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New guy in Kansas


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Hi, I'm John in Mulvane KS. Just started my 1st chemo today for stage IIIA lung cancer, diagnosed about 2 months ago. I'm 57yo and a LPN/charge nurse doing long term/skilled care. I've taken a leave to concentrate on my treatments and have good support but am still scared, got obsessed with survival stats and really depressed myself but now that treatment has actually started (radiation starts tomorrow) I feel that finally I'm living in the solution. Thanks for reading and God bless.

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Hi John.  I am so glad you found us. In December 1997 I was suppose to start a new job.  I am an RN.

I was told the pain down my arm and in my chest was not due to moving and unpacking.  It was Stage 3B Lung Cancer.

I did have to put off starting this new job until I finished chemo, radiation , then RUL Lobectomy followed by more chemo again..

I responded well.  I did get to start that new job in 1998 and I retired from that hospital last year.

I hope you respond well to your treatment also. Keep us posted.


Donna G

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John welcome here.  


I can't think of anything more frightening than a lung cancer diagnosis, especially after checking survival statistics.  


As an engineer, I am a believer in the predictive power of statistics.  But the statistical analysis we perform uses hard data with controlled parameters.  I was one of about 153,000 Americans in 2004 diagnosed with lung cancer and my age, race, type, stage were captured as data but absent was information on my general health and that absence introduces large variation in outcomes.  After getting depressed researching survival statistics, I bumped into an essay by Dr. Stephen Jay Gould, a Harvard Paleontologist, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma.  


His essay was a revelation and I learned that the statistician's desire to explain away variation by expressing a central tendency - a mean or median - may not apply to me.  Because, I am the variation.  More importantly, his message was attitude matters in the cancer battle.  So I resolved to develop a positive attitude toward my treatment.  Today, I am one of the few, way out there on the x-axis, holding the survivor curve from intersecting that axis.  Here is a youtube of his essay - 


Resolve to have a positive treatment outcome John.


Stay the course.









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Hi John

I think most people find that after you start treatment it helps with the stress level. You start to feel more positive and moving forward. I was diagnosed in 2007 and like you I read anything and everything about lung cancer I could find. It is good to do some research because I do think you have to be your own advocate on this journey. But like Tom has said, those stats do not take alot of things into account. Everyone reacts differently to different treatments. Alot of those stats are older and do not reflect the progress in treatments over the last few years. I was told I had a 12% chance to still be alive in 5 years. Even Oncologist and Doctors lump you into a category. Everyone will be telling you to stay positive but that is easier said then done. No that you have started tratment try to focus on that and read all the good news stories you can. There are lots of those out there too. take care

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Hi John,

Welcome to the message boards, How neat that you and Donna G are both RN's! Anyway I read that you are aware of the statistics however there are a lot of people (many of whom I know) who are proving those statistics wrong! LUNGevity has the most medically vetted website and I think this link would be a good start for you. Lung Cancer 101 http://www.lungevity.org/about-lung-cancer/lung-cancer-101


Please keep posting if you have any questions, want to vent or just need some advice. We are here for you. 



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Thanks so much for the encouraging words and welcome. You have helped me get past the obsession with the stats and be more positive about my chances and get past the 'You currently have less than 6 months' talk with my oncologist. Sorry it has taken so long to respond, I live in the sticks and my sattelite internet is not the most dependable. I'll try to post weekly to keep up with you all and seek your advice when I hit a wall. God bless.

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