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Just to confuse matters, I post as TS, but my name is Stephanie. I am a 52 year old never-smoked female diagnosed with lung cancer September 2008.

I was working hard in the yard that day and came in tired. Ate dinner, watched some tv, turned off the computer and had a muscle spasm in the left side of my chest. With some additional spasms and sweating, we decided to call 911 and were visited by the Fire Department and Medics. They said my EKG's were great, but the supervisor had them escort me to the ER. The ER said my EKG was great as was my blood work. They decided to take a chest x-ray, then a CTscan, then they released me with a referral to my doc and recommendation to see a pulmonary specialist.

The rest, as they say, is history (see below). I am halfway through my chemo rounds and expect to have radiation in April, after a March break. So far, fatigue has been the biggest limiting factor for me, with some heavy nausea for the week after the cisplatin.

I am on leave from my job, with an incredibly considerate employer. I am going to try to work part time, when I am can, if I can, starting tomorrow. I have a great partner who has been by my side the whole way. I know he wants to fix this, but all he can do is cook and care. It's a lot. I also have great friends that have kept me close in their thoughts and hearts.

My Mom died 25 years from lung cancer that had metastatic spread; she smoked heavily. Her longevity was two months, in and out of the hospital, unreceptive to treatment though she suffered through it.

My older sister died 5 years ago from AML - leukemia, after almost a year of everything they could try on her. She also smoked and rarely saw a doctor until the last couple of years.

My father is 89 and going strong despite whatever life throws at him, though he has slowed down a lot.

My older brother is disease free for all we know.

I look forward to reading more good humor here and letting you know what is happening in the Pacific Northwest as things develop in the advocacy world. My surgeon and my oncologist are very involved and have already mentioned having me be involved next fall in a conference.

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Hi Stephanie from across the water. I am so sorry for your need to be here but this is an awesome site with lots of information and caring knowledgable people. Sounds like you have taken this fight on with vigor. Good for you. I too have tried to work part time through treatments, I even got back full time for awhile. If you have got a good employer, colleagues and a job you like, work can be a much needed distraction for some. I wish you all the best with your treatments. Please continue to post and let us know how you are doing.


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Stephanie, it sounds like you are in the right head to fight this battle. The thing you really have to keep remembering is how far they have come with cancer treatment in the 25 years since your Mom lost her battle and even in the five years since your sister died. If I were you, I'd sure be counting on the likelihood that you got at least a few of your Dad's longevity genes!

Welcome aboard.

Judy in Key West

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Hello Stephanie and welcome to the "family"

I am so sorry you've had reason to find a site such as this but very happy you have joined us and shared your story.

As you can see, this is a very wonderful site, full of support and hope. Please let us know how we can help you and know that we will do our very best.

I like the advice Judy gave you about how far treatments have come! And remember, there are new breakthroughs every day, too! Hold tight to the Hope!



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Hi Stephanie-

So sorry you have the need to be here but this site is absolutely awesome. You will gain much inspiration and hope here and it sounds like you can give us a bunch of that right back with your great attitude.

Let us know how you continue to do and if there is anything we can do to help you.

Hugs - Patti B.

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Hi Stephanie

Welcome to this great site. You will receive lots of support and encouragement from members here. Good to see you have that fighting spirit. Take care and please keep posting updates.

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Hi, Stephanie, welcome to the group. Your terrific attitude will serve you well. If you haven't already, may I suggest you visit cancergrace.org — GRACE, Global Resource for Advancing Cancer Education. A lot of us are "dual citizens" and have the same usernames there as here. Aloha,


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Welcome. What a blessing that muscle spasm turned out to be and how good that ER doctor was to give you a CT! Usually , since there are no early symptoms to lung cancer most are diagnosed in late stages but it sounds like you caught it earlier. This can be beat, I just celebrated 11 years of survival and no signs of any cancer.

Keep us posted.

Donna G

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Thank you all for your welcome.

I thought I was just stubborn. I've had a lot of people in my past tell me they think I am an eyeore - that is, a bit negative. I always said, just realistic. Luckily, my docs and SO believe I am a fighter and pretty well adjusted. It is coming in handy these days.

Ned - thanks for the link. I had run across Dr. West here and there on the net before, but hadn't bookmarked that site. Very informative.

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