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Time and Lung Cancer

When I was diagnosed with lung cancer it felt like time stopped and froze. I was 30 years old and just told that I had stage 3b lung cancer. Waiting for the next test or speaking with the doctor seemed to take forever. My life felt like it was halted and I would have to start rebuilding once I felt better to do so.

My diagnosis news came fast

In the beginning, I waited one week for an official cancer diagnosis. Looking back and speaking to others in the lung cancer community I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones. My diagnosis was not dragged on but rather came quickly. It was a Friday when the on-call oncologist told me that I had cancer so he told me to go home for the weekend and call his office next week. That was the first idea that we were in a “hurry up and wait” kind of situation.

I called his office and was given the run-around, so we sought out other care which added to the wait time. Luckily, my oncologist in Chicago understood our anxiousness and scheduled me to see her right away, within a few days. She got all the tests, including a bronchoscopy, chest CT and brain MRI, that I needed to be done very quickly but we still waited. We waited in the seating area to be called back and we waited for results.

Deep into this disease

Once I was deep into this disease, I found myself in a depressed sort of feeling. I remember some of my worst days counting the time until I could go to bed. I was either in pain or anxious. I was on a lot of pain medications, as well as other medications to fight some of the side effects of the chemotherapy. I had taken some time off of work, so I did not have that to fall back on.

Living life from scan-to-scan

As cancer patients, we spend our lives in 3 months, 6 months, or sometimes 1-year increments. I have been getting my CT scans every 3 months and just graduated every 4 months. There is a bit of relief when you get good news and you can say to your oncologist “ok, see you in 3 months!” It is a different sort of feeling when the news isn’t so good and then you have to go in for more tests and more appointments.

Rediscovering myself and my life

As I mentioned, I feel like my life froze at 30. I had a few years where things seemed like they would never happen for me. I had friends getting married, having kids, getting promotions, and all sorts of life-changing situations and I was dealing with cancer. It took a solid six years for my life to start progressing again. I got married, we bought a house, I landed a full-time job that I really like and we have fur babies.

Now that I am back to work and living a semi-normal life in my late 30’s I feel like there are not enough hours in the day. I am working on learning new skills and bettering myself.

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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 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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