What does the word Cancer mean? Is it just a simple word?

Posted by Merry, Volunteer Mentor @merpreb, Thu, Feb 28 9:52am

When I was first diagnosed with lung cancer I found it very hard to identify with the word, never mind the illness it represented. Back in 1997 my prognosis was less than 15% survival, so then it meant death. After 22 years and more lung cancers that I have survived it's just a word cancer- such a plain word- doesn't really mean what it did to me. Cancer is complicated, its a journey, an experience, war, battle, …fight, etc. What it means to me is being truthful, and genuine, trustworthy and completely honest. I don't have room in my life for even the slightest fib. Cancer is also life for me, because, damn, I'm still here!
What does it mean to you?

. @merpreb I was diagnosed in early February with Stage 1 Adenocarcinoma in my lower righting. As to what it means to me right now is and interesting and complex concept. The work "cancer" in and of itself was at first frightening, but as I've been tested, probed, prodded and prepped for surgery on March 6, it has become something that I want to eradicate withe a vengeance and I am determined to fight this thing no matter what. This is my current conception of such and as I read more about lung cancer it seems that it stands a good chance of recurring. I will do what I can for myself and trust in my God to guide me. I have learned to take each day as it comes, and do all I can to keep an optimistic attitude going. Am not 100% great at this optimistic attitude, but we are all works in progress. Fortunately in these times, there is so much more available in treatments targeted for the individual. that hope can be greatly increased That little carcinoma nodule in me is something that I want out fo my lung and gone. It also is interesting that until I was at pre-op testings yesterday that I didn't think of myself as someone who has lung cancer. That was denial. I have lung cancer even though it has been caught early. That realization with what is the truth of the diagnosis ties into your thoughts about living the truth. I think you are spot-on about living a valid life that accepts the truth of life and where we are in this present time. I don't feel ill, but who knows what is down the road. Thus, I am learning more and more to enjoy each day and every moment for what life gives and deal honestly with my feelings and with others. Don't know if that helps, but that's kind of where I am at present. You are an inspiration to me with your years of dealing with this insidious disease. I will continue to keep you in my prayers and thoughts.

Your words touched my heart. You have a great attitude! Sending prayers & good wishes for a successful surgery & quick recovery.

@lady1lake

Your words touched my heart. You have a great attitude! Sending prayers & good wishes for a successful surgery & quick recovery.

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@lady1lake Thank you! Am glad my words did help. We are all in this particular stuation together and have this great group in which to find support. I will be praying for you and all here.

@alamogal635

. @merpreb I was diagnosed in early February with Stage 1 Adenocarcinoma in my lower righting. As to what it means to me right now is and interesting and complex concept. The work "cancer" in and of itself was at first frightening, but as I've been tested, probed, prodded and prepped for surgery on March 6, it has become something that I want to eradicate withe a vengeance and I am determined to fight this thing no matter what. This is my current conception of such and as I read more about lung cancer it seems that it stands a good chance of recurring. I will do what I can for myself and trust in my God to guide me. I have learned to take each day as it comes, and do all I can to keep an optimistic attitude going. Am not 100% great at this optimistic attitude, but we are all works in progress. Fortunately in these times, there is so much more available in treatments targeted for the individual. that hope can be greatly increased That little carcinoma nodule in me is something that I want out fo my lung and gone. It also is interesting that until I was at pre-op testings yesterday that I didn't think of myself as someone who has lung cancer. That was denial. I have lung cancer even though it has been caught early. That realization with what is the truth of the diagnosis ties into your thoughts about living the truth. I think you are spot-on about living a valid life that accepts the truth of life and where we are in this present time. I don't feel ill, but who knows what is down the road. Thus, I am learning more and more to enjoy each day and every moment for what life gives and deal honestly with my feelings and with others. Don't know if that helps, but that's kind of where I am at present. You are an inspiration to me with your years of dealing with this insidious disease. I will continue to keep you in my prayers and thoughts.

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@alamogal635– Good morning can very much understand your feelings, wanting the cancer out! It's a poison! My first cancer was in my lower right lung, like yours and a stage 1b. I'm not sure why your doctor said that your cancer had a good chance of recurring- I find that a bit of a scare tactic, unless he knows something that you don't. That, by the way, is true for all illnesses.
Having a positive attitude is as much intrinsic as it is anything else-it's how we look at certain things, I guess. VATS will make it easier for your recovery and your hospital stay might be very short. Are you having a lobectomy or wedge resection?
One thing that I do want to warn you about is that when you go to take your first breath in recovery don't panic, it will seem as if you can't breathe. You can. Just slow your breathing down, nice and easy and each breath will be easier. It's the swelling that has occurred that gives you that sensation. Also trying to keep calm will also reduce your pain!
If you have any questions, I'd love for you to ask.
Here is my blog about my journey, if you are interested to read it.
https://my20yearscancer.com/

@merprab More important information! Thank you. I didn't know about taking one's first breath after the VATS surgery when out fo the anesthesia. That is important to know. It is something I will keep in mind and also hope to recall when coming out of the fog of anesthesia. If I have any other questions, I will be sure to ask. Should be in the hospital about two, or three days–until the chest tube comes out. thank you also for the site of your blog. I will read it.

@alamogal635 – I am treated at MGH (Mass General Hospital) in Boston. They have special nurses who remove chest tubes! I'm sorry to say that there is a lot of pain with chest surgery especially the first couple of days. Getting up and walking helps and helps prevent pneumonia! Back to chest tubes. Ok, I was given breathing exercises prior to tube removal, while one nurse pressed on my side rib cage (it actually felt good). and then the tube was removed by another nurse.. I actually felt nothing! You can read about my first tube removal in my blog.
I wish you the very very best. You have caught your cancer early, as did I. I'm sending you big hugs and you will be home before you know it! Can't wait to hear everything!

Liked by alamogal635

@merpreb. Am reading your blog and learning more from your posts–especially the drainage tube. I find myself wanting to and moreover doing it–escaping emotionally and mentally from the prospects of surgery and the diagnosis given. I guess this is "normal" for something like this. No one in my family has had cancer–we all die of strokes, heart disease, or just plain old age. So, this is indeed my first rodeo. Today two fo my dogs are scheduled for a nail trim and one needs to have her bottom trimmed closely–she's got long hair. I want to cancel these things and simply return to bed through sleep– escape via sleep. Was so proud of myself for losing close to 20 lbs on a strict low carb diet and now am returning to more "normal" foods. The focus now is on this surgery, recovery and the the waiting to hope and pray the cancer does not return. The reason my doctor said there isa possibility of cancer returning is because I pressed for approximate percentages. The oncologist said there is about a 70% chance of return, the surgeon said around 80%.It is the waiting, Don't see how you survived all the chemo and waiting, but it speaks to your amazing inner strength. Thank you for letting me blather here. You and others here are my lifeline of support. I will certainly when able let you know the outcome of the surgery and recovery. Will have my iPad with me and cell phone. in the meantime, will be reading your blog and the posts on this site. Our hospital system in my hometown, San Antonio, is partnered with MD Anderson and we are really up to date with newer and cutting edge treatments. If money was unlimited, I'd hire a proof reader to spare you all the eye strain!

I had a right lower lobectomy last May for adenocarcinoma. It was done via robotic arm. I don’t remember trying to catch a breath being difficult because everyone was shouting at me to wake up! The chest tube came out easily a few days later. After that I went to Rehab for 2 1/2 weeks because I had a small stroke in January which left me with imbalance. I came home with a walker , then graduated to a cane with Physio. Finally, I am starting to feel better this month and walk without the cane. Just got signed off to drive yesterday with the Neurologist. I am afraid of falling since the only notice I had of the stroke was falling down the stairs and breaking ribs and 3 vertebrae. Have a CT scan every three months. Don’t dwell on having cancer. Look forward to each day when you are able to do something new.

Good afternoon @marylou705. Thank you for speaking up. You had quite a time last year, I'm so sorry. I am happy that you didn't have such as bad a time of it as I did with breathing and tube. I had open chest surgery and didn't have the luxury of modern robots. It must feel terrific to drive again. I was so happy when I got the clearance to drive too. I was so sick of not being able to get away from anyone I hate relying on people for drives.
I don't think about cancer everyday, but that is certainly a good suggestion when you get hung up in it's snare. But when you are facing surgery for it, or in the throws of treatments then it's difficult to do.
I hope that you continue to do well. Do your doctors think that you will regain your balance? Please come back and visit us here more!

Liked by alamogal635

My balance is improving. I’m just so scared to fall again because I have osteoporosis. I am a retired Physical Therapist so I am a very cooperative patient! I stay to the bitter end then insurance throws me out! I see my Oncologist after each scan. I like her very much. I am in Colorado and am experiencing excellent care.

@marylou705

My balance is improving. I’m just so scared to fall again because I have osteoporosis. I am a retired Physical Therapist so I am a very cooperative patient! I stay to the bitter end then insurance throws me out! I see my Oncologist after each scan. I like her very much. I am in Colorado and am experiencing excellent care.

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@marylou705– Good morning! I don't blame you for being afraid of falling. I too have osteoporosis and cannot take any of the pills and I refuse to have shots. But I have fallen and it's not fun recovering. My son lived in CO for a time. I love it there, Estes park is great and all the old mining towns. And the shopping in Boulder!!
I see my doctors after each scan too. It's so important to have a good relationship with your doctors. Don't you think? Trust is a big thing!

Liked by alan12

What a powerful post about what does the word cancer mean to you by @merpreb. I know it means something different to me today than it did before having cancer. First, I now think of it as an umbrella disease as there are so many different types of cancer. None of them good, but some much more severe than others. I think the words that come to mind are strength and fortitude. A person doesn’t know what they have in them until they are tested. I learned a lot about myself and those around me. The survival part is not only getting rid of the cancer but surviving the treatment and all the emotions that go with it. You have to learn to for go some independence and accept help and maybe even ask for help. It’s also about gratitude. Everyday, I wake up feeling grateful for the day and notice so many things around me. If ever I don’t feel like doing something, I tell myself that it’s better than being in a hospital bed hooked up to an IV with Chemo running through my veins. Put one foot in front of the other and power through.

Well-said. Thank you.

@mepowers

What a powerful post about what does the word cancer mean to you by @merpreb. I know it means something different to me today than it did before having cancer. First, I now think of it as an umbrella disease as there are so many different types of cancer. None of them good, but some much more severe than others. I think the words that come to mind are strength and fortitude. A person doesn’t know what they have in them until they are tested. I learned a lot about myself and those around me. The survival part is not only getting rid of the cancer but surviving the treatment and all the emotions that go with it. You have to learn to for go some independence and accept help and maybe even ask for help. It’s also about gratitude. Everyday, I wake up feeling grateful for the day and notice so many things around me. If ever I don’t feel like doing something, I tell myself that it’s better than being in a hospital bed hooked up to an IV with Chemo running through my veins. Put one foot in front of the other and power through.

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@mepowers– Good morning. I am so glad that you are doing so well! You give us all hope! You have zeroed in on just what I was trying to say! Learning and patience is what we need, but it's very difficult when someone is going to open you up or zap you with some unknown space particle!

@merpreb You have asked what the word cancer means to me. I had cervical cancer in 1996 plus two types of skin cancer including squamous and malignant melanoma in 2008. Cancer is the body rebelling against itself and creating abnormal cells. That seems to be my own personal history. My body has offered me several different autoimmune conditions and my body fights against itself. Just like my mind fights against itself. Cancers seem to be a manifestation of deeper things within me, battles that I wage physically, emotionally and mentally to survive and get through. What does it mean to me? It means that I am fighting everyday and that I am worth fighting it. I am a strong person and that I can get through this in spite of what the doctors say. I take each day with gratitude.
Ginger

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