tc21hi's Journey with Adenocarcinoma, Lung Cancer

Patient: Lung Cancer > Non-Small Cell > Adenocarcinoma

Patient Info: Newly diagnosed (has not begun treatment), Diagnosed: over 4 years ago, Female, Age: 73, Stage IA, EGFR mutation positive: Don't Know

  1. 1
    • tc21hi
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Lung Ca...
    over 4 years ago
  2. 2
    • tc21hi
    • Experience with Adenocarcinoma, Lung Ca...
    about 4 years ago
    tc21hi's Avatar


    The first lost to cancer that I was very involved in is my sister. She had been sick since she was about 21. She had a cyst on one ovary that burst. She was told that it was a cancer like substance acting in a benign manner. That was back in 1966. She continued her life with her husband and son, but was in and out of the hospital for many years and for many surgeries, but no one ever telling her she was terminal. In 1975 she was told she had six months to live. Her husband transferred back to Seattle so she could be around her family. She finally went through treatment and lived another 5 years. The last two years of her life, I moved close to her so I could see her often. especially since her husband traveled for business often. After our grandmother died, she lost her fighting spirit and the cancer was getting worse. On one of my visits I found her in bed very weak and deydrated and frail from not eating. I knew it was the beginning of the end. Several months prior, she had asked me if I would help her through this ordeal. She knew it would be too hard for her husband to deal with the details and thought I was the strong one. Little did she know how much she was asking of me. I was in such pain, I didn't know if I could do it, and I was scared. I was 33 years old. I, of course, said yes. My sister has a sense of humor and she reminded me that her hearing was the last thing to go. So I was to make sure nobody said anything bad about her. She also planned her funeral, with the flowers she wanted, a closed casket, and wanted make sure that at a certain time I didn't let anyone other than family in, because she didn't want friends to remember her being almost skeletal. I followed her wishes to a T. One of the first things I did was call Hospice and then order the hospital bed. She had been in and out of the hospital so many times, she chose to die at home. She even had a window installed in her bedroom so she could look out and see the lake when it was her time. I called her husband and he came home the next day from the east coast. He tried to be very brave, but was shaken terribly. I think he thought this day would never really happen. Hospice showed us how to take care of her and they came by for a couple days, but then determined there was nothing more they could do. She had gone into an electrolyte imbalance and was now almost comatose from all the morphine to keep her pain free. She has asked me if I could arranger for a mass to be said in her room, so I called her parish pastor and he obliged. There were about 12 family member in her room sharing this experience with her. I was sitting next to her bed holding her hand. Halfway through the service I looked up at her and saw a tear coming down from her eye. I realized then she was right about her hearing being the last thing to go. What I was so please about was that she got to participate and knew that her wish had been fulfilled. When Hospice told us it was very close to the end, I formed what I called the "Love Patrol". I put two of us together for two hour shifts so she would never be alone and others could get some sleep and food on their off time. I put my parents together who had been divorced for years, couldn't stand each other, but were actually behaving which pleased me. This was their child and they were both hurting. After two shifts each, my parents took their 3rd shift and she passed during that time. It was fitting and perfect. They ushered her into the world, and ushered her out. And then the service and healing for all of us. It took me a year before I could even face her loss. The process of being so invloved her her passing was an exhausting experience. I thought it was going to be something that might tip me over the edge. But it was the most rewarding experience I had ever had. I felt privileged to be a part of the process. I had no idea it was preparing me for the future.

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