Finding friends

Occasional Contributor

Re: Finding friends

Hi Lolie,

     When I was diagnosed with lung cancer the first time I had 5 SBRT treatments every other day.   It went really well with no problems except tiredness.  I'm sure you'll do fine and I'm assuming you will have 3 months until your first CT scan after treatment.  It is so nice to be free of medical stuff!  

      Do you have cancer in both lungs or just one lung?  I have had it in both lungs but each time it has been small and supposedly slow growing.   I go this coming week for a consultation about what kind of treatment I need.  My main oncologist wanted me to have SBRT again  but the radiation oncologist doesn't like to do it twice on the same lungs.  

     Yes, it does get exhausting.  The minute I was told my cancer had come back my first thought was here comes the tests and more tests.........

      Anyway, glad you are going to get a break after SBRT is over.   

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Contributor

Re: Finding friends

Hi Cienna

 

I have a single tumour in the lower lobe of my left lung.

 

They will do a CT at 6 weeks post treatment, but that's to check that there are new nasties.  The first CT to evaluate the success of SBRT will be done at 6 months.  I'm due for a CT to check on my lymphoma around the same time so I will probably have a single scan to check on both.

 

I don't think people realise how many appointments precede treatment.  I had 8 appointments with 4 different places prior to starting treatment (it would have been more if I didn't have recent bloods and a PET) while treatment itself is only 4 sessions.

 

I had the option of surgery, so that will remain available to me if this treatment doesn't work.  Options for the future will depend on the exact nature of any relapse.  My radiation oncology registrar and I were talking about it the other day and new treatments are becoming available every few months at the moment, so there is good reason to be optimistic that there'll be a range of options should I relapse.

I hope that the MDT is able to come up with a treatment plan you're happy with and that you're able to start treatment soon.  The workup period seems to drag on forever, doesn't it?

Super Contributor

Re: Finding friends

Hey Hey

 

Cancer is a shit show - there's no two ways about it.  It's an insidious disease, it doesn't just want to take away your life, it wants to rob you of your hope, connectedness, any light that's available to you.

 

Having a finite expiry date - that sucks, mate.  I'm really sorry.  Dealing with an uncertain expiry date and a high-ish risk of recurrence (alongside a bunch of cancer-like side effects) is it's own special type of hell too.

 

My advice:-

 

Just for a minute, put aside the cancer.  Completely park it.  Forget all about it.  It's gone.  All the ways it's impacted your life, your relationships, your feelings.  Gone.

 

Now slip into big picture mode, look at your life untethered by any of that stuff.  Time travel with your mind a bit, and look at yourself just the year before your cancer diagnosis.

 

Then - just imagine this outlandish scenario.  After a global event, human beings are going to evacuate the world.  In five years.  We're all hopping on various rickshaw-like spaceships and getting the fuck out of here.  Until then, business as usual.  Live your life.  When the time comes, you jump on the spaceship and we all fly into the unknown, hoping for the best, aiming for Alpha Centauri (avoiding some incoming asteroid or solar event or something).

 

OK.  So .. just for the exercise, imagine that.

 

You've got five years.  A finite amount of time.  What do you want to do with it ?

 

My answer:  nothing much.  Just hang out with my kids.  Hug them, make sure they know they're loved.  Hang on.  I always wanted to walk across China or Japan or maybe parts of Europe.  Hmm.  Maybe I can scrap together the money and take the kids with me.  Hmm.  Hold on, if I wasn't so old and fat, I might want to porn star up and bang like a champion for a few years.  No.  Too old.  Let's stay dignified.  I wouldnt mind learning to sing.  Hmm.  Get good enough at the guitar to go busking, then give the money to a homeless person ?  That sounds fun.  Hmm.

 

So I start to tick stuff, cross it out - not thinking so much about cancer.  Dealing with cancer.  The consequences of cancer - psychological and physical.   Thinking about what I want to do with the time that's available to me.

 

You know one thing I wouldn't want to do ?    Worry about some shitty disease.  Complain about it to my friends and in my other daily dealings.   Chitty chat in online forums to other people struggling with the same brand of nasty, fearful shit that I'm dealing with.  (Yes, and I get that I'm doing that right now - but I'm trying to quit 😉

 

You seem to have a great attitude, a clever, open-eyed person.  Get out there and live, make the utmost of the time that's available to you.

 

That's my advice.

 

Sorry if it's shit 🙂

 

All the best.

Occasional Contributor

Re: Finding friends

Captain Australia,
 
Very well written and very good advice. 
No one knows how long they might have, life can be gone in a minute or go on for a long time.
It helps sometimes (for me) to get out of my own head.   Toss the cancer to the curb for even a little while.  
Yeah, cancer sucks big time.
 
Thanks for reaching out.
 
CiennaR
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