laurielee's Journey with Lung Cancer

Patient: Lung Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: over 6 years ago, Female, Age: 52

  1. 1
    over 5 years ago
    laurielee's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    The pulmonologist called me at work to tell me the results of my lung biopsy. The word shock is an understatement. My manager had to take me home I was so upset. I thought surely the biopsy results were a mistake. My first thought was "but, I'm not a smoker." Having asthma as a child made me very protective of my lungs. I now understand that cancer doesn't really care whether you're high risk or not. Then I got scared because, all of a sudden, the future became very uncertain. I've always been healthy, except for the chronic cough I developed that finally got bad enough to send me to the doctor. I am thankful for the doctors I have. They all acted very quickly. Honestly, everything was so overwhelming that I didn't know how I was going to get through it. I cried a lot. It certainly is something that changes your life and stays in your thoughts.

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  2. 2
    over 5 years ago
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    Lobectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had a three inch tumor in the lower lobe of my right lung. The surgeon explain to me in great detail what the surgery entailed. More tears, even though I was glad he took the time to explain everything. I had no surprises. In fact, the surgery took less time and went better than he expected. The tumor was not pressing against my chest wall which meant only one rib came out along with the lobe and tumor. My surgery was June 2011 and I am still tender along my incision and still healing on the inside. He told me it would take 6 months to 1 year for everything to heal. I still have some shortness of breath and a bit of a cough, but he told me that would also get better over time. My recovery is going pretty well. I still have trouble at times stretching my arm out and lifting heavy things. There are good days and even bad days, but now the good days are beginning to beat the bad days.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  3. 3
    over 5 years ago
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    Chemotherapy and radiation combined

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Several weeks after my surgery, I got my port. Then I started radiation and the first round of chemo. Radiation wore me out in part because it was every week day, but that doctor also told me it would probably make me tired and sleepy. I loved the people and made several new friends. It's hard not to do that when you see the same people every day for weeks. I had also started back to work not too long after I started radiation and chemo. Yeah...I was tired and sleepy. The biopsy on my lymph nodes indicated local spread of the cancer cells. The radiation was directed towards the location of the lymph nodes and behind my wind pipe. My skin did not burn or become irritated. However, the radiation did irritate my throat after a while and it hurt to swallow. If that happens to you, try swallowing the magic mouthwash if you have it. That helped a lot. Once I finished radiation, it took about two weeks, maybe less, for swallowing to feel normal.

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  4. 4
    over 5 years ago
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    Chemotherapy and radiation combined

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    My first round of chemo was not too bad. I only say that because I was allergic to one of the drugs so they only gave me the second drug. After I finished my initial chemo treatment, I had a three week break! Can I just say how normal I felt? No hospital or doctor visits. No trouble swallowing. I actually started having energy again. I felt like I was trying to cram a lifetime into those three short weeks. My second round of chemo was much, much harder. The drugs were stronger and I had to do five days of fluids after my "big dose," which was the two drugs on the same day. One of the drugs can be toxic to the kidneys, so the fluids were to help flush it out and make sure my kidneys kept working. It was a tough time. No energy, no appetite, chemo brain set in big time. My Christmas present was having my last treatment 3 days before Christmas!

    Easy to Do: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  5. 5
    over 5 years ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    It has been 1 month and 6 days since my treatment ended. I've had my first CT scan which showed my lungs are clear. Yes! My doctors have been pleased with how I"m recovering. You know, I've never had so many doctors at one time! Everyday I thank God for each breath I take. My first PET scan is in 8 weeks. I hope and pray for good results there as well. One day at a time...

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