Wednesday, July 08, 2015

7 Chemo Pro Tips

Thanks to my awesome targeted medicine, a pill that I take twice a day, it has been almost two years since I have been on IV chemo. While my scans still look great, my hemoglobin is low so I am having several weeks of iron infusions. I am so out of practice with IV medicine that I had forgotten all the hints I picked up during my time in the chair. I couldn't believe all the newbie mistakes I made, so I am writing down some tips here to help myself as well as you lovely readers.

1) Hydrate
Fluids, fluids, fluids. Drink as much as you can ...continue reading...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fear Less

The heart may freeze or it can burn
The pain will ease if I can learn
There is no future
There is no past
Thank God this moment's not the last
There's only us
There's only this
Forget regret — or life is yours to miss.
No other road
No other way
No day but today

- Lyrics from"No Day But Today" (from the musical "Rent")

Scan time is looming large on the horizon, so in addition to trying to take my own advice (see "10 Tips for Coping with Scanxiety"), I have been ruminating on the meaning of fear...continue reading...

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I Wish My Doctor Knew / Leading Us Through CancerLand

You feel a lump.
A bump.
A something-isn't-right.
You walk into the doctor's office.
Your heart is racing.
You can't breathe.
You see your future disappearing before your eyes. ...continue reading...

Monday, June 08, 2015

Your Heart's Desire

"Can you think what the Mirror of Erised shows us all?" Harry shook his head.

"Let me explain. The happiest man on earth would be able to use the Mirror of Erised like a normal mirror, that is, he would look into it and see himself exactly as he is.... It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts. You, who have never known your family, see them standing around you."
- Dumbledore, from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

I am one of the lucky ones who, despite a diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer and the terrible prognosis that goes along with it, is doing remarkably very well on a targeted med. ...continue reading...

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Cancer as Rebirth

Two. This month marks my second anniversary of living with stage 4 lung cancer. Two years ago at this time, lung cancer burst into my life, kicking and screaming, demanding all of our attention and making our family completely alter our lives to accommodate it. ...continue reading...

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Changing Face of Cancer Care

I've had a ringside seat to the evolution of cancer care.

The first time I heard the heart-dropping-stomach-churning-breath-stealing words, "you have cancer" I was 14 years old. The second time I heard them I was 37.

The first time, a chronic ache in my shoulder turned out to be bone cancer.
The second time, a chronic cough turned out to be metastatic lung cancer.

When I was a teenager undergoing chemotherapy for osteosarcoma, I never really thought I was going to die. Me and my teen cancer comrades in the hospital went through hell together. But I naively thought we would all get better and go home again one day.

I have seen cancer through an adolescent's eyes, and I have seen it through the eyes of a mom with three small children....continue reading...

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Lung Cancer Stigma

A few days ago there was a great article about the stigma surrounding lung cancer and the impact it has on patients. Check it out!

The lung cancer blame game

Also included in the article was a slide show with several people in the lung cancer club, including yours truly.

Slideshow: Faces of lung cancer

So enough with the blame already, let's work together and find a cure!