGERED IT. WELL THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO LISTEN TO ME RANT A LITTLE. I WILL BE BACK ON IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

BLESSINGS AND PRAYERS TO ALL,

SHELLY[/i]

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Hello Shelly,

A most warm welcome to you. I am sorry for the reason you found us, but you have come to a wonderful site for gaining support, and information. The people here are very responsive to newcomers, all those with lung cancer, and/or their loved ones.

Shelly, you could not have said it better. The stigma attached to lung cancer, and not the other cancers, makes absolutely no sense.

Just recently (in the past days/weeks) there have been results of scientific studies which pinpoint a genetic predisposition to developing lung cancer.

You are also correct in the lack of lung cancer ads which explain all the information about stigma, blame, and recent study results. There is little mention, if any, of the majority of people being diagnosed being either former or never smokers. It's a disgrace!

However, Shelly, there are many efforts to have walks for fundraising and awareness. I think you may find them listed here at the Index at this message board. Many, many people have participated in them.

My heart goes out to you, Shelly. You are so very young.

There are treatments, and there are others in the pipeline. I believe your oncologist is on the mark with his not planting the cause of your lung cancer completely at the doorstep of smoking.

Please Shelly, come back and tell us more and give others the chance to welcome you and let you know that you are not alone.

Sending you prayers, and good thoughts to you. All the best to you and your lovely family.

Barbara

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Welcome Shelly,

Barbara said it very well.

The majority of those affected by lung cancer feel the same frustration at the lack of awareness and the misperception that lung cancer is solely a preventable disease. That line of thinking has been the brick wall between the disease and the funding needed to research for more treatment options that would allow more people dx. with LC to survive.

There are many ways to "educate" people who have no experience with lung cancer, because I think the question of "did you smoke" and the overall attitude come from being unaware and uneducated about the facts. I can say I didn't know a thing about LC until my dad's dx. 6 years ago.

When someone asks you if you smoked, reply with - 50% of those with lung cancer are former smokers or people who have never smoked a day in their lives"- that will stop any furter inference or blame I think!

There are awareness events, walks, fundraisers, educational opportunities that you can become involved with to help begin to change the stigma, offer support, raise funds for research. Many of us are doing just that to try to make a difference.

I know it's frustrating, but we are making progress a baby step at a time.

For now, you've come to a place where we completely "get it" and we are here to support each other thru this cancer journey.

Welcome again, and I hope to see more posts from you. Please keep us updated.

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When someone asks me if I smoke, I always answer why do you ask? This puts them on the spot 'cause they're not going to answer that they just wanted to know if this is all my fault.

I then go on to explain about the increasing number of lung cancer cases in non and ex smokers. I think people ask because it's such a shock and, if they are non-smokers, their first thought will be "Can I get that too? I don't smoke."

I tried to talk to an acquaintance with breast cancer about this. She is firmly convinced that her cancer is all her fault because she was in an emotionally bad place at the time of diagnosis.

I gently suggested counselling or a support group but as she is a 10 year survivor, she didn't feel the need.

Anyway, I don't think people who ask really believe that we deserve lung cancer, I think their first thoughs are about themselves and their own risks. Pointing out that non-smokers are increasingly at risk may help get more support and research for us lung cancer victims.

Linda

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SHelly,

You and I sound alot alike! When I was first diagnosed, I thought the same thing!! I was also told that my cancer was non smoking related due to my age (35). And YES something needs to be done to awake the public about Lung cancer awareness!! You certainly have the Passion, now find a way to put it into action. I do what I can to promote awareness and have felt for 3 years that is the reason that I am still here. I am on a Lung Cancer Mission!! I share my story with anyone that wants to listen, I try to raise money for the cause and I volunteer to give back to my community. I write into shows, I sigh petitions for lung cancer awareness and whatever else that pops up that I think will help!!

My goal every day:

If I affect one person in a positive way..it was worth it.

The lung cancer advocacy community is a small voice in relation to other cancers but we are certainly not quiet and we are growing... Whether it be caregivers or survivors, we can make change.

Find your voice and your outlet and keep that passion!!

There was a post about different ways to help raise awareness. Not exactly sure where it was but it was written by Katie and very informative...

God Bless You as You Begin Your Mission!!

Jamie

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Hi Shelly....

A big hearty welcome to you...sorry you are here but you certainly have found the right place....This board has been my lifeline....

I hear your frustration and believe me we ALL feel the same...Just recently I was at the doctors..(I couldn't get ahold of my own) a walk in medical center...I had a very bad flu and with my history of LC I was afraid it would turn into puenmonia....

When the doctor came in and asked me questions...I also told her I was a lung cancer survivors for 3+ years and the first thing that came out of her mouth was "did you smoke"....grrrrrrrrrrrrr....I litterly shook my finger at her and said "yes I smoked about 10 years ago...and YOU should know better than to ask a question like that"....and as a matter of fact...my LC did NOT come from smoking ...it was BAC which has nothing to do with smoking....I shut her down in her tracks....I hate hate hate that question....So what if I did and still smoked...do I deserve LC....you idiot....I'll never go back to her again...she needs to get back to her text books...

Shelly please come back and post more ...you will get such support here that will make you feel so much better...So sorry about your dx...you are much too young...but you have a wonderful hb and beautiful children to get you thru this and you'll be fine...Many people on this board with you stage are doing just fine...keep up the good fight and hang in there while we are all waiting for the BIG C

meaning the BIG CURE

hugs...and come back soon...nonni

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Hi Shelly,

Welcome to our family. We are here to give you all the support you may need.

I hate that smoking stigma. There are so many non smokers who are getting this horrible disease, and the public must get to know that LC could happen to anyone. Makes no difference, heavy smoker, light smoker, former smoker or these young ones who never smoked at all!

Please when you post do not use caps as it is hard to read and caps usually means yelling. Not that you don't have a reason to yell. We know that was not your intent. But it is hard to read.

If you have any questions there are so many people on here who will have answers for you. LC is NOT a death sentence, there is so many treatments out there, if one does not work they will try another.

Welcome and know that we have walked in your shoes be it the victim of this horrible disease or a care giver who has a love one carrying this burden.

Keep us posted on how you are doing.

Maryanne

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Hi Shelley and welcome to this site. You are way too young for this. I agree with everything in your post. Lung cancer has way too low a profile for the killer that it is compared to other cancers. When I first figured that out I got real MAD too! It's the smoking stigma for sure, and unfortunately not a large survivorship to advocate on it's behalf. While I was in treatment I did several advocacy things (radio, newspaper, TV, etc.) and I found that for me, it helped me to feel better that I was doing something about it. Here in Canada, November is Lung Cancer Awareness month but very few people would actually know that. Nobody deserves cancer of any kind. I know full well that I would not have LC if I hadn't smoked...but discovered early on that I needed to forgive myself for that and move on. Anything that any of us can do to get the word out there will help fight this thing and hopefully start to attract more funding so we can have more success rates with treatments in the future. My best wishes to you

Sandra

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I cn not add much except welcome unfortunately and everyone else has put in some really great thoughts and Posts! Sadly the stigma is overwhelming as to the cause and the secondary cause Leadingf Is Radon and I think Mesothelioma is getting up there also.. BBut any WHo Welcome and we look forward to getting to knowing and helping you along the way!!!!

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Shelly-

Welcome!! So sorry you find the need to be here but this board is the place to be for support!!

We have had this discussion here many times - the stigma is terrible about smoking and LC. You are so right - no one deserves cancer, no matter what. I would never go up to a diabetic and say - hey, do you overeat sweets, or someone with cirrhosis and say are you an alcoholic?? But for some reason, people feel they can ask the smoking question and its OK. Unfortunately, we are considered the "dirty" cancer.............sigh...

Please keep posting and let us know how you are doing.

Hugs - Patti B

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