November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

Posted by Merry, Volunteer Mentor @merpreb, Nov 13 9:45am

The most important thing, I feel, during this November is to share your story, so others will feel hope. There is a good chance that you will inspire another person to tell their story, make someone feel that they aren’t alone, or offer tips that makes it easier for another to feel more comfortable. Perhaps your experiences will offer a clearer understanding of different medical terms or suggestions for other tests.

There is nothing as scary as learning that you have cancer in your lungs! My word, you need those to breathe, to live! And no one wants to die! But that is no longer the case for everyone! We know for sure that many people survive lung cancer. We also know now that there are many different types of lung cancers and that one treatment does not fit all. And, because of this, there are many new personalized treatments. We can now talk to others openly about this awful disease and not feel alone. We don't have to be ashamed of having lung cancer because if you have lungs you can get lung cancer. You don't have to be a former smoker.

Another thing that I found helpful in raising awareness for lung cancer was to be as honest and forthright about my journey, so I wrote a blog. My experiences weren’t pretty nor painless. I have received many comments from people who experienced the same things. They thought that they were alone, and they were not.

Joining groups that advocate for lung cancer patients, and that offer comfort and support is probably the kindest thing that you can do. Raising awareness by offering your voice shows the public the need for even more research, less harmful drugs, and treatments. It opens doors for more people to speak out because you did, about this horrible disease that needs more solutions that increase survival rates.

Right now, it’s pretty difficult to offer personal help to others, and it’s very sad that some people can’t even visit relatives. I can’t imagine this.
But I can tell my story.
https://my20yearscancer.com/
Have you told your story? Have you received any feedback?

Excellent piece! Written so well. Thank you–all you say is so true.

REPLY

Excellent post, Merry. My diagnosis of metastatic NSCLC was a little more than two months ago and, quite frankly, I feel guilty when I read other lung cancer stories like yours. My second immuno/chemotherapy session is forty-eight hours away and I have – so far — been completely free of side effects. As a matter of fact, if it hadn’t been for an accident where a CT scan revealed a lung nodule I still am not at a point where I would have suspected anything (especially lung cancer) and sought medical attention. Other than COVID-related issues, my life has remained pretty much unchanged up to and including daily three to four-mile walks. People who don’t know me don’t suspect that I have cancer and we have made the conscious decision to selectively share my condition with friends. No one realizes any change in me or my life.
Maybe that’s the story: perhaps I am the new face of lung cancer one where it no longer has to be an insidious, terminal disease but rather one where advanced medical technology has changed lives. I have a high quality of life with lung cancer and maybe that is a story that should be told and, hopefully, told more often. I am fortunate to have the gold standard of health care Mayo provides. It hurts to see the pain and suffering that some lung cancer patients go through especially when compared to my experience, yet people need to know that lung cancer isn’t what it was not so long ago. Cancer treatment today can give us hope of living a better life with lung cancer and to one day be cancer free.

REPLY
@ta52

Excellent post, Merry. My diagnosis of metastatic NSCLC was a little more than two months ago and, quite frankly, I feel guilty when I read other lung cancer stories like yours. My second immuno/chemotherapy session is forty-eight hours away and I have – so far — been completely free of side effects. As a matter of fact, if it hadn’t been for an accident where a CT scan revealed a lung nodule I still am not at a point where I would have suspected anything (especially lung cancer) and sought medical attention. Other than COVID-related issues, my life has remained pretty much unchanged up to and including daily three to four-mile walks. People who don’t know me don’t suspect that I have cancer and we have made the conscious decision to selectively share my condition with friends. No one realizes any change in me or my life.
Maybe that’s the story: perhaps I am the new face of lung cancer one where it no longer has to be an insidious, terminal disease but rather one where advanced medical technology has changed lives. I have a high quality of life with lung cancer and maybe that is a story that should be told and, hopefully, told more often. I am fortunate to have the gold standard of health care Mayo provides. It hurts to see the pain and suffering that some lung cancer patients go through especially when compared to my experience, yet people need to know that lung cancer isn’t what it was not so long ago. Cancer treatment today can give us hope of living a better life with lung cancer and to one day be cancer free.

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@ta52– Good morning. I went through a period of feeling guilty for not needing chemo for my first lung cancer. Although it was extremely fast-growing it was very small and there was no chemo protocol for it. What I was doing was comparing my cancer experience to others. Cancer is cancer is cancer. If your experience isn't spending your time at home bent over a toilet consider yourself very lucky. By the way I din't vomit at all.

I hope that you have a contiued easy time with your treatments.

Please tell your story everywhere you can.

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