Sometimes I Feel Frustrated

Living with lung cancer is rough. Many look at me and tell me, “Juanita, you look so good,” or “You look so well.”

But they don’t know what I’m going through mentally. Yes, we try to stay positive and do positive things, but that’s a chore in itself.

Seeking a deeper connection

I wish instead of people telling me how good I look, I wish they would ask me, “How are you really doing.” I wish someone would ask me if I need anything or if I want to go grab some coffee or a bite to eat. Maybe even ask me to hang out with them sometimes. I might look well, but I don’t feel well half the time. Mentally, I sometimes feel like I’m going crazy!

People don’t realize what we go through, what goes through our mind, what we feel, and on top of that, we often wonder if we are next. I just want to yell at friends and family and tell them, “STOP TELLING ME HOW GOOD I LOOK.” Sometimes I just want a hug.

Managing medical appointments

It’s not easy living with lung cancer. I’m so sick and tired of all these darn appointments. I’ve been doing this for nine years now, and I just get so tired at times.

Every three months, I go see my oncologist for blood work and a CT scan, and then I see her for results. Sometimes, I have to go back two to three days later for results. Then I see my radiation oncologist every three months, get an MRI, and then see him for the results.

I’m so sick of those machines, and I tell the machines, “I hate you.” But that doesn’t stop there. Throughout the nine years of chemotherapy, radiation, and different targeted therapies, it’s done a number on my body.

I now see a cardiologist because my heart rate is so high, so I go see him every six months, and I take two different blood pressure medications. I also see an endocrinologist for my thyroid issues, and I’m on medication for that. He also helps me with the diabetes that I developed after starting on Alecensa, and he monitors my cholesterol because it was slightly elevated because of Alecensa. So, I am also on medication for that.

Oh, but it doesn’t end there. I also see a gastroenterologist because I develop severe acid reflux, and I’m on medication for that, too. But at least I only see him once a year.

Finding strength in family

Being on so many medications and going to all these doctor appointments really took a toll on me mentally. I was so frustrated that I often said, “I can’t. I’m done. I want out.”

I even told my husband several times, “I’m out. I’ll see you on the other side.” I’m only 54, and I’m already tired and ready to give up.

But my husband always finds a way for me to keep going. He now tells me, “You now have grandchildren, and they need you.” Because of that, I remind myself that everything I’m going through and feeling is worth it if it’s keeping me alive to see my grandbabies grow.

It’s not easy, but I’m a fighter. I give lung cancer, all the medication I’m on, and all the mess that comes with it one heck of a fight.

I now do it for my grandchildren because they are the world to me. I was told I would never meet grandchildren, and here I am with two beautiful grandbabies. So I allow myself to have my pity party, and then I stand up, brush my shoulders, and continue the fight.

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