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Looking at the Positives of Having Lung Cancer – Am I Crazy?

Okay, this post is probably going to have a lot of people looking at me and thinking I have gone stark-raving crazy. But, here goes anyway!

What would life without cancer be like?

I participate in a forum whose participants have all kinds of different cancers. Today, a post was made that asked, “Do you get wrapped up in thinking about what might have been if cancer hadn’t come?” The person who asked the question is livid that she has cancer.

It was interesting that she asked that question when she did because just yesterday I was thinking of all of the positive ways lung cancer has impacted my life. And, if I can only find them, I had earlier made a list of the ways that I am lucky, in spite of and maybe because of, my diagnosis.

I hope no one calls out the men in white coats to take me to a padded room. I would never WISH to have lung cancer or any other life-threatening disease. However, I do have it and no amount of wishing I didn’t will change that fact.

Counting my blessings

I choose to look at the ways lung cancer has enriched my life. It starts with a closer relationship with my family. I was humbled and amazed when my husband stepped up to the plate when I was sickest and took control of everything – grocery shopping, cooking, taking care of me. My independence and self-reliance have ensured that he never needed to take that role before I got sick. He hit the ball out of the park though when he needed to and that meant the world to me.

I have made friends within the lung cancer community that I would have never met had it not been for us sharing this disease. I wouldn’t trade some of the friendships I have made for all of the money in the world. Of course, I shed many a tear when we lose people to this disease that we’ve come to love, but my sadness is tempered by the good memories I have of them.

Taking the time to really enjoy the beauty of life

Before I was diagnosed, my life was busy. I rushed from one place to the next. I never stopped to rest and reflect, to enjoy a new flower blooming or how the sunlight beams through the trees onto the nature trail behind my house. I had to quit working because of my cancer, but boy oh boy, do I love retirement and its slower pace! (I have to admit that I do not love the change in financial status that retirement brought, though.)

I have gotten to go and do things that I would never have gotten to do if it wasn’t for cancer. We rarely traveled before I got sick. We as a couple still don’t, but I have gotten to go to many cities I always wanted to see. I usually don’t have a lot of time to sightsee, but try to make the most of the spare time I have.

Finding happiness from within

Before I was diagnosed with cancer, I had a grant-writing business that I could have really grown if I had been able to make myself stand in front of a group and speak. I tried to do it, but I just couldn’t. Lung cancer has somehow allowed me to face those fears and now I actually enjoy getting in front of a crowd and telling my story. I feel so blessed on this journey. I always want to share my hope with others.

I think I started liking myself better. I am happier and far more content. My faith has grown exponentially. And, while I list it last as a blessing that has accrued to me since my diagnosis, it actually is the very most important of all. Without it, I doubt I would be able to face a scary diagnosis with the calm, peace, and joy that I have today.

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.

Comments

View Comments (8)
  • PeteConaty
    2 months ago

    Donna I really want to thank you for the information you gave me. Can’t believe after 5 years, I’m not asking any questions. I feel like I’ve been going blindly with everything. Family just tells me do what the doctors say. I think it’s time that I asked what’s going on.

  • Donna Fernandez moderator author
    2 months ago

    Thank YOU, PeteConaty!!!

    I think it is good to trust the doctor, for sure, but I also think it is really important to be a big part of the team – it is your life!!!

    Let me know how you’re doing, okay?

    Donna

  • gramsie
    3 months ago

    Thanks for uplifting words! I totally agree to focus on positive and certainly praise Our Lord for the research, science and medical team. Without them and their radiation and oral targeted chemo, I wouldn’t still be here!

  • PeteConaty
    3 months ago

    Sorry, at the moment I don’t see anything positive about mine. But I do have a question, what is oral targeted cemo? That’s one I haven’t heard of.

  • Donna Fernandez moderator author
    3 months ago

    I understand, Pete. Cancer is definitely not something any of us would wish to have.

    Oral targeted chemo is given when you have certain mutations, like EGFR or ALK. If you haven’t already, please have your oncologist do molecular testing on your tissue to determine what, if any, mutations you have. I personally didn’t have any, but a lot of people do.

  • Donna Fernandez moderator author
    3 months ago

    gramsie, thank you so much for your kind post! God is good, all the time, right?

    I was talking to a friend last night and I told her I stay happy because I absolutely love living life here on planet earth. But, when I take my last breath here – I end up in Heaven!! Heaven!! Don’t you call that a win-win situation? I sure do!

  • Donna Fernandez moderator author
    4 months ago

    Peggyb, what a wonderful story!!! Thank you for sharing it!!

    I love spreading hope and your story does just that. Have fun on the cruise!!!!

    (Donna, LungCancer.net Team Member)

  • Peggyb
    4 months ago

    That was beautiful story, as I read it it sounded like me. my husband did the same we have been married for 48 years at the time when we found out I had lung cancer. My treatments made me so sick and I had complications during and after I had treatments and he was always right there doing everything for me. I am like you I continued to work during my treatments but with so many issues after I had to retired at the end of 2017 that was the best thing I could ha e done. Like you I miss the money. My children and daughter in laws have been the greatest i have Never felt so much love each h o e was there through it all and still are. Again like you I have gotten closer to God and each day I thank him for giving me another day . This Decemember my husband an d O will be celebrating our 50th anniversary and we are going o a cruise with our children I am so excited. God is good all the time because without him and my wonderful doctors it wouldn’t be happening

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