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Rude Awakening

Several years ago I found myself having some difficulty performing my job which was an outdoor job mainly working on aircraft. Climbing onto the aircraft and even the stands designed to assist us was becoming problematic. Yes, I was a smoker at that time.

I went to a pulmonologist who didn’t do many tests and diagnosed me with pulmonary fibrosis. For over three years I continued with my appointments with this physician and my condition was not getting any better. I finally had to give up the job I loved and was fortunate to have a boss who fit me into an office job with the company. I thank him to this day for that.

Maybe a year later my health took a turn for the worse. One morning I couldn’t even walk to my office from the parking lot. They got a golf cart and assisted me. I was sent to the Emergency Room. After 3 days I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer. NSCLC.
How did this get missed for so long?

Anyhow I have obviously changed pulmonology doctors. I have since done chemotherapy as well as Opdivo. Now I hear Keytruda is helping but Doc won’t let me try it since I had The Opdivo.

Anyhow, I was first diagnosed with the cancer in December of 2014 and told I probably had 10 months to 2 years to live. It’s now almost 3 1/2 years and I’m still going.
I also have COPD with emphysema. Still walking although it’s getting harder every day.

Never give up people.
If you give up you become a quitter.
A quitter is a loser.
Don’t be a loser.

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.


  • vikkr
    3 months ago

    Thank you, I needed to hear a story like yours. I too had seen my primary care doctor who said bronchitis, sinus, asthma, some antibiotics, the basic least effort on his part, looking back, I fired him in 8/2018, found a new pcp thankfully she listened to my complaints had a chest X-ray and ct found mass, modules, saw my onco today, ten on to PULMO and pet ct then well you know. I began my Chantix of 6/3/19…down from 1-1 and a half packs a day to four, my friend did Keytruda and now he is 50% better. I have read so many good stories here, it helps thank you and I wish you the best.

  • andrewcribbin
    1 year ago

    Hi ricla72,

    Thank you for your post.

    How do you manage to keep a ‘never give up attitude’?
    I would like to be able to think like that but often find myself thinking negative thoughts etc.

  • ricla72 author
    1 year ago

    Every day I thank God for giving me another day. Think of where you are, who you are and how lucky you are to be there. So many have worse situations than you. Smile at everybody you meet. Even if you don’t feel like it. Say HI!
    You’ll find others replying to you. It makes me feel good to spend time on positive thoughts rather than dwelling on the negative. Do you like to cook? I love meat loaf of all things. I cook it and enjoy. Do you play guitar, piano etc? Play it and sing like nobody’s listening. Like to fish? Fish and have a good supper. Basically just focus on all the positives in your life (and there are more than you know) and put the cancer in the background. People who know me know I always say “Another day in paradise”.
    Enjoy what you’ve got. Don’t worry about your future.

  • andrewcribbin
    1 year ago

    Hi Ricla72,

    Thank you for the reply and your helpful comments. A lot of sound advice which I feel I can incorporate into my life.

    Many Thanks


  • Margot moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi @ricla72,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with the community. It must have been scary not to be able to walk to your office that day. I’m glad you have changed doctors and are still active even as it gets harder! You may also find our site helpful. We’re thinking of you and so glad to have you as a part of our community here.

    Margot, Team

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