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A Year in the Life of a Survivor


-Cheryl-

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Dear Friends,

It is hard to believe that a year will have passed on May 13th since my intial diagnosis, which is my husband's birthday by the way. What a gift it was last year for him to hear my diagnosis on his birthday. :cry: I went back to read my original posts, directly after my diagnosis. How frightened and desperate I sounded. I always feared that I too would be diagnosed with cancer because of my parents, but the diagnosis floored me. My only experience with cancer ended in deaths of both of my parents within 2 weeks of one another. They suffered greatly during their illnesses. I prayed for years to die any other way, but not of cancer, because of what I had witnessed. Now, here I am with the same disease. We have come along way, but not far enough in the past 20 years! It is not acceptable to see doctors giving cancer patients narcotics just to cover and mask their pain, rather than investigate the source of thir pain. I was told, "Well you have cancer."

In reflection of this past year, my diagnosis has been not all bad. I have grown spiritually, I no longer put off things, my family and I have grown closer, and I appreciate each and every blessing from God. I found this wonderful web site that has lifted me up through prayer and support. Unfortunately, some of those advocates who were here in the beginning with me, are no longer with us. People like: Ada W., Judy B. Lenny, Greg, Becky G, Sam, Sue m., Jessie, Matthew,, Buddy, Shelly's Mom, Andrea's mom, Debaroo's Dad.........the list goes on. Losing someone on this board is like losing a family member. Each person's losses and triumphs are felt by us all.

When I was first diagnosed, I was afraid that each day would be my last. I couldn't bear to get out of bed. I felt so hopeless. I had gone to my PA for a pain in the center of my chest. It was not really painful, just annoying. An EKG was done and was normal however, an x-ray revealed a tiny spot in my right middle lobe. Over the next month of fog, I had a whirlwind of tests to confirm or disconfirm various diagnoses. I had a CAT, a PET, a MRI, a Bronchoscopy, a medistinoscopy, and finally an attempt at surgery was made. Unfortunately , I awoke with all the lobes of my lung, and knew that I was no longer diagnosed with stage 1 anymore.

Following my diagnosis, my body would be pumped full of poisonous chemo and zapped with radioactive beams, all to prepare me for what would be one of the most painful surgeries known to mankind. I never even had to have a transfusion during chemo! I was strong and stayed positive. I remember when I was a child, I use to tell my father when he spanked me, "That didnt hurt." Well I had that same tenacity during treatment. Give me more! I can take it! I want to live, I want to beat this beast!!! I prayed to God, begged and pleaded, even bartared with him to let me live. I am not ready yet to be put into the ground. I have the greatest life, a wonderful husband that I adore, a job with kids and their families who need me. Why is this happenening to me????? My parents finally got their dream home and were snuffed out by this disease, and now that curse is upon me! My Legacy I suppose.

A year has flown by much too fast now. I am determined to live my live to the fullest each and every day. I went back to my job fulltime in Aug., after treatment. It was hard, but I did it. I only took off 3 1/2 weeks for surgery! I am by no means super human by any stretch of the imagination, just determined to survive. I was scared I would lose my job and benefits too. Ha! I am thankful to still be here. I will not waste another day worrying about tomorrow. I mean, afterall, we really only have just today don't we?

Thank You for being here for me you guys!

Much Love,

Cheryl

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Cheryl

I remember reading one of your early posts and thinking that you had grown so much. You truly are one of my many heroes on here. Your post is so honest and helpful to those of us still struggling. I know you still struggle, too. I hope you ask for what you need when you do feel down. Lots of us are here for you.

Elaine

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Cheryl,

Congratulations on one of what I hope will be many, many anniversaries as a Lung Cancer Survivor.

I salute you in your quest to live LIFE the best way you can. You and Jack have been hit with a few hard blows over this past year, and you have not given in to the life zapping negativity.

"Heroes". :)

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Hi Cheryl---You sure have been through a lot in a years time. I admire you for putting that piece of toast on a plate without buttering it up. Was talking to a neighbor yesterday he asked how i was doing after telling him some of what i have been going through his reply was my goodness what some people will do to stay alive. I came indoors and headedfor the bathroom literly made me sick. So many people just assume if you have cancer you should just lie down and die just get it over with. i guess they forgot we are human and have feelings. I wish i had a printer so i could print out your post and give it to some of these jurks. sorry about the word. I wish for you many more years of a very full and satisfying life. You take care my friend and as always chin up. Carlton

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OH Cheryl,

I am sitting here crying too. What a beautiful post and what a strong wondersul inpirational woman you are. I am honored to know you.

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Cheryl,

Congratulations on your 1 year survivorship. I had mine on April 10th. You are one of the people that kept me positive when I was just a "lurker" on this site.

You are strong and your strength shines through to all of us. May your next year be a happier and healthier one.

I wish I had your strong resolve, it is very difficult to be that way all the time.

May God bless you and your wonderful husband.

TAnn

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Cheryl,

Your courage and strength are so admirable. Wow, what a year for you. And then you had Jack's heart attack. I will never forget coming on and seeing that post. Thank g-d he is doing well now and thank g-d for you. You are a true figther and just an inspiration. I bet you are the office role model.

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Thank you for the aniversary wishes. I am nobody special. Just don't much like the alternative, Ha! I would like to wish us all many, many more aniversaries. God Please find a cure for this disease! Bless all of my new found family.

Love you guys,

Cheryl

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