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Learning to accept


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I have had 3 rounds with cancer. My first was in 1992, I was diagnosed with Gallbladder cancer. No symptoms, just one gallbladder attack. For whatever reason, the doctor decided not to wait but to remove it. I had surgery two weeks later. The strange thing was that when I went back for the follow up, I came to a complete stop when we were walking into the building. I can still  remember it so clearly. I had such a feeling of dread pass through me. I told my husband that I had a bad feeling that they found something bad, of course he thought I was being silly. They had, the pathology report came back ,found cancer. Now, it is very rare and they didn't know how to handle. Some research was done and another surgery to clean up and take samples. It was contained to the gallbladder and no further treatment was needed. Then in 2008, I had a routine appointment with my PCP, normal yearly chest x-ray was done. They found a small spot in my left lung. So, tests and more tests. They removed my upper left lobe in April 2008, stage 1B, N0, M0. I started feeling very sorry for myself, moping around the house and eating and gaining so much weight that I could hardly move. One night I decided that I had survived cancer twice but I was going to let the weight kill me. So, I started working out and watching what I ate. I lost the weight and started running. I have done countless 5k's, 10k's and 2 1/2 marathons.  There was still a place inside me that felt guilty for surviving without having to go through treatment.   I was hesitant to tell anyone that I was a lung cancer survivor, still such a strong stigma  attached to it. Fast forward to 2017. Routine blood work, except my PCP ordered a different one that my oncologist didn't order. The numbers were on the high side, wait a couple of months and repeat, higher yet. OK, the start of all the tests again. Small nodule in my upper right lung. Saw a new oncologist (mine had retired), he said let's wait and see, next day it went in front of the tumor board, change of plans, lets get rid of this now. June 20th they removed my upper right lung, stage 1A, N0, no  further treatment need just monitor for the next 5 years. I am walking more and getting ready for my first 5k post surgery. I have decided that I can become a voice for early detection. I have lost family and friends because they waited until it was too late. Former smokers and people with a family history of cancers should get regular check ups so anything can be caught early in the game.I want to let people know that you can have life after lung cancer, it is not always a death sentence. My first 5k is on September 10th and it is for cancer patients, all money raised goes to support the patients in need. I have had a special shirt made up just for my runs.

I can't attach a picture of the shirt, but the back reads:

Early detection works

1992- gallbladder cancer

2008 Lung cancer - upper left lobe

2017 Lung cancer - upper right lobe. 

The front simply states that there is always hope.


Thank  you for letting me share.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for sharing this, Isunique! Where is your 5K? I love the message on your running shirt. How is your training going?

Digital Community Manager
LUNGevity Foundation

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My 5k is in Livonia Michigan. This is such a great event for all cancer patients, caregivers and survivors. I just started back adding some running in today. I should be ready for the run in September. It might be more walking, but I'll take it any day. 

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  • 5 weeks later...

My first 5k, post surgery. Felt great, scared, nervous, excited all at the same time.Didn't do too shabby, Finished 10th out of 26 in my age group. Main goal was to start upright and finish upright. Love this race, cheerleaders at the start and finish line. Time 49:07 for a pace of 15:51, so happy. I am in the white shirt headed for the finish line. Thanks to everyone for the kind words of support.

Shirt for 5k.jpg

St Mary's Finish Line.jpg

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