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My cancer story

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I was 36 years old in March 2022 when I had an mri for an unrelated issue on my neck (a hunch back? They were checking for a mass in my neck). They called me to say my neck was fine but they saw a 1.6 cm nodule in my upper right lobe.  They wanted to do a CT. To be honest I didn't take it seriously and life is busy... I didn't get the CT until May 2022. The CT showed a 1.6 cm mass that had lobulated edges.  The Dr said we should move forward with a biopsy. I had issues with insurance referrals... August 16, 2022 I had a biopsy. I had a hard time with the biopsy. I was taken aback when I began coughing up a pillowcase full of blood. August 25th the Dr told me over the phone that the tumor tested positive for cancer.  I felt like I was being watched over,  it was the grace of God that my tumor was even found. I had zero symptoms when I was diagnosed. By the time I had surgery on October 12th, the tumor had grown to 2.4 cm. I had the RATS Lobectomy and was released after 3 nights. The worst part was the chest tube.  I was in so much pain they kept giving me pain medication but then I'd throw up all my food. Once they removed the chest tube I got significantly better.  I expected to not be able to do anything for myself after surgery but recovery was better than I expected.  My husband was able to take off 5 weeks of work to be with me. I was out of work for 2 months.  Today,  I am 6 months out and still trying to heal and adjust to the fact that this is my new life.  I'm in search of a local support group if anyone knows of one in so cal. Thank you! 

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Bri Hin,

"Six months out and still trying to heal and adjust to the fact that this is my new life." Your words resonate in recalling my treatment history.

Hopefully, your surgical journey is complete. You don't mention follow-up screening which is common and important in our disease because lung cancer frequently recurs after curative treatments. Most of us have a medical oncologist who performs screening CT scans on a scheduled basis to catch recurrence.  What type of lung cancer were you diagnosed with? Do you recall the pathology report on your tumor biopsy? Here is information on the types of lung cancer. 

I wouldn't know about local support groups in Southern California, but we are your support group. Here is information about the LUNGevity Foundation. We have many support resources, all tailored to lung cancer survivors and those who care for lung cancer survivors. This explains the scope of our support services. So you are welcome to hang out with us as you search for a local group to connect with.

Welcome here and...

Stay the course.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Bri Hin,

I'll add my welcome to Tom's. I understand what you mean when you say you're trying to heal and adjust. Healing needs to happen on so many levels.... It took me a long time to make peace with the new reality. I have been working with a counselor on a weekly basis since this whole thing began. It has been a cornerstone of my healing. 

As to finding a local group, does your cancer center have a social worker? I would start there. If they don't, look at nearby hospitals with cancer centers. Research-oriented facilities seem to have the most comprehensive services. I made calls and sent emails until I found some options. Then I just happened to connect with someone, who led me to a group.... It shouldn't feel so random, should it? 

Other possible leads could be The American Lung Association, The Go2 Foundation, and of course, this forum! 

Hope to hear from you again,



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  • 2 months later...

Hello All, 

It's been almost 6 years since I have joined this group. Yep, 6 years.

I guess I should reintroduce  myself. Hi. My name is Raymond Johnson. My first Dx was 1 April  2017 with stage 2B nsclc. Then, 1 August  2017, the doctors at MSK removed my right lung and upgraded me to stage 3A nsclc. Then there was the 7 surgeries,  2 cardiac arrest, bleeding out, 3 strokes, 2 blood glots, and .. anyway. My journey is written here somewhere. I am just here to update everyone.  

  Like as I have mentioned,  it has been 6 years on my journey.  My survivor journey.Now. I play trumpet with 6 community bands. I am doing 3 shows every week this summer. I am also working  on getting a small group together to work the local ski resorts come winter. I am an active  member in the local music community. 

It hadn't  been easy or simple or without pain, which I still do have, but I an enjoying life every day.

There is hope.

Peace and Love to All







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