Living and Dying with Cancer
It’s Just Allergies – A little Cough
Memorial Weekend I found out that one of my closets, best friends of 25 years has been diagnosed with advanced stage 4 Lung Cancer. It all started with a little cough that got worse. She thought she had bronchitis at the worst …thought it was allergies and expected to come home with some antibiotics or something. Instead she heard that she has Lung Cancer. She is told it is terminal, it is in both lungs and in some of her bones. This is what we know so far. In hearing this, so many emotions came to surface; shock, disbelief, sadness, fear, curiosity and anger …
Shock – The news hit me so sudden, like a slap in the face. The news is quick but not painless, it took a minute or more to register but once I had, then my first reaction was to cry.
Sadness – I cried for only a second when I first heard, then collected myself …I would cry much more, later …I knew.
Disbelief – How could this be? She had undergone treatment, lost a breast and came out on the other side of life. She had beat it! I could not believe it was back. You see my friend had Breast Cancer 10 years ago and they got it! It wasn’t suppose to come back.
Anger – How is it that they did not know this! She has went for regular check-ups ever since the cancer was diagnosed the first time. Why were they not doing chest x-rays often? They have to know that breast cancer often spreads to the lungs. She was going up there and they were telling her everything was good at every appointment. How did they not spot anything before now?!
Fear – I am so afraid for her, knowing all that I know about Lung Cancer. This is far worse than the first time. It is terminal! I am scared because I know she will suffer and be in pain. I don’t know how much or what is to come …I am scared of that too, the unknown.
Curiosity – What exactly does this all mean? What exactly does it mean when they say terminal. I know, but somehow I need to know more, maybe I am looking for a different answer than what I thought …a better answer. What happens at stage 4? What is her prognosis? How far has it spread …so many questions. So I am reading and reading.
Test and more test
The diagnosis came from our local hospital and cancer center. But she was treated at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, for her Breast Cancer and has been going to them for check-ups ever since. She decided she would feel better going back there. I think she is looking for a different diagnosis, but also further information with a hospital she knows and trust.
It has taken a little over 2 weeks but finally they are running all test over again and adding more. Today she had a biopsy done on her lungs. The surgery went well. We were told by the nurse that it will take a while to get the results back. And now we wait and pray.
“Cancer is a word, not a sentence.” – John Diamond
Note: This is the start of a series of post that I will be writing on my friends journey with cancer. It is a way for me to get out my thoughts and feelings as they come to me.