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Never thought to see this day!

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My 5th year after my stage 3b lung cancer diagnosis.

I had my annual pet scan yesterday and there is no evidence of disease. (The good news.) But I still have to take the Tarceva. (The bad news) Well, it DID save my life.

I remember receiving the diagnosis and wondering if I would see another winter. I was numb. 5 years ago the statistics said only 1% made it 5 years. I learned not to believe everything I saw on the internet nor everything I read in books. Medical postings and literature become outdated very quickly and all one really does is scare the bejesus out of ones self!

My doctor and I hoped I was cured after radiation/chemo and then surgery but, alas, 2 years later it was back in the lymph nodes in my neck. Radiation and Tarceva.

3 years and one dead thyroid later I'm still standing. (Well - sitting. Bad head cold)

My cancer diagnosis made my days seem more valuable and the colors around me brighter and deeper. The world took on new dimensions. I learned to accept my friends for who they were and make allowances for how they individually reacted to my disease - even when they ran and hid. My connections to family & friends are so much closer. I have wonderful friends who are also walking the cancer path who I never would have known.

5 years out. Cancer is the new normal but it took years to accept it. I'm still dealing with Tarceva side effects & a new diagnosis of Crohn's Disease (which I think is from the Tarceva).

I go to my job every day. I try to help others. I do my yoga and my meditating. I try to eat right and above all practice gratitude in my daily life. I live a simple life.

I LIVE!!!!!!!!!!

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I think Deb only had the rash also... Congrats on the 5 year.. try Wonton soup to help with the cold from a local Chinese restaurant.. Get well soon and thank you for popping in today ...

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I LOVE your story, thank you so much for sharing it! It sounds like you have found the way to get past the darkness of this disease and find the blessings in life. Congratulations on your 5 year anniversary!!! What hope that gives so many others!

I am also on Tarceva, I have been on it for 5 years, we could share some war stories, I am sure!



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Hi Jocelyn,

Sorry about being late to congratulate you on year 5 years of survivorship.I really dont have observations to make regarding your treatments,our experiences have been quite different,wishing you many more years of survivorship.Thanks for sharing your good news.

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Jocelyn - I have an onco-dermatologist at my cancer center who recommends Cetaphil also, so that is what I use. It has made a big difference, my skin is still flaky (embarrassing when trying on dark clothes in a store!)., but so much better. She has me using Dove products in my hair as my scalp was quite bad for some time.

I have just accepted the diarrhea as the "new norm". I do take Imodium if I am going to be out and about.

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  • 2 months later...

Im a very healthy non smoker and was told Thursday after having a 2cc mass removed from my lung......"Judy; Its cancer!" WHAT!!! I really thought I was still sleeping.....

Now just waiting pathologist report to come back for plan of action. They are not sure exactly what type (which confusses me) Just get it OUT!!!!!....

JocelynM; its stories like yours I need to hear. To show that I need to fight and stay strong. You are an inspiration to me. It will help with the wait this week for "the Call" to keep you in my thoughts that no matter I CAN AN WILL win this battle!!!!

MUCH Love,

Judy Manning

mommy to Jace 8 and mommy to husband 47 :D

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there are 2 primary kinds of Lung cancer Small cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma which is the most common kind. this is good because more research and more treatments available for Adenocarcinoma then Small cell...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dear Judy,

I know how afraid and bewildered you must be feeling. Like you, I poured thru personal stories looking for hope. I found it here.

I will say that, for me, knowledge was a path to acceptance and understanding. Sift carefully on the internet- there is much outdated info out there. Survival has increased logarithmically and there are new treatments almost every day!

Best wishes and hugs to you. You sound strong and positive and that is what you really need!


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Jackie said:

Survival has increased logarithmically and there are new treatments almost every day!

WOW! Gotta love it when the GOOD news is as hard to pronounce as the bad news! LOL!!

Sorry, I have no excuse, my sense of humor has ALWAYS been warped! I remember actually practicing saying mediastinoscopy on my 2nd visit to Fox Chase, just 2 days after the first visit. They warned me that each new person I met pre-op would ask me what surgery I was having. The last time I was asked was the 1st time I nailed it HAH!

Judy, I hope they get all your questions answered ASAP and that it is the best possible news they can give you.



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