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Reminder I have stage IV Lung Cancer


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I had a great weekend. I did all the sorts of things I did before my cancer diagnosis. Stayed to the end of a BBQ and fireworks, which meant I was home and in bed after midnight. I got much less sleep than usual and inhaled bonfire and 2nd hand cigarette smoke. The party was outside and I don't have control of others actions. I wanted to be included and tried to move away from smokers when I could do it gracefully.

Saturday I went with my husband and grandson to Ann Arbor and went to an oudoor event my family has been attending for years. Home by 8:30pm but my grandson stayed over, so it was a late evening.

Sunday am I made waffles and ham. I tried to sleep a bit, but my grandson kept checking on me starting at 6:30 am. We had great fun and he did not want to go home, but he left about noon. By 2pm, I needed a nap and slept for over 2 hours. When I got up, I was still tired, but got showered and dressed. And then I started to feel really nauseous and vomited. Something I had not done in over 2 months. It was a wake up call for me that I still have cancer.

Even though my chemotherapy is oral. It is still active treatment. Some days I forget that. I have to remember I have limits and need certain amounts of sleep and relaxation to stay healthy. I will not get any awards or medals for pushing myself beyond my limits. I have stage IV lung cancer. I will not be cured or recover. I can not have surgery to remove all the cancer in my body. Some days it overwhelms me to think about that. Most days I do not think about it all day long. But when I vomit, my body is reminding me, that even as good as I feel and look, there is still lung cancer residing in me. Stage IV cancer sucks.

I try to keep positive and focus on the things I CAN control. Stage IV is not something I can change. I can not change it for me or for the friends I have made who are in the same club. I can only try to love myself and them. To help us make our way through treatments that won't end our cancer, but will give us more time. To live, to love, to make a difference for those who follow us.

This weekend I did not want to be reminded I had cancer. It was tough. But, today is a new day. And I am still here. I will sleep like a baby tonight. I appreciate the support I get here to help me sort through some of this tangled mess of emotion. Today I live with hope that more good days are coming.

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I still have Hope, too. There are just some days when it feels foolish, like back in high school, hoping that nice boy I had a crush on would invite me to the prom. It never happened. Believe me, I read articles, watch the news, search the web, ask my oncologist questions about treatment, but so far the good news is my current treatment is shrinking much of my cancer, I feel pretty good most days, I can do many, if not ALL things, but unless there is some miraculous breakthrough, I won't be buying a dress for the prom. And that is okay. I made it through my life without that experience, as I am sure many others have. It does leave a little tender spot though, as you can tell by me bringing it up so many years later. I feel the same about my life. Once you have had cancer in your body you are not ever the same person. Many people go on and survive many years cancer free! Wonderful progress has been made in many areas. Where is that wizard that is going to wave his wand for the stage IV lung cancer survivors? Maybe he will show up and ask me to the prom, after all. :D

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I know I have things pretty good right now. I think my scans on the 13th and Oncologist appt on the 17th, have made me reflective again. On the up side, in 9 days I will be a one year survivor. Last winter it did not look like I would hit that mark.

My sadness comes not for me, but mostly for my loved ones. I had such a great time with my sisters and grandson this past weekend. My grandson and I got to polka and he even let me twirl him a few times once we got the hang of it. I want him to remember me. I had wonderful grandmothers, one lived to 89, the other to 94. They were a part of my life. I want that for my grandson and any other grandchildren to come. I hope it is okay to express some of these types of feelings here. I do have many positive moments. I read the posts of many other survivors too. Sometimes it seems their optimism is more than I can attain for myself. I feel guilty, as if I am falling short, by putting my fears or apprehensions out there for all to see. I know there are others who must feel the same way.

You had put a post out awhile back on a survivor who was frustrated about people who say they "understand" our cancer. I can tell you for myself that there is no way you can truly understand what it is like to have cancer, unless it has had you. You can empathize, you can provide help, you can listen, but you can not know. I am trying to learn to not let my fears and sadness rule my life. I have had some very positive moments in the last year. LUNGevity has had everything to do with that. This is a safe place to express myself without censoring my feelings to spare others. Because the survivors here DO understand how I feel. Thank you.


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Hoping that you have really great results with your upcoming tests-and you stay feeling well for a really long time.

I think cancer survivors (any everyone else actually!) need to keep trying not to let fear and anxiety take charge of their lives. It's so hard-believe me, if you could have been around me during scan time, you would have seen anxiety to the extreme. And then, after it's all done, I look back and wish I hadn't wasted all that life and energy on worry.

I think you are doing great and continue to have good times with family and friends.


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