It’s Just Allergies – A little Cough

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.

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26 comments

  1. I am so sorry to hear this. Cancer is an insidious, wretched thing. I lost my stepfather to it few years back, and my youngest son, 8 yrs old, is still battling leukemia. It’s cases like this that terrify me; my son is supposed to be cancer and treatment free in six months or so, after three and a half years of chemo. The thought that it will not be truly gone, that it may surface elsewhere, makes me sick.

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    • I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your stepfather. Yes, this cancer is a horrible thing …no words can describe. My heart goes out to you for your son. I am so sorry to hear that he has had to endure this. No one, but especially a child, should have to ever go through or know something like this. I pray that he will truly be free of this horrible disease soon. As for my friend, I try to understand why it came back. Why some people and not others …I dk. I know that she did not take care of herself afterwards …did not eat right and she drank etc. I don’t know if that really has any factor in to why. Thanks so much for the kind words and sharing.

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  2. Arl, I am not “liking” this post because of the topic, but because you are processing your thoughts about this heartbreaking news. I wish your friend the best in her journey, and you some comfort in knowing we are thinking of you.

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  3. I am so sorry to hear your news Arl. Seeing someone you love suffer is not a nice thing to endure. I hope that some answers and comfort come from the second opinion your friend is seeking.

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  4. I’m so sorry. I know how unbelievably painful this is. This is exactly what happened with a dear friend of mine a few years ago. She was at my bridal shower joking about her annoying cough and a few weeks later we found out it was stage 4 lung cancer. All you can do is support her, love her, be there for her, hold her hand, and be her friend. I am sending prayers your way.

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