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Finding Hope With Lung Cancer

Whether you have been on the journey for a while or just starting out on this unknown path. Hearing that you have cancer of any kind comes as a shock, followed by confusion, anxiety, and other difficult emotions.

I learned that I had cancer just a little over six years ago, and even still, I wonder how I got here, and the shock wave sometimes still shows up. I don’t think we ever heal from hearing these words and my diagnosis.

I thought since I didn’t smoke that, lung cancer would be the one cancer that I wouldn’t have to worry about. But boy, was I wrong.

Finding hope in others’ stories

I remember desperately trying to find studies, trials, and other people who had lived with this diagnosis that offered any hope at all. I remember reading the daunting statistics of survival and feeling overwhelmed.

I was able to connect with people on social media who could speak the lingo that I was living and learning about, which provided me with so much hope. I was so excited to find people who were on my same medication and were thriving in their treatment. It was comforting, and I was so grateful to have found them.

Sharing hope after diagnosis

It came time for my follow-up after starting my treatment, and I was literally blind as to what to expect. Was the medication working or not? Had those pesky cells spread? I had so many questions.

I learned that my medication was working and working well. In March 2024, I just completed my 20th set of scans, and my medication is still working after six years on my first line. I am grateful that I get to share my story of hope.

My cancer was found in an abdominal CT ordered by my gynecologist. The radiologist noticed nodules and notated them.

I was sent to a pulmonary specialist and eventually a thoracic surgeon, only to learn that my 100+ nodules across both lungs were lung cancer. I was thankful for the answers, even though it was the gut punch of my life.

My oncologist immediately ordered biomarker testing and learned of my EGFR mutation as well as the T790m and Tagrisso or Osimertinib (oral chemotherapy and an epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor or TKI) was newly approved by the FDA as a first line and that’s the medication that I have been on for over six years. I wasn’t a candidate for surgery and have been at the mercy of this oral chemo pill since.

Scan days are still hard

Scan days and the days leading up to it still debilitate me. I always wonder if this is when the shoe will drop, my body will have resisted the medication, and those pesky cells will find a way around what is meant to inhibit their growth and spread. I got to hear that everything is stable once again.

I try to be positive and hope for the best, but I think it’s only natural to have those hard thoughts enter our minds. I am fortunate that I get same-day results and see my doctor right after my scans. I used to never look at my portal when a new test result would be available, but lately, I have pulled them up and handed them to my husband to read.

I have basically head-to-hip CTs, and they come in four different reports. I don’t know why I have got brave and decided to start looking at these myself.

I might go back to not looking, but I have needed to look the past few times as I wait in the waiting room. I tell my husband to scroll to the bottom and read the summary. I shouldn’t put that stress on him, maybe, but sometimes I just need to know.

The relief that comes after all of that worry and anxiety is incredible.

Hope during uncertainty

When we find ourselves in the middle of awaiting scans and results, I think we can still find hope in the uncertainty of everything.

There is hope in the innovative treatments that are new and helping others.

There is hope in clinical trials.

There is hope in this complex diagnosis by sharing it with others.

There is hope in optimism and finding our gratitude on the journey.

It’s important to always keep hope in our minds, allowing for the possibility of healing and celebrating every single victory. We can rely on hope for strength and determination to press through rigorous treatment.

Hope is sometimes all we have and presents us with the courage to keep going. There’s hope on the journey! We must keep going!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The LungCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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