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When A Fighting Spirit Matters

Having a chronic lung disease paves a path to lit your fighting spirit. The majority of survivors including myself choose to fight the disease. We are continuously driven to increase our ability to keep going and constantly pushing. We focus more on the present than our future. I am grateful the gift of life is before my eyes to open every day.

Reaction to diagnosis news

Receiving bad news is disheartening especially when you are caught off guard. The time you felt a huge negative energy pressing your body on every side. My husband and I felt that way when hearing my stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis. We have no family history of the disease. When thoracic surgery is not the main option for me, my mind wandered for a bit to the human side of allowing fear to swallow me. I let myself quickly grieving the loss of good health. The news was too much to bear but I did not allow myself to be crushed.

Managing lung cancer

It was a puzzling moment at the beginning of the chronic lung disease journey. We did not know how all things would play out. But you have a health care team who are responsible for setting and planning your long-term treatment. Moreover, you follow and trust the advice of your cancer specialists. On top of that, you set your personal regimen for treatment and organize monitoring appointments. You find ways to tackle the side effects and not be overwhelmed by them. There is numerous lung cancer information available for us. All we have to do is to self-advocate.

Stigma is real

I have realized a chronic lung disease affects never smokers like me too. Anyone with lungs can have a chronic lung disease. As you go through treatment policies you encounter there are first-line treatment or emergency treatment depending on what symptoms appear at the onset of diagnosis. The lung cancer research has improved patients’ survival. There are advances in improving the control. However, patients, survivors, and co-survivors endlessly raise money to support research in order to improve the lives of patients. It boggles me why less funding is allocated by the government to lung cancer research when more lives are taken by the disease.

Casting out anxiety and fear

Throughout our journey, we are faced with enormous uncertainties. Each blood tests and scans we are always anxious. The results can bear either good news or bad news. We fear if the bad news comes then what’s the next move. Will it be more treatment or less? Everyday statistics say more lives are taken due to lung cancer, even more, when you combine breast, colon, and prostate cancer. We fear our life may be short. But despite what we go through we do not lose heart.

I will keep my fighting spirit burning so I can enjoy my first grandchild, see my youngest graduate high school, help my youngest apply for university, and get more opportunities to share my lung cancer journey.

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