A confident person looking up into a sunset sky

Sometimes, I Forget That I'm Sick

I was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2014. I was on the younger end of the spectrum compared to the average age of someone diagnosed, which is 70. I have been through so much, but in the last few years, it has lessened in severity. Sometimes I forget that I even have lung cancer.

My treatment journey

I have had a few different lines of treatment, including targeted therapies, chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and two clinical trials. When I was in the first clinical trial, I traveled from Chicago to Boston.

Ever since I was diagnosed, I have had scans every three months, sometimes more and sometimes less. Clinical trials have very strict requirements. I think one time, I went a full eight months between scans! Having scans always brings me back to reality and reminds me that I still do indeed have lung cancer.

I have lung cancer - even if it doesn't look like it!

I recently read an article about a young lady who faked having cancer to gain funds. She succeeded and received over $30k in donations. But then she got caught. That is insane to me!

Sometimes I worry that people think I am faking cancer because of how well I have been doing in the last few years. I can assure you I only make it *look* easy. However, there are dark days and nights spent awake.

The lung cancer poster child

I am not your typical cancer patient. I call myself a unicorn, and my oncologist has called me her “poster child.”

Throughout my treatment regimen, I have never lost my hair. It hasn’t even thinned. I started with very thick hair, and even now, when I go to get my hair done, the stylist always comments on how thick my hair is. I did lose a bunch of weight in the beginning but have since gained it all back.

Adjustments: Working with cancer

I also work full-time. Trying to fit in doctors’ appointments while also working has been a struggle. I have started having scan appointments on Saturdays and then getting results via a phone call.

When I got scans during the week, I received the results the same day. Now that I get scans on the weekend, I wait a few days. The last time, I waited about 10 days. I handled it like a champ and didn’t let the scanxiety get to me.

I'm always catching the travel bug!

My sister and I just took my nephews to Disney World. It was SO much fun. It was suggested to me that we spend 5 days in the parks. That sounded very exhausting, and so we did 2 days in the parks and had two days for travel. Over the span of 4 days, I walked approximately 21 miles. We configured the trip to accommodate not only me with my constant fatigue but also the two littles, who are 4 and 7.

I am in vacation planning mode and already working on my plans for a trip to NYC in April and a birthday trip in September. My twin sister and I turn 40, and we want to make it a big trip. We have ideas!

I hope to those that are newly diagnosed and reading this that you, too, will get to the point where you “forget” that you have lung cancer!

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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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