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I am a 59-year-old resident of the Metro DC area. I was diagnosed with stage 3 NSCLC ALK+ adenocarcinoma in February 2013, which after three years metastasized to my brain. I've had chemo and radiation for the lung cancer and surgery and two rounds of radiation for the brain cancer. Through it all, I have remained generally healthy, active, and in good spirits. I have a full-time job and try to stay active with several community organizations. I love to travel, sometimes just to see new places, and sometimes for ski and bike trips. I have supportive friends and family but have gone through much of my cancer ordeal on my own because most of those people don't live close by or they also work for a living. This has generally worked out fine for me. Ironically, the longer I deal with it all, however, the more I feel like I need more support than I did when I started out. I especially would like to be able to share with and support others who are going through the types of challenges I'm dealing with--something I've found is often difficult for people who haven't had cancer to understand. I'm looking forward to being part of this group.

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Welcome Pamela.  Thank you for sharing your story.  What a great attitude and perspective.  You’ve found the right place for both support and being supportive.  

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Hi Pamela-

I’m an ALKie too.  I was diagnosed Stage IV last September at the age of 51.  I had some spinal lesions & hot spots on my rib & hip.  So far I’m doing well on Alectinib.  

My doctor’s advised me to file for disability & focus completely on healing my body.  I left a high profile executive position.  Each day I look at as an adventure.   

There is an ALK Facebook Page (I don’t do FB) that you might find helpful as well.  You may want to look at ALKpostive.org.   

This is a wonderful community- everybody here gets it!  Looking forward to learning more about your journey.  Your post is my inspiration for today.  

Welcome! 

Michelle

 

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Hi Pamela, welcome here. And I'm happy you found us. I think you are a great example of a showing people that you can still do the things that you love in spite of lung cancer. You are an inspiration! I look forward to hearing more of your journey.

I wanted to let you know since you are in the DC area that LUNGevity has an international lung cancer conference coming up at the end of April. I attended with my mom last year for the first time. As a caregiver I got so much support and my mom as the cancer Warrior met so many supportive and loving people who are going through the same thing as she is. If you can make it, I think it would be a great place for you to get support as well and also share your story. If you check out LUNGevity main website you can find information about the conference.

Once again, welcome!

Take care,

Steff

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Hi Pamela and welcome! I second Steff's suggestion that you consider coming to the Conference in DC. I've been twice and found it informative and inspiring.  I'll be there this year too. In any event, keep posting here.

Bridget O

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Welcome Pamela,

I complement you on keeping your treatment and life objectives in good balance. As you well know, lung cancer is known for its propensity to recur and brain mets are a significant recurrence site. But, the objective of seeking treatment is extended life and you seem to have that idea firmly in grasp.

During my active treatment, I also had difficulty sharing my experience (fear) with family and friends. They, of course, wanted to support me but did not understand the challenges of my disease and treatment. I felt far more comfortable after I discovered an online cancer site where people knew what I was thinking and feeling and identified.  Let us hope our LUNGevity Cancer Support Community becomes your go-to place for sharing your experiences and concerns.

Bridget mentioned our International Lung Cancer Survivorship Conference  on April 26th through 28th at the Washington Marriott Hotel in Georgetown.  Here is the link providing more detail on our conference. You live just across the river and attendance is an easy drive or metro away.  Consider going!

Stay the course.

Tom  

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Pamela,

You will find that this forum is one of the best places to get support for what you are going through.

Happy to "chat" anytime!!

 

Ro

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Hi, Pamela,

Welcome to LCSC. My name is Lauren and I'm the Digital Community Manager for LUNGevity Foundation.

I'm glad to see that you've already connected with a few of our members. This community is a great place to find information and support. Please feel free to explore the message boards and blogs, ask questions, and join the ongoing conversations.

In addition to these forums, LUNGevity also has a robust Lung Cancer 101 website, free patient educational materials, a Survivor and Caregiver Resource Center, peer-to-peer support programs,  a toll-free Lung Cancer Helpline, survivorship conferences, and lunch and learn events. You can explore more here: https://lungevity.org/for-patients-caregivers

Please let me know if you'd like any additional information about LUNGevity's Support & Survivorship Programs. If you are interested in learning more about the International Lung Cancer Survivorship Conference, which is taking place at the Washington Marriott Georgetown April 26-28, please feel free to contact me. I would be happy to provide more details about the conference and answer any questions you may have! 

We are here for you!

With gratitude,

Lauren
--
Lauren Humphries
Digital Community Manager
LUNGevity Foundation

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