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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Symptoms of Concern

I have just been trying to recall when this lung cancer began.
In 2004 I had a bad cough.I coughed for hours and days and weeks.I remember not able to catch my breath in between the gasps.I was diagnosed with pneumonia and given antibiotics.The rest of that year and into 2005,I believe I wasn't coughing anymore,or at least not like that.In October of 2005,I was sent to a heart specialist,as an EKG test showed an irregularity in the graph.He was a good doctor and obviously had saved my life.He believed that the result might not have been a heart attack.He knew that a problem with the lung could also show up as that.He ordered a chest x-ray.He said that the x-ray showed two spots,but that one spot was pneumonia and that we would wait until my pneumonia was over to do a follow up CT scan.
The scan was done on January 30th 2006.My doctor called me in the next day and told me to see this doctor,and with tears in his eyes he wished me the best.I saw a surgeon on February the 15th.He was to the point in about 5 minutes and surgery was arranged for the 28th of February.Not much time to think ,and also nothing to think about.It was a do or die situation.
I sit here 20 months later and have NO Regrets.
I was one of the few fortunate ones to be able to have the option of surgery.I was diagnosed early enough.
I know I did this to myself.
I smoked a pack of smokes a day for 43 years.I just believed it wouldn't happen to me.
I had been told I had emphysema a long time before.In 1993 I was given a spray,but I never really used it.
They did find I have emphysema,when they did the pathology on my lung tissue.
My breathing is decreased in capacity but I am still not on oxygen.
I see my surgeon every four months as always and will continue to see him for another year .Every time I go for an appointment,that is the worst of all, then after when he says the cancer has not returned ,That is the Best.

I have been having a lot of breathlessness lately.I have a lot of pain in my back by my lungs.I can usually relieve the discomfort with heat applications.

My coughing came back about two weeks ago,and it really scares me.When I breathe,it sounds "metallic'.The doctor found that I was congested,but pneumonia is so far ruled out.

If I was to get pneumonia ,with the lung cancer,and lung reduction,and emphysema,IT would Not be good.

I have been taking it easy lately and avoiding too many public places.

I do not want to make this about me,but wanted to let you know some of the symptoms.

I appreciate your time.



DON'T STOP BELIEVING!



BELIEVE

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

DEALING with DYING

Lung Cancer seems to be rising. I have had this blog for over a year and the requests for information increases everyday.
I also notice that there are more blogs and a lot more information in the media with regard to "lung Cancer'.
Cancer destroys many people ,not just the one it inflicts.
I read letters from mothers,daughters, sons and grandparents and all the loved ones.I find that the worry they have over the other person really speaks what this disease is all about.It involves everyone.
It sure gets tough "Dealing with Dying"
I always loved challenges,but I never thought I would get through this one.
"I learn a little more everyday,to know what I have to, tomorrow"
They say to"live for the day".
I do try to enjoy every minute,but I am just too busy to stop and think if I am.
I am not always in pain,and then life seems normal.
Nights are a time of solitude for my self.It is then the reality of time sets in and frightens me.
I have an agenda,I plan to keep all the appointments I have made for myself!
That is so important.
I am NOT waiting for God!
I want to dwell on the time I have Now and not the time I Wont have later.
I feel well enough now to do the things I have wanted to do.I will admit though that at my age I didn't think I would be thinking of a lot of the things I have to think about now.
I have always wanted to go to "las Vegas".Those plans have changed.I want a recliner now instead.L.O.L
There is a more realistic plan to have to make for ones self after the disease is diagnosed as terminal.
When the doctor told me I had "lung cancer",I went into shock.I did not know anyone else was around me...The world and me stood still.
I came home ,and I started to write in my journal.I didn't want to keep talking about it to my husband,and I sure did not want to burden my kids.
I did need to talk to someone though.
I started this blog.I was new to the computer,but you never would have known.
My hands were flying on the keys and the words just kept coming out.
My point is to find a means to be able to get your feelings out!I find a good scream once in awhile doesn't hurt either.
There is a lot of information on physical facts for this cancer.There are many blogs with personal insight as well.
We are all going to Die,that is a fact.
We all can live a full life,even if it is shortened by disease.
Take Care of yourself,and the rest will fall into place.
I still count my blessings every night.I know there re others in far worse circumstances than myself.
I pray for them.
Til next time......

DON'T STOP BELIEVING!

Believe

Sunday, August 12, 2007

TOUCHING BASE,AGAIN!

Welcome to my corner of the world!Thank You all again for your kind words and blessings.
This is a sort of copy from a few months ago.
I have been getting away from the main point of why I am here writing this.Here,again,is a long story,short.I know a lot of you visitors have been following the events since my diagnosis "lung cancer".
I would like to kind of start again for those of you who are looking for something more with regard to this deadly disease.
I wanted this blog to be informational,I did not want it to be whining.
I will not be able to tell you the physical aspects,as I am not a doctor.I do hope I can help with some of the mental anxieties that you will encounter .It has been an ongoing situation for me since 2002.
I have also had many years in the field of counselling and consultations with people in crisis in their lives.
I unfortunately,Do Not follow my own advice at times.,Though I am sure I am not the only one.
My lung operation was required as I had a tumor on the right lobe.Following is the Pathology report

DIAGNOSIS:
BRONCHIOLOALVEOLAR CARCINOMA
TUMOUR MEASURES 2.2x2.0CM
TUMOUR IS LIMITED TO PULMONARY PARENCHYMA AND DOES NOT INVADE SURFACE PLEURA.
SUBPLEURAL EMPHYSEMATOUS BULLAE ARE PRESENT.

That is a pretty scary report.
The familiar laymen term might be;I have a non small cell stage 1 lung cancer.For the MOMENT!
The tumour was removed and I now go every four months to the surgeon .I have a chest xray,he looks at it,and so far,Thank God,he has been able to say,"See you in four months".
That time is a GOOD time.
The following four months can be a bad time.
I know I have cancer.I am really confused though.If he got the cancerous tumor,why am I still considered cancerous?
My doctor has NEVER said that I should go on with my life,or I hope I do not have to see you for a very long time.NO, I am left to wonder what is next.
The worst part so far,and I guess I am fortunate,but the wondering and the waiting and the anxiety that goes with it,makes this a hard disease to deal with.
I read all the time about others who are diagnosed with cancer.They see councillors and have oncologists at cancer facilities to talk to.
It was never suggested to me to seek some kind of guidance.
I always knew it was there,but my point is,If you are reading this blog,then you are probably looking for answers.
My advice is to have someone to talk to.It is not easy for some to share this with family.
I have come on here to share this with strangers.I find that being over protective of my families feelings,I have not wanted to or chose to share my pain with them.
There are many informational sites on line and a lot of Cancer Clinics.
I will try in the future to seek out more information to put on here for your interest.
Just wanted to touch base with you again as to what this blog is all about.
Keep checking back. Til then.......

DON'T STOP BELIEVING!

Believe

Sunday, July 29, 2007

LUNG CANCER;Time is of the Essence!

This thought of death looming over me,is starting to drive me mad.
Do I have time to do all the things that I thought I would like to do?
Does it matter?
My dad used to tell me to make a five year plan.I wish I had listened.He passed away in 2002,but just before he did,he said my plans should be made six months.I laughed,thinking I had all the time in the world.
Now I feel like I am running out of "TIME ".
I know I am my own worst enemy at times.I find myself on line trying to find all the clinical information about my "lung cancer',and emphysema,and cirrhosis.
I want to stay informed.That is a good thing.
I have found though that " THOUGHTS" are the key to this diagnosis.
I have always been optimistic.I still am.I do however feel that I must be realistic.
I think I might just have to leave it up to the doctors to figure out the physical aspects.
Now the question is;How do I spend my time?
Maybe it is not about ME.
I am starting to think that perhaps leaving the people who love me a good memory,might just be more important.
I have a husband and three grown children.
I think I will give them my time.
Time is of the essence,and I pray that I spend it wisely!

Just my thoughts for the moment.
I have been feeling very well the last couple of months.I have not written for awhile,and yes,I am guilty of neglect of this site.
I am however enjoying my yard and the summer that is sweet,in this part of the country.
The humidity can be a bother when it is in the forties.The emphysema effects come to the forefront for sure.
I wish you all the best on your summer as well.
For now.........

DON'T STOP BELIEVING!

Believe

Monday, June 04, 2007

COMING UP FOR AIR,AGAIN!

Doctors appointment went well.Thank you all for your blessings and concerns.
Special Thanks to Karen at http://www.copdandsomuchmore.com .
It is a great site with a lot of personal looks on lung diseases.
My cancer still remains at Stage1.Next appoitnment in September,so I can exhale for awhile now.
I did it again.I made promises to myself as I sat in the doctors waiting room,waiting for the x-ray.Now I think I will make a promise never to make a promise.
Second chances are a blessing.Nine chances are a miracle.
I have written about all the bullets I have dodged,in my last posts.I will recap.
1.1996-I was schedules for breast surgery.An angel came in the form of the doctor.She decided she would take a look for herself and discovered that there were six cysts causing the lump and she aspirated them.I walked out an hour later,in tact.
2.1999.I woke up one morning and thought I had had a stroke.I went to the emergency and they diagnosed"Bells Palsy'.It is a very crippling disease.I was given steroids for 2 months and have thankfully recovered quite nicely.There is a slight facial scar,but nothing I can not live with.
3.2002-I had a "grand Mal" seizure.The last thing I heard in the emergency room was"code Blue'.
I came about all right,I had just bitten a small piece of my tongue off,but I again was alive.
4.2002.Recovering from my seizure,it was diagnosed that my liver was failing.I was released to see a specialist and to perferrably check myself in to AA.
5.2002-Diagnosis,"Cirrohsis".He gave me three months to live.He said "You are on the cutting edge of the cutting edge".He was referring to liver surgery.I was told I would be given a liver transplant,if I remained from drinking alcohol for 2 years.At the time,I figured ,well I am not stopping drinking.
I quit drinking two weeks later and have remained alcohol free for 4 years.My liver tests have been average lately and it is no longer a priority.
6.2005-My E.K.G showed I had had a heart attack.I was sent to a heart doctor.I was told I had pneumonia,and another spot on my lung.
I was given heart tests and nothing else surfaced.I would not find out about the other spot til next year.
7.2006-January brought me the "lung Cancer" diagnosis.My odds were 20% that I would NOT make the operation.I did!.
8.2006-a suspicious lump was found on my breast.A biopsy was immediatley done and the mass was not Malignant.
9.2007-I have emphysema,but I am also not having to do chemo,and I have no oxygen tanks,as of yet.
So you see....Miracles do happen!

I hope I am not a cat or else my lives would be running out!
I will say though,that possitive feelings are NOT enough.I believe in Believing,but I believe in facing hard cold facts on the physical aspects,as well.
I know now that I have to eat right and not smoke or drink.These are all very real changes I have had to make.I am here today because of that,as well.

I am so Thankful.

Believe

DON'T STOP BELIEVING!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

FIGHTING THE ODDS

I have had Lung Cancer for 15 months,and for now I am fighting the odds.The problem is that dying is the favorite and a miracle of a cure is the long shot.I am not saying that miracles don"t happen,but everyday that passes is one against time for me.Time stops for noone.
How do I plan to die,when my mind is programmed to live?
I think I will just keep on living with a possitive attitude and do everything I want to do.I have spent the last year waiting for every doctor appointment to see how long I have left.
It has all been such Wasted Time.
When I die I will be dead and not be able to do the things I can accomplish now.
I am truly blessed at my stage of lung cancer,and they were able to remove the 2 inch tumor from the lobe of my lung.I also have emphysema,but through all this I do not have oxygen.I am still young enough and can get around.
I am now starting to actually make some future plans.I am not ignorant of this disease,therefore I must make plans with in a reasonable time.
I am having a problem with being selfish.I am always thinking of others,and sometimes i feel like I am rushing them with my haste,not to waste attitude.
I want for my family.I do not think of mountain climbing or sky diving,just really settling up some karmas.
I would like to do some volunteer work in the area,and of course I still do my card readings.
I have been reading the Tarot Cards for over 20 years and always meet so many people through that.
I believe in "Best learned is What is taught".I have emotionally helped a lot of people over the years,maybe thousands we are talking.
I have learned so much from them.
I am taking up a meditation class in June,so I can try to stop some of my pain,so not to take too many meds.
My cancer is"BRONCHIOLOALOALVEOLAR" carcinoma.
It is the rarer one of the lung cancers,but I smoked for 40 years.I know what caused it,and believe me I lay no blame on anyone or anything else.
I lead a fast and hard life.I know that I am paying the price now.
I also know that I do not want to die with regrets.I can say to me and to you that "I have NO regrets".
I have had the most loving of lives,I have always been called "Dear,Darling,etc.by my Mother and Father,and I have not suffered any abuse at anyones hands but my own.
Thank You all again for your letters and comments.I look forward everyday,and sometimes several times a day,to your comments.
Doctors check up,the dreaded one on May 30th ,so I will keep you informed,and Thanks again for stopping by.

Believe

DON"T STOP BELIEVING!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

IT ONLY HURTS WHEN I BREATHE

I am spiritually doing well.My breathing though is getting a bit worse.I must mention that with a part of my lung gone and severe "emphysema",I didn't expect much less.I am not on oxygen as of yet and I am very Thankful for that.
Time seems to be moving so fast,and I am not moving quick enough to keep up it seems.
I will see my surgeon on May 30th,and again the anxiety to see if and where the cancer has come back.
I have "cirrhosis" of the liver ,and I am aware that the cancer of my lung can spread to my other organs.I have regular liver tests,but the last few months the counts are higher than normal.My doctor has warned me that The Liver could develop cancer cells.
It is hard to deal with dying with lung cancer,but to have to think about a liver transplant at this stage of the game is the real breaker of my mind and heart.
I have had many miracles in my past.I have seen the light at the tunnel before.I had a "Grand Mal" seizure in 2002.I heard the nurse call code"blue".I felt myself going but thought about getting back,and I did.
I was suspected of breast cancer twice in the last ten years,with the last scare being a year ago.They did the breast biopsy 3 weeks after I had my lobe of my lung removed.It has all been pretty scary.
I say in my "bio " that I am a lucky and very blessed person.
I know this,but I still have days that are sad.
I really do try not to dwell on the facts of this untimely diagnosis,and still make plans for my future,as if I will live to a ripe old age.
I asked a question on "Live Q&A" last month.I asked if I had a second chance with lung cancer.I was told,No,You will die.
I was upset by that,though it is the truth.I want to believe that as long as I have faith,I will beat the odds against me.
Thank You for all your support through these times,you are all my angels.
It does hurt a bit when I breathe,but I am still breathing!

DON'T STOP BELIEVING!

Believe

Friday, March 09, 2007

A SMOKER with LUNG CANCER

Smoking has been the cause of my demise.Forty-Three years of abuse.I should have figured when I had a cough that kept lasting 4 years ago,that I could be in trouble.I guess I was a typical addict and kept finding excuses.
I now have lung cancer,and emphysema.
When I smoked I did not eat.I actually weighed 89 lbs at one time.When I smoked I drank a lot of coffee,another drug that is questionable.When I smoked I sat,another quick way to die ,as no exercise!
When I smoked I stunk!Our social life even diminished,as anyone that did not smoke did not want to spend an evening with us inhaling ours.
Quitting Smoking is also the hardest thing,and drug to stop.
They have drug rehabs for Heroin,methedrine and alcohol,and insanity.They do not have quit smoking rehabs as far as I know.
Our government collects the taxes on our smokes and then will not even hold themselves accountable to cover the costs of quitting.
I will agree that the pictures that are required on cigarette packages make one think a bit,but you can learn to ignore them as well.
I was a terrible "alcoholic" for 25 years.I was able to quit drinking when the doctor said that I had three months to live.I have "cirrhosis " of the Liver.I could not Quit smoking when I was told I had Lung cancer. I find that pretty sick.
I am a very strong person so I know how very difficult it is to say No to tobacco.
I do know that it can be done.Thank You all over at
http://onemillionquitsmoking.com
for lending support to the people who have quit!
Take it from me,It is up to you to make the choice to quit.I find that substituting good things in place of the bad,really works.Treat yourself for every day that you remain free.I know it will be one minute at a time.


Believe

Saturday, March 03, 2007

COMING UP FOR AIR

The title says it all really.This year has found me in a constant gasp.I know there is more to come,healthwise, with my lung cancer.
I want to just forget about all of my problems now,and like spring,I want to come anew.
The "law of attraction " has been my life lately.
It has been five years of worrying about the next day in a bad way.I am changing my thoughts as I write this.
I am one very blessed,lucky person.I look fine,I only have the one scar from the lung operation and I can walk and talk.I feel that with a greater pronounciation of What I can do, instead of What I can not,will be the best way to go from here.
My "Emphysema" is still a problem.I really havent been seen by a specialist for that.I will get to that after I go out and have some fun!
"My first breath" was the name of this blog when I started writing this a year ago.I have had many breaths since,that I never thought I would have.
I am one of the very few,who have made it this far after a lung cancer diagnosis.
I wish to Thank all of you that have taken the time to read this blog and leave your comments.
Please check back with me as I go through the Trials I have been given to tribulate.

Believe

DON'T STOP BELIEVING

Monday, February 05, 2007

DIAGNOSIS:LUNG CANCER

The four month wait is over.I saw my surgeon last Wednesday.
There is no return of the"CANCER".I am still at stage 1,or so I believe.
My heart was pounding as I waited for the x-ray results.
I tell you,I went through everybody and everything in my life that day and the days leading up to the appointment.I could actually feel my heart in my stomach.I was so happy to hear that the x-ray looked good that I almost ran out of the room.I forgot to even ask any questions.I am just starting to relax a little now,I think I was in shock.

It has been almost a year since they diagnosed me with"Lung Cancer".I have since had the "lobectomy" to remove a tumor, as well as the right lobe of my lung.I was very fortunate to have had the CT scan and it was detected on time.I do know that some cancers have progressed too far by time of detection and therefore are not able to be surgically repaired.
I am one of the fortunate.I can say that now,as I recall my doubts this last year.
I was so happy in December thinking that a new year was coming and we would have a fresh start.I was thinking about how it had been a bad year.My husband and I having to have major surgery was horrible.
I am wanting to change my mind now and say that it was a Good Year.We are both here and doing well.The odds were against both of us in our individual surgeries.
This last doctor appointment made me check myself.I am angry at myself for allowing a year of worry over dying,when I should have spent the time thinking about living!!
New Year,Wonderful test results.and my husband at home.
I know that I am not out of the woods yet.The prognosis is about 5 years after the diagnosis.That leaves me four.I hope this time I can do the right things.
I am still dealing with"cirrohsis of the liver".I have a heart disease as well as emphysema.I am feeling great and up to new challanges everyday though.I am still only 55,not 85,so I plan on keeping going.

Thank You all again for sticking by me.I really appreciate your comments.


DON'T STOP BELEIVING!


BELIEVE

Thursday, January 11, 2007

To DIE with DIGNITY

I see "The Surgeon" that is dealing with my "Lung Cancer"on January 31st.He will take an x-ray of my lung and tell me if my Cancer has spread.I think I already know the answer.
I am afraid this time.I feel so very tired.I do not know if this is caused by my lungs,but it must be.
I still have my positive attitude,but I am not senseless regarding the way that I feel physically.
I had good days and bad days.I now have mostly bad days.
I have "emphysema".I am having more trouble getting and keeping my breath lately.
I Thank God that I am not on oxygen,yet.
I have a Fatal Disease!The worst part of this,is the not knowing.I can read information on my type of cancer and through a bit of easy math,I can roughly figure out when I will die.
It may sound easy,but it is against the human spirit to accept this fact.
If what I read and hear about "Lung Cancer' is true,then I will die very soon.If I talked my mind into believing this,I will die sooner.
What if he tells me an exact date?Will I cry?What will I do?
Answering my own question,if I may...I will begin to prepare to leave.I will try to say all the things I have wanted to say, to all the people that I have loved.I will be thankful for allowing me the time I have had and I will hope it all had a purpose.
I hope that I can "Die with Dignity".
Why must death be such a big part of life?
Boy,I sure am starting to sound morbid.
I shall move on to latest updates;
My husband is at home and recovering nicely.Thank You for your notes and comments of well wishes.
I am looking forward to a "New Year".Last year was a bad year for us both.I do pray I will have the time to enjoy 2007.
I will keep you posted after my doctor appointment.
Thanks for staying with me.

Don't Stop Believing!

Believe