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My way to say thank you


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Hi Everyone!

It has been a few months since I have stopped in to see how y"all were doing in these crazy, scary times. I hope you are all staying safe and not taking any undue chances. I know I'm very nervous about going out anywhere. I haven't been out of the house other than going to the doctor's office for my Keytruda every 3 weeks for months.  I've been watching LOTS of TV and doing a lot of yoga as I am not only a yogi but I'm a yoga teacher and had been teaching for over 10 years when I got my diagnosis. 

A quick story of my stage 4 lung cancer is it was caught in pre-ops for an upcoming shoulder replacement surgery in January 2019. I was in shock and petrified as most people are when first diagnosed. The universe sent me to this website where people like Tom, Rower Michele and so many others treated me with kindness but also with truth. Yes, I was scared but I was told not to freak out, try to think positive thoughts and as Tom signs off "stay the course" (maybe the best advice I ever got). Chemo was hard but it took 85% of my cancer away. That's about a year ago and I have been on only Keytruda ever since. I had a PET scan in January 2020 that showed the "nodule" that was left in my lung had grown slightly and the SUV went up a few ticks. My oncologist (the best EVER) sent me for SBRT radiation treatment in hopes of, in dr's words, "zapping it." I went for 5 treatments and it was easy peasy. My favorite of treatment of all  I have been put through.

Now, the wait. I had to wait 3 months before I could have another scan which I had in the middle of the whole Covid thing. The results were great. My oncologist was thrilled. The nodule was zapped and although there is still something (like a smushed up thing) there my oncologist thinks that my next scan will be really really good. I'm not out of the woods yet. I guess I'll never be but my hopes are high. I hope not too high.

As I said before I am a yoga teacher but I was down to teaching one class a week because of not knowing how I would feel from day to day,  the extreme fatigue from the Keytruda and of course my mind telling me I wasn't really a teacher I was really Cancer Girl. Once Covid hit I started taking online yoga classes and I realized that online classes could be something that I could do. I wouldn't have to leave my house and even if I was tired I could make it though teaching an hour and 15 minute class. It actually takes my mind off it. So  I decided to give it a try.

I contacted some of my old students and I started teaching 3 Zoom classes a week. 2 gentle mat yoga classes and one chair yoga class. I started classes up at the beginning of June and have been shocked at the attendance by my old students. They were thrilled to have me back. So, here is the reason for this whole long story. I will be making a donation to LUNGevity monthly from my yoga classes. As of today this month's donation will be $50-$100 based on student attendance.I will make this donation after the 1st of every month. 

You guys and gals have helped me so much I can't even tell you and I know I haven't contributed much to the website. Now I can pay you back for all you have done and continue to do for me. Thank you all for how much you have helped me along this journey. I love you all and my hopes for you are good scans, a long happy life and much peace and light in your lives. 

Namaste, Claudia

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Claudia,

Well I'm so pleased to learn of your positive SBRT experience. If it is any consolation, my first CT scan post SBRT showed a little something, but the next revealed that something as clear scar tissue--a tumor zapped for good!. I know your next scan will reveal the same.

It is so very thoughtful to donate any amount of money to our foundation. We (the royal we--Lungevity) are struggling with funding and donations also so every penny helps. 

Here is how you can help us out. Your survival story is a path to life, to a new normal, to living after lung cancer. It is a wonderful story and newly diagnosed ought to know of it. I would encourage you to stay active on our forum and be an example of hope for the newly diagnosed. We average about 3 new folks a day and if you could interact with them in sharing your experience and insight, it would be so very helpful.

Stay the course.

Tom

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Hi Claudia,

I remember you - so glad to hear you're doing well (knocking on wood, crossing finger and toes, good vibes and lots of prayers, and what else... all that 🤗). Welcome back and that's very nice of you to donate to Lungevity.  I also am a yoga teacher (about 15 years) - I right away thought about offering online classes via zoom when the gym closed, but I also have a full time job (I'm an IT nerd 🤓 and proud of it, LOL), so between that, my own workouts and I've also been taking online yoga training (every weekend) to complete RYT 500 so I didn't have any extra time to even tinker with that at all (yes, I'm a very go, go, go... even through my treatments I didn't slow down much, at least I've stopped teaching HIIT 🤣).  The gym where I teach at just opened and I'm back to teaching as of this week - it is rather disappointing to see people not caring about social distancing at all, though 😒

Thank you for all the kind words.  Keep us posted, have fun with your online classes.

Sending warm thoughts,
MB

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Claudia, what a fantastic story you have!  I'm so glad you have been able to convert your yoga teaching to online and thank you so much for your donations to LUNGevity!  To echo Tom, we would love for you to keep sharing your story here.  Every new member is looking for hope and you can definitely give them that. :)

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Hey there Claudia,

So good to hear from you!  Such wonderful news to receive your update.  Welcome to the survivors club where you’re learning to ride the rollercoaster.  Hopefully COVID will soon be behind us and we can carry on once again!  Hugs to you! 
Michelle 

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Thank you all for your kind words and uplifting thoughts. Tom, yes you are right. I am going to try to stop in here more often to help the.newbies who are petrified the same way you helped me. I hope you are right about my next scan. My oncologist agrees with you. MBinOregon, It's always wonderful to connect with other yogis and teachers. I read your blog and I am so happy you are doing so well. I hope it continues for you. LUNGevityKristin, thank you for your wonderful comment. I feel very lucky right now. Honestly, I am afraid to be too optimistic. It's not completely gone yet and I'm worried about it coming back. I hope someday I will be able to let go of the fear. Rower Michelle, wow, I never thought of myself as a survivor. I guess so far I am. Thanks for bringing that to my attention. 

I teach a really nice chair yoga class on Saturday at 1:00 EST. I would like to offer a free class to anyone who might like to give it a try. The chair makes yoga much more accessible to people with range of motion issues and balance too. Yoga is a wonderful way to calm down the mind especially when you are in the scan machine. We do a lot of breathing exercises (aka pranayama) and it sure helps me when I am having negative thoughts or hanging out in the scan machines. You are all invited. Just let me know you are interested and I'll send out a link to class. 

I hope the things that I am doing (donations and free classes) will be helpful for all of you. You have all helped me so much and continue to do so. 

Peace and light to all, Claudia

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Today was the last class that I am teaching in June. I just made my first $70.00 donation this afternoon and I feel very good about my donation. I just hope it helps someone. BTW it was very nice to meet some of you at the weekly afternoon Zoom meeting. I will try to make it every week. You guys rock!! Peace and light and good scans to all, Claudia

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Hi Everyone!

Just a quickie to let you know that now my students want to donate to LUNGevity too. I put a little mention on all my emails to them that I am donating monthly to LUNGevity to say thank you and now my students want to join in. Good Karma. Just sayin'.....Peace, light and good scans to everyone, Claudia

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  • 4 weeks later...

Claudia... I want to thank you for such an inspiring update and your posts... Very moving, encouraging and exactly what I needed right now!  I respect your journey and am full of admiration at your teaching yoga and generosity. What a lovely human you are!

I had a RUL lobectomy in Oct 2018. Surgery only; no chemo or radiation. I was very fortunate. I now have a suspicious growth in the upper left lung that is being followed. I've been advised that I will likely need SBRT in the future to treat it.  My surgeon and pulmonologist both feel I can wait for another CT until next spring to check on this growth, however, my pulmonologist wants me to get another 6 mos CT this coming September - not because of the left lung but to check on the right lung where I originally had a confirmed cancer (due to the high recurrence rate).  As September looms closer, I find I am getting more tense - not wanting to leave my house due to COVID exposure and not wanting to really find out what the CT will show... and wanting to know at the same time.

Your post and what you wrote about SBRT was very timely and encouraging for me to read. Thank you so much for that. Really... You have no idea how much help it was to read this.

So, yes, please come back and contribute your story here. It matters and it helps more than you will know.

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Hi, Claudia, nice to meet you! Thanks for giving back!

ColleenRae--wow, you and I are in the same world right now. My latest scan has turned up a suspicious nodule in my lower right lobe (my lobectomy was UL), and I just went for a PET CT yesterday--waiting to hear results. I'm seriously not wanting to go through another surgery--as easy as the first one was, I don't want to lose ANOTHER part of my lungs. My oncologist suggested that if it came to that, I MIGHT be a candidate for CyberKnife (SBRT--they have a CyberKnife machine at MD Anderson, where I'm being treated). Apparently once we get the PET CT results he will take it to their tumor board to discuss. 

As sorry as I am to hear you're in the same boat, more or less, I'm also glad to have the company, if you know what I mean. I'll be rooting for you! I think it bears watching, so glad you have another scan scheduled soon. 

How is your son doing these days??

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Terri / LexieCat,

Wow is right! I do know what you mean... While I am sorry to see a post from you and your updated status (I've missed you here!), I, too, am glad for the company!  You did so remarkably well following your UL surgery; I was in awe.  This is good that you are being followed closely. I hope the PET CT results are encouraging and will look forward to hearing about this. I haven't been here on the site much but will definitely be checking back.

Thank you so much for asking about my son!  He's been a real trooper with COVID. He made the decision (with no input from me) to stop going to his college classes in February and asked his instructors to allow him to finish the quarter remotely before everything went into lockdown... he was very concerned about getting the virus and passing it on.  He said he actually misses being able to go to live classes.  Being autistic and an introvert, he has not found the isolation much of a challenge...! :-)  I'm grateful for his company.

Keep us posted; I sincerely want to know how you are and what your results are.  I will be rooting for you as well dear Lexiecat!

 Sorry to hijack your post here for a bit, Claudia...!

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