Jump to content



Recommended Posts

Even though I had it on the calendar (and just had my most recent scan), the date sneaked by me.  June 20 of last year was when I met with the pulmonologist and got the word I had probable lung cancer.  Totally NOT what I was expecting to hear, having had a couple of scans that showed nodules with no progression.  But all of a sudden, things changed.

We've all experienced that surreal "this can't be happening" feeling on getting the news.  And you feel like you're on a runaway train with no way to stop or control it.  

My go-to response for anything scary like this is to research the heck out of it.  In the course of that, I found this forum and, having found other support forums immensely helpful over the years, I posted about a week later.  I'm so grateful you all were here to help me put things into perspective and help me see a bit of the path forward.  Not to mention the hand-holding.  :-)

Of course, I'm uber-grateful, too, to my primary care physician, for telling me about the lung cancer screening, to my pulmonologist who broke the news in a professional yet sensitive way, to my surgeon who is the most awesome doctor anyone could ask for in a truly scary situation, to my oncologist who continues to keep a close eye on everything, and to all the nurses and other medical professionals who have taken such good care of me since this whole mess started.

I know I am TRULY one of the lucky ones, and I try never to take it for granted.  

Thanks, guys, for being there.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


How about that! A year has past and you almost forgot your cancer anniversary. Do something special. Paint a toe LUNGevity blue, post a photo, and start a cure donation using the LUNGevity birthday donation tool. 

Message Lauren or Katie for info on the donation. My next cancer anniversary is in February and I’ll paint and post 15 toes!  Think I’ll aim at $100 a toe!  If we don’t raise funds to support advances in diagnostics and treatment, no one will!

Oh by the way, can’t wait to here about your celebration vacation plans. I highly suggest one over-the-top trip per year for survivors to remind us what we fight for!

i am vastly happy for you and can’t wait to see you at the next summit!

Stay the course. 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I donate to Lungevity monthly, already.  My way of giving back.  :-)

And my celebration vacation is in November.  I actually put down the deposit a couple months before my diagnosis, but since then I've kept it in mind as both a goal and opportunity for celebration.  I'm going to Vietnam for almost thee weeks.  I have a friend who went several years ago and loved it, and have talked to a few people since who have talked it up as a great place to visit.  It's a tour with the same company that operated my trip to Morocco back in 2015, and they do great tours that are very culturally-oriented (meals with local families, etc.).   I can usually afford this kind of "over the top" vacation only every two or three years, but I do enjoy my less-elaborate vacations.  On a whim I went to Atlanta over Memorial Day weekend to eat southern food and go on a couple of Walking Dead tours, and I had a blast.  

Maybe I'll paint one of my new teeth, instead, lol.  Actually, spending all the money I'm spending on dental work is probably the most symbolic act of faith in the future--that I will be around to appreciate it.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, your trip sounds fabulous!  Faith in the future, what a concept! 

Here's my travel/faith in the future (or lack of it) story. I may have told it here before, but I don't think so. In 2011, I was diagnosed with a rare gynecologic cancer, Stage 3, aggressive and with a poor prognosis. To celebrate the end of my treatment, I  registered for a tour I'd been wanting to do for a long time- a very specialized small group trip to the Czech Republic focusing on bead-related places . I've been a beader for a long time and Czech is  a place where glass beads and jewelry have been made  for hundreds of years. As the trip approached in 2012, I developed an odd, late occurring side effect of treatment that impaired my mobility and made it impossible for me to travel, and I had to cancel. It was a BIG disappointment, espcially because this tour is only done once every other year and I really didn't think I was going to survive another two years, or if I did, I doubted I'd  be in good enough health to travel. Well, lo and behold, come 2014, I was not only alive but NED and well. I took the trip and it was fantastic! Everything I had hoped for and more. Around this time I started believing I could have long term survival. And I've kept that hope, through my subsequent lung cancer. Yay for travel! Yay for HOPE!

Bridget O

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I really think making plans for the future is great.  Of course, sometimes it makes sense to make contingency plans (e.g., travel insurance, or making sure the dentist won't charge you a 25 percent cancellation fee if you have to postpone surgery due to the results of the scan you're having that morning, lol), but overall, living like you will be around for a while can be very good for your mental state.  

One of my plans for the future is to move back across the country within the next five years.  I love Albuquerque, so that's where I want to be.  My kids and other family live in Colorado, so it's close enough for frequent visits, and I can do my job from just about anywhere in the continental U.S., as long as I have access to an airport for when I need to travel.  I've looked into the availability of good cancer treatment there if I need it, and if I ever need to kick it up a notch, Denver is close enough for that backup contingency plan.  For me, it makes me feel better to know I've at least factored in the possibility that I might not be entirely done with this, but to move forward on the assumption that I am.  It's like putting on your seat belt, even though you're not planning to have an accident.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Being close to family has its advantages and disadvantages....

If you studied French and you are visiting Ho Chi Minh city, formerly Saigon, I'm told that will come in handy.  My neighbor went a couple of years ago and folks in the hotel spoke French.  They reported more spoke French than English.  One more thing, don't eat anything not cooked (like salad, etc) and don't drink the tap water.  He told me he got "ugly American sickness" from eating salad.  Likely because it was fertilized with un-composted sewage (typical in the poorer nations of the far east).  

And the Czechs have a long history of making crystal.  Some say they make the best in the world and that likely carries over into beads.  

On the topic of travel, I always buy travel insurance but never from a carrier or tour operator.  I always buy independent coverage.  Carrier and tour operator polices have too many fine print exclusions.  Cruise ship companies in particular have you pay for travel insurance that is almost worthless.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's partly why Albuquerque has its appeal.  Close but not TOO close, lol.  And it helps to have a drama-free family.  

Lots of French speakers in Morocco, too.  Unfortunately, I never learned French.  And yes, common sense in your food/drink choices is important anytime you are visiting other countries--especially the less-developed ones.  Our guide in Morocco made sure none of us got too adventurous with our food, and also made sure we were well-supplied with bottled water the whole trip.  I really love this tour company--they make it just adventurous enough to be interesting without significant risk.  The trip begins in Hanoi and ends in Ho Chi Minh City.  I wish I had time to take the extension trip to Cambodia, but just can't afford to take that much time off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congratulations, Teri! I'm excited for all of your upcoming adventures! Thank you for being an invaluable member of this community.

With gratitude,

Digital Community Manager
LUNGevity Foundation

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.