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A Heavy Loss

Our lung cancer community is full of loss. Sometimes it can be overwhelming and you have to pull yourself away from it all. Too many people are being snuffed out due to lack of research and funding shortages. Funding for lung cancer is not even sub-par compared to other cancers. The world needs to know that you only need lungs to get lung cancer. Many never smoked. I really believe the stigmatization of this disease has hindered funding. No one deserves this, not even smokers. We all do unhealthy things in our lives. That doesn’t mean we should have to suffer so harshly or be judged for our decisions.

The most incredible community

Many people are afraid to admit they have lung cancer. They feel like people will judge them like they did this to themselves. In the beginning, I was embarrassed. I had no reason to be. I didn’t do this to myself, yet society made me feel this way. After searching online for some time, I found the club I needed.

Since joining this club that no one wants to be a part of, I have met some amazing people. I almost think it’s a requirement to be intelligent to get lung cancer. This club is full of some of the brightest people I’ve ever met. I’m thankful for that, they help me immensely.

It’s not just the lung cancer community. God has blessed me with some amazing friends and family. For instance, my former employer still helps me when I need it. My former coworkers come over and binge watches Netflix and cooks for me. And all the Facebook friends I haven’t even met send me words of encouragement. All of these things, along with the lung cancer community and my daughter keep me going.

Mourning the loss of a friend

Yesterday, I lost a friend as did the lung cancer community. Samantha V. was in her 20’s with a young son. She was a single mom and had squamous cell lung cancer. Her scans were clear in May. I have to admit, I envied her a little. But last night, the heartburn from the radiation woke me up around 1 a.m. I began scrolling through Facebook, which I rarely do because we are losing so many. This is when I discovered Sam gained her wings the day prior.

I saw her family began a fund for her young son. Spreading the word for this family is important to me. I know that when my time comes, my people will be there for my girl. She will need it. I didn’t get a life insurance policy when I was young because I didn’t think I needed it. I wish I did, but unfortunately, I will leave my girl with virtually nothing. Don’t make this same mistake if you are healthy ad reading this. Too many of us believe we are too young. I was 33. The other Sam was in her 20’s. You never know when your time here will be up. You have to make arrangements for your family as soon as you have one.

The survivor’s guilt is real

I will grieve the loss of Sam, but I know she is no longer suffering. This gives me a little peace. However, survivor’s guilt is real. It can lead to depression. I know that I get depressed every time one of us leaves this earth. It’s a natural process that we all go through. Grief is hard and comes in many stages. But the stages are not always in a particular order, coming and going periodically. However, the important thing is to remember we must go on for the ones we’ve lost so that maybe we can create a better future for their children and our children.

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