Lung Cancer Awareness


Today was the first day of my new chemo treatment – my third line. Because I will not be getting a trial drug, I will get chemo just once every 3 weeks. Today was a long day but like many like it, we got through it. In addition to the blood tests, a visit with Dr. B, and the chemo, we squeezed in an ultrasound on my neck. The ultrasound was to better assess my blood clot and the neighboring veins. Results will likely be tomorrow. Aren’t computers great?

I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night because of pain from the clot. Eventually Ken stirred and asked what he could do. He got me a snack to settle my stomach and one of my pain pills. Within 30 minutes I was hard asleep. When the pain pills eventually wore off this afternoon, there was a break in the pain. This is a sign that the clot is noticeably dissolving. It should continue to do so as long as I don’t miss any more injections.

Now I need to brace myself for the likely fatigue and nausea. I should have my hair for about another 4 weeks. There are other side effects but they aren’t as likely. One day at a time.

Advertisements

 

Team WheatleyA recent bright spot in my life was the Lung Cancer Walk. Support means so much for all of us with this disease. It’s horrible finding out you have any kind of cancer. To hear learn it is one that is virtually neglected is shocking. That’s why this walk was so important.

Currently early detection of lung cancer is primarily accidental, few treatments are available, and survival rates have made little progress for decades. All because of a long history of scarce funding and research. This is changing. Support is gaining and promising research is underway. Hope is growing and you have been a part of it.

Along with my hope for my own prognosis, is my hope to change the tide and increase lung cancer research. The Walk demonstrated that it can be done! It was so thrilling to see so many people joined together supporting the event with their feet and their wallets – especially in these dire financial times. I had two disappointments. Not finding everyone I knew who was there, and that it was all over so fast. With spirits lifted, even survivors who thought they would be pressed to make 5K said they felt that could have kept on going. 

Thank you all for your generous support!

My port placement went well. The best part was the drugs. VERY relaxing. The port goes under the skin. Now, when I need an IV or blood test, a needle can be poked through my skin to the port. No more fishing for a vein. My least favorite part of IVs. Here’s a link to see what they look like. http://www.angiodynamics.com/pages/products/smart_port_ct.asp

I’ve sat down to blog many times this past week or so. But, I’ve been too tired or stressed out. I’ve had chest pains and back aches of varying degrees. If I take a pain killer I end up asleep on the couch. Not my preference. The last several days I’ve been waking up early with earaches and headaches. This morning was no different – day 3 of the same headache. But, it’s finally gone. Yeah!

In the middle of all this was the Lung Cancer Walk. I was so excited I woke up early and couldn’t wait to leave for the event. And that was with the time change! It was an amazing experience. So many people showing their support and concern. So many smiles. The goal for donations was blown away. There were so many participants many didn’t get a t-shirt. And, there were special ball caps for survivors with “survivor” embroidered on the back.

I got to meet, Chris, a survivor I’ve known over the phone and the occasional email since August. She joined Team Wheatley and brought in more donations and helped push us into 5th highest earning team.

The low-point was learning of the loss of Linda. She was one of the four walk organizers. She died a few days before the walk. It was good to see so many of her friends and family there in huge numbers.

I remember when I first learned about the walk. It was planned for November 2008. I was struggling through chemo and pneumonia and wondered if I’d make it. Later when it was postponed to March, I thought, yea, I will. I’ll make it. Thank all of you for all your help and for being there with me in body or spirit or both and for getting me there. I couldn’t do this without you!

The San Diego 5K Lung Cancer Walk is just a few weeks away. I hope you will consider participating along with me. The link is…

http://events.lungevity.org/site/TR?pg=team&fr_id=1370&team_id=8020

Please support the Breath for Hope lung cancer walk by joining a team or supporting a participant. Awareness about lung cancer is so desperately needed. It is the first step in improving research and care for those of us with lung cancer.

Thanks to my niece, Kim, I have a team. Go to the site and look for Team Wheatley!

Click on the link “Walk for Lung Cancer Awareness” (3rd column) or paste the following link in your browser window.

http://events.lungevity.org/site/TR?fr_id=1370&pg=entry

The clear ribbon for lung cancer is symbolic of the “invisible disease.” Few are aware lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in the US and that so many non-smokers and never smokers have this disease. Among women, incidents of lung cancer are on the rise – and now the number of lives lost is 3 times what it was in 1975.

A local group is organizing a walk to support lung cancer research. It will take place on Sunday, March 8. The link to learn more and to register is at http://events.lungevity.org/site/TR?fr_id=1370&pg=entry

I plan to participate but have not decided about starting a team. I’ll keep you posted.