My Cancer Journey

I was diagnosed with lung cancer in June 2016. Since the beginning of 2016, I had been treated for pneumonia on three different occasions. I just kept coughing! Finally, the doctor performed a CT scan and I was placed in the hospital.

Initially, there was concern of ongoing infection, pneumonia, and possible tuberculosis. We attempted a bronchoscopy but my right lung immediately started bleeding and the doctor had to abandon the procedure. At this point, the doctors began to consider cancer. A surgeon was consulted and a biopsy was performed. After eight days, I was finally released from the hospital.

We waited for more than one week for the results from the biopsy. On that day, I had a simple appointment to have a stitch removed by the surgeon. For this reason, my husband didn’t come with me. You know — I was going to run in and out of the doctor’s office in about 15 minutes. Well, the results from the Mayo Clinic were returned. My surgeon shared the news. Adenocarcinoma. I could hardly comprehend the diagnosis. We both wept. Then, we went to work.

My surgeon made important phone calls and supported the next step — I learned of Stage IV adenocarcinoma on Friday and by Monday was in to see a wonderful oncologist. My medical team has become part of my family. We have been on quite a journey — different rounds of chemo for more than one year (yes, I eventually lost my hair), immunotherapy (my lungs really struggled and right lung collapsed), and clinical trial (I developed an awful staph infection in a pleural effusion on the right lung and spent many days in hospital). At this point, we decided to go off active treatment and transition to palliative/hospice care. My body was so tired from treatment and the doctors didn’t feel we could continue. We tried so many different things.

My family serves as my caregivers. My husband has walked every step with me. I don’t think he missed one infusion appointment. He literally carried me when I was too weak to stand. My children stay close to me and “fuss” over me. They come each weekend to spend time together. I look forward to those moments. My siblings and mother love me and lift me through the highs and lows of cancer treatment. Our neighbors and friends have become an extended community of caring. I have been blessed to interact with noble individuals both professionally and personally. Really, my heart is grateful for the genuine concern that continues to be demonstrated to my family. We are so blessed!

One of the challenges over the past two years has been keeping friends and families updated on my cancer journey. I started writing and created a personal blog. This has provided me with a therapeutic avenue to reflect and record my learning. We haven’t seen all the physical miracles we hoped for. There certainly have been times of discouragement and despair. The cancer has metastasized. However, I have survived nearly two years. This beats a few odds! We have discovered unexpected spiritual miracles.

My body strength is slowly returning, and I am choosing to live life to the fullest! I am grateful for every day. Time has become so valuable. I try and use my energy on all I love — especially my husband and children. I will always be anchored in hope!

Have you shared your story with the community? Submit your own story here.

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 (14)
  • mb57
    6 months ago

    How do I friend you and others ?

  • mb57
    6 months ago

    I commented a little about myself and diagnosis about an hour ago. I don’t know if I wrote it in the right area or section. I haven’t seen any responses to my story. I also don’t see any friends . Not sure if I friended correctly. I thought I friended you Margot but you don’t come up on my friends list . Actually no one does. I must not be friending correctly. Let me know if I friended you Margot and if not how can I do it. Thanks

  • Margot moderator
    6 months ago

    Hi @mb57 you did friend correctly! It should show that we are friends now 🙂 And your post has just gone up here – https://lungcancer.net/topic/stage-3/

    Thinking of you,
    Margot

  • mb57
    6 months ago

    I was diagnosed with nsc lung cancer last August. I had no prior symptoms until I woke up to twitching in one that only lasted a minute or so. A few hours later I had twitching again . Went to ER and was being checked out while I then had the eye twitching again . At that time Ives put on seizure meds and brought in for CT . Soon after I had been told by a Brain Surgeon that I had s tumor in my brain that needed to be removed asap. An oncologist then told me about the lung cancer and a tumor on one lung. I had a successful surgery to remove the tumor on my brain and they didn’t see any further cancer. As a Precaution I was given a small dose of radiation to the targeted area where the brain tumor was removed . I’ve since had to brain MRI and shows clear.
    I began treatment my first round of chemo a month after brain surgery. I started with six treatments , 2 chemos and also Keytrruda. I had a CT after 3rd treatment and tumor shrunk, and then after 6th treatment and showed some more shrinking. Then for my 2nd round of treatments I was taken off the strongest Chemo , was told that what ever that particular chemo would do it would only do within the first six treatments . So I’ve just finished my second round a total of 15 treatments . My treatments were every three weeks. I’m scheduled to go in for a CT in about 2 or so weeks to see where things are right now. I was also told no operating for the lung tumor in the beginning because they also see a little that has spread to my clavicle/collarbone which has also improved since treatment. However they said that will play a factor if they can do lung surgery. Surgeon will reevaluate the situation after the CT comes back. I’ve been pretty much strong and of course at the same time have my fears and worries. This time I’m very anxious and worried about this next CT in 2 weeks. I just turned 61 this month and it will be 1 year surviving this as of Aug 9. I thought I would put in for retirement when I was diagnosed but decided to continue working . I have to say as hard as it was for me on some days while on treatment work has helped me to stay focused and has given me a purpose in my life. I’m off for the summer now , because I work at a school as a Teacher Aide. So maybe I’ll have this time off to refuel , relax and enjoy some beautiful Summer days with my husband and grown sons. That’s pretty much where things stand for me now.

  • mb57
    6 months ago

    Thank you Margot.

  • mb57
    7 months ago

    I am new to this sight as of today July 6 2018. From just reading people’s stories, comments and advice I’m so happy I joined. I hope I can become stronger and positive .

  • Margot moderator
    7 months ago

    Welcome to the site @mb57 – we and the community are here for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out any time. Many like to begin by sharing their story here as well if you want to: https://lungcancer.net/stories Warmly, Margot, LungCancer.net Team Member

  • mb57
    7 months ago

    I’m so sorry for everything you have gone through . I admire your courage, strength and positive outlook. I will be praying for you . May God Bless you and guide you through your journey. ❤️

  • Moira Cistola moderator
    8 months ago

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • ttimpson author
    7 months ago

    Thank you! It is nice to be part of a caring community.

  • Laraine
    8 months ago

    I too was diagnosed in June 2016,I had the same cancer, I had what they call a resection of my upper right lung lobe. I was told the got it all, well 6 months later there was one lymph node in the lung Hilar ( the root of the lung) so it was inoperable, therefore I was forced to undergo 32 radiation treatments and 13 chemos done at the same time. I was exhausted my blood count was so low I had to have a blood transfusion I also got a blood clot in my lungs, so now I am on blood thinners. I have had several PET scans so far the cancer has remain inside my lungs, but after all the treatment I ended up with more tumors and they say Chemo works. Well after that I started on Keytruda,it didn’t shrink any of the tumors, therefore my dr. took me off, of it claimed it was too expensive if it wasn’t helping me. She actually wanted me to go back on chemo the one that almost killed me, I refused, so then she said she couldn’t help me anymore, some dr huh! then she said well maybe we’re try the chemo pill, so that’s where I’m at, just been on it for one week, I am to assume it will give me a few more months to live

  • ttimpson author
    7 months ago

    You have been through a lot. I hope you find success with your new treatment. Wishing you the very best!

  • Margot moderator
    8 months ago

    Thinking of you @laraine that is a lot to manage! Have you considered a second opinion if you do not feel comfortable with your doctor’s recommendations? More on second opinions can be found here if you are interested in learning more: https://lungcancer.net/living/survivors-opinion-about-second-opinions/ https://lungcancer.net/living/getting-a-second-opinion/ Please keep us updated – how has this week been so far? Best, Margot, LungCancer.net Team Member

  • Margot moderator
    9 months ago

    Hi @ttimpson,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us here. So glad to hear that you’ve had such a helpful and supportive medical team and that your surgeon helped organize everything further. You’ve been through a lot! It’s great that your family and friends have been such a good support as well and offered so much care. We’re so glad you’ve shared your experience and your positive perspective with us and so glad to have you as a part of our community! Please keep us updated with how you are feeling – we are thinking of you and here for you!!

    Best,
    Margot, LungCancer.net Team Member

  • Poll