11 years ago I managed to experience the three biggest life stressors…..moving (from Pennsylvania to Florida), changing jobs and being diagnosed with a devastating illness all within a 1 month time frame. You see, I was required to have a physical for my new teaching job and BAM, the next thing I knew I was sitting in a doctor’s office with my sister in law being scheduled for a lung resection. My head was still spinning from hearing the words “You have lung cancer” and all I was hearing was “blah, blah, blah cancer…. blah, blah, blah operation”. I remember saying “How can I have lung cancer? I don’t smoke”. I’ve learned a lot since then. The bottom line is that ANYONE can get lung cancer. ANYONE!
My purpose of starting this blog is to give others hope because I thought I was going to die 11 years ago and I didn’t. This journey has been filled with many twists and turns and ups and downs, but I’m still here. I was NED (no evidence of disease) after the initial lung resection and a course of a chemo cocktail, but 3 1/2 years later, cancer reared it’s ugly head when it decided to take up residence in my liver (17 tumors) at which time I officially became a stage 4 patient. I asked my doctor how long do I have? He said “3 to 5 years”. He was wrong.
Throughout those years, I soldiered on, continuing to teach orchestra and chorus to middle school students. I was fortunate to have wonderful support from my school administration and staff who made sure I had food and a clean house among other thoughtful things. My principal even arranged my teaching schedule to accommodate my treatments.
So, I have been living with stage 4 lung cancer for quite a while now and will continue to do so.
Till next time, remember that someday is now!