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Joana


alascerca

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Hi, Sigh,

I am a young 65-year-old Joana (pronounced "joe-wanna"), from the coastal forests of northern California.  I have just been diagnosed with stage I adenocarcinoma -- left upper lung. I will have a lobectomy and lymph nodes removal on October 19th, and I am terrified of the implications of this cancer. Professionally, I work with children and adults who have cancer, so I intimately know the cancer world from both sides: as a counselor, and as a patient. This is my third major cancer (bladder colon, preceding this) and if you count melanoma and squamous cell skin cancers, it is my fifth cancer. I am terrified and deeply depressed, as we do not have the financial means to go forward in a way that will be helpful to me. I am steeped in grief, and waiting to exit the tailspin of those words "Yes, it's cancer." I am desperately unhappy and feel hopeless. Do I know better than to have this perspective? Of course I do. Nevertheless, it is there, the anguish, and economic worry doesn't allow me to concentrate on healing. I'm glad to be here, and looking forward to interfacing with others who are also taking this daunting walk. Although the surgeon proclaims that this is a "surgical cure," I am so aware of cancer's insidious ability to be hiding in the tiniest of manners, and so I am going to ask for adjuvant chemo (NOT that I want it, but I feel that it is a little bit of a help; sort of a "clean up" chemo to get any tiny little cells).  I hope that after reviewing my records, they also think that this is indicated. I am in a bad place, deeply sorrowful and heavy. (All that said, I DO have to have laughs and smiles every day. Without that, what's it all worth!?) Cheers, and thank you for the welcome, Joana

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Hi Joana...glad you found our forum and sorry you have to be here.  I can fully appreciate your fears and worries as I am a two-time cancer survivor (colon and lung).  As you well know (from experience) cancer can be insidious but is not an automatic death sentence.  In a little bit I'll share information that can help you.  In the meantime I can tell you that we have folks here that were diagnosed at stage 3 and 4 and years later they are still alive and happy.  So please be of good cheer.  In the meantime, your thoughts are valid about adjuvant therapy when it's considered appropriate so please raise this to your medical team and see what their rationale is around any decision they make on the subject.  

I was diagnosed with cancer in 2019, had a lobectomy and was considered clean after the surgery.  I've had numerous scans since early 2019 and they have all been NED (No Evidence of Disease), I pray the same thing for you.  Please feel free to ask any questions that you have here and we have a wide array experience to share with you.  In the meantime please take a look at a couple of things.

First is a treatise done by one of our members called "10 Steps to Surviving Lung Cancer; by a Survivor" and it can be found here.
Second is a blog I wrote about on "Thoracic Surgery Tips & Tricks" that will help you in preparing for the lobectomy as well as recovering.  That is at this location.

In the meantime please try to stay focused on the good things around you.  I understand how hard that can be.  Almost everyone in my family died of cancer and I had my first cancer 11 years ago.  So, I really do appreciate what you are going through, but I also know that I want to live each day fully for as long as I can.  I would like the same for you.

Lou

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Hi Joana. I'm one of those stage 4 survivors that Lou mentioned. I'm 5.5 years out from diagnosis, upper left lobectomy, and chemo. It all sucks. Curse, cry, get mad. It absolutely takes the wind from your sails but it is not a death sentence. The silver lining for you? It was caught at stage 1.  

I understand the financial concerns. I was able to keep working (and still work) so it may be an option for you. Also check out this part of the Lungevity site: financial information.

We're always here for you. Keep us posted.

 

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Thank you, Susan and Lou T.

Your words are uplifting to me, and I will look at the associated links you've provided, Lou.
Appreciating it all enormously.
Sadly, I cannot work a regular job, as I am disabled from previous cancers and their treatments. Fie! I have out on my thinking cap, though. I am not defeated yet and plan to be a very active and engaged participant in my own treatment and hoped-for healing!
❤️ Cheers, joana

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I’m 5 weeks post op left upper lobectomy abs I was were you were 2 months ago.  I even woke my husband up at 3 am and  told him I couldn’t do the surgery. I’m still wondering how I got this as I have never smoked. It turned out stage 1 with no nodes or margins positive.  All negative.  I’m learning to take it one day at a time. And I feel stronger every day.  I just joined this good.  You’ll be glad you did.  
take care

LRB 

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Perhaps this exposes my dunder-brained incapacity with computers, but where do I find the responses that I received in the last few days? They are not all here, and I do not see how to access them. Thanks! ~ joana

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27 minutes ago, alascerca said:

Perhaps this exposes my dunder-brained incapacity with computers, but where do I find the responses that I received in the last few days? They are not all here, and I do not see how to access them. Thanks! ~ joana

You've posted in a few different forums. If you click your name by one of your posts, your profile will come up. On the right side of the screen are all your posts. If you click one of those, you can scroll up or down to see responses. Hope this helps.

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