Newly diagnosed: Squamous cell carcinoma of the lung
Hey everyone. My name is Cory. I’m 42 and after a brutal waiting game, still hoping this was going to be TB or something like that for 3 weeks, my biopsy has confirmed I have squamous cell carcinoma.
It’s an odd feeling to be happy to finally know, but obviously tough news to get. I have half my life in front of me… you know. I’m in my prime… I received the best job offer of my life after months of interviews 2 days prior (and of course I can’t take it now).
So now the fight begins. I’m determined to fight the bell out of this and maximize the time with my family. My greatest fear I think outside of dying way too soon, is that they will remember the sick me. I really don’t want that.
My mindset is actually pretty good right now. I still have lots of hope, and support, and loving people around me.
It is tough to not blame myself. I know this is likely linked to smoking. I was born in 1980 to a family of smokers. I grew up riding in the car with the windows down and two people smoking sometimes… for as long as I can remember. (No I don’t blame them, it was a different time). I started smoking at 13 I think. I remember the day… I didn’t want to do it, thought it was gross, said no. Eventually did it and smoked until 2010. Then I started vaping, because at the time, I thought it was a safer alternative. Everyone did. Most still do. So I vaped for several years after that until quitting not long ago. My reward is a cancer diagnosis 🙂
So it’s tough to not blame myself. That’s probably a fight I will continue to have. I can’t say today that I don’t blame myself to some degree. Obviously I knew lung cancer was possible, but never dreamed at my age. My grandpa on my moms side died of lung cancer at 67. My grandpa on my Dads side smoked until he was 56 or so and is currently 93 today. So…. Who knows why or when I guess.
I’m proud of what I’ve done, and my life, and my family. I’m sorry to be here and I’m sorry for the rest of you that are here. I know none of us “deserve it”
I’m going to fight. And it may just be for more time now, but that is priceless.
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Lung Cancer Support Group.
@corywh, thank you! Thank you for not blaming your parents. It was a different time. You have my support and courage to you to not blame yourself. And don't take on the shame. What is done is done. Now is time for forward thinking and it appears that that is exactly what you're doing. Kudos.
I'm tagging fellow members like @overcomercynth @erv58 @stellerjohn @detroitmom23 @bellsina71 to share with you.
Cory, you mention that you have squamous cell carcinoma, a type of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Do you know the stage of your cancer? Do you have a treatment plan yet?
Thanks so much. I don’t know the stage just yet. I have oncology Tuesday and a Pet scan Saturday, then thoracic consult on Monday April 3rd. I am guessing it is going to be stage 2 if I’m lucky as the mass is 4.4cm. But they don’t think it has spread. PET will confirm of course. Could definitely be stage 3 also though.
I am so sorry to hear this! I was really hoping that it was going to be something else. You have a great attitude! Carry that with you. Carry that with you through all this!! It's one thing that can't be taken away from us is our ability to choose our own attitude in every given set of circumstances. Your attitude is going to be everything in the weeks and months to come. And have faith. Don't just have hope: hope walks through the fire but Faith leaps over it. There are so many things they can do for lung cancer now. It is really kind of amazing. If it's contained you're outcome is probably going to be pretty darn good! I know what you mean about growing up with smokers and having the windows rolled down in the front while you're in the back seat as a little child. I started smoking at 14. I smoked for many years I only quit 3 years ago when I turned 50. It does seem that some people get lung cancer and some don't, it doesn't seem like there's a big rhyme or reason to it. My grandpa smoked since he was a little child and he lived to be 98, with a pacemaker and he had emphysema for years. We are here for you. So many people go through such terrible things. I feel bad that you were offered such a great job and this is kind of derailed it, but your life was meant to go in a different direction for some reason right now. And it's nothing you did, and none of us can blame ourselves because every single one of us has done things that aren't healthy for our body at one time or another in our lives. None of us are perfect. And no one should have to pay the ultimate price! I have a friend with lung cancer and I've been trying to tell her that people with stage four can live for many months or years, and she's not at a stage four yet but she's so afraid. I wish I could take some of that fear from her. Please keep us updated and ask any questions that you want. This is such a great group of people and some people and together it's a wealth of knowledge! I'm so sorry that you have to go through this!!
I was also going to add that your age is going to be a big plus for you. Because you're so young you have the fight in you. I just want you to know that. That's terrible that you're only 42 age and have this, but on the other hand being so young is going to be a benefit as you're fighting this. If you have no choice but to suffer through this then you might as well look at the positives, not the negatives. Never focus on the negative! 💗
@corywh, I think we were all hopeful that you would have received different news. It sounds like you have a great attitude in looking forward, and knowing that it’s time to focus on getting better! Unfortunately you have another week of waiting, be aware of what you need during this time; quiet time in nature or surrounded by lots of family. We all find peace and comfort in our own way.
Keep us posted on the results of your next appointments and scans, wishing you good news going forward. Lisa
Cory, it’s amazing what surgeries and treatments are available now. Cancer is no longer a desth sentence. Are you going to Mayo? The hardest part is the waiting for details and a treatment plan. Hang in there until you have all the information uou need. This group will be pulling for you and will be here for any questions/fears. Best to you, Fran
Thank you, Fran. I am not currently planning on going to Mayo. I should know more over the next few days.
To be honest I'm not even sure what all is involved in trying to go to Mayo. I'm being treated at Vanderbilt in Nashville which is also a highly rated Cancer team etc. So far I'm very comfortable there.
That’s great. Yes, Vanderbilt is a good place to be. I’m at Northwestern in Chicago.