How do you stay positive?

Hi! I'm new to the site. I was diagnosed with NSCLC, stage IIIA in August of 2016. I was schocked to find I had lung cancer since I never smoked and lived pretty healthy lifestyle. Shortly after the diagnosis i had an upper left side lobectomy followed by 4 rounds of very tough Chemo with Cisplatin and Navelbine. It turned out to be EFGR Positive so I was told I would enter a trial that uses Tarceva. First they wanted me to undergo 6 weeks of radiation to the lymph nodes in the middle of my chest. i was about to start radiation but a CT scan showed a couple of suspicious spots in the mediastinum, exactly where the lymph nodes are. So now, I've been scheduled for a PET scan but the soonest they can do is 10 days away. In the meantime I've developed a weird cough and I am easily tired.

So, here's my question, how do stay positive when the news is so bleak?

I'm a single mom of three, 27, 24, and 20. We are very close but in this situation I feel so very alone. I came to this board because despite some very bad diagnosis' that I've read, I see many still living and moving on and that is truly inspiring!!! When I pray, I ask God for all those that are suffering illness especially cancer because it's so devastating, here I am, one more!

If you have any tips, I'd love to hear them:)

Thank you and God Bless!

Gisela

18 Replies

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  • I'm so sorry to hear of your difficulty. I found my adult daughters to be a wonderful support and help during my 2015 battle with breast and lung cancer. Don't be afraid to lean on them. Cancer is a family disease and their involvement can help them deal with the situation as well as help you. I'll pray for you and your family. Hang in there.

  • Jean,

    Thanks, you are right, this affects the whole family. Glad to hear you are doing ok. Another sign of hope!!

    God Bless!

    Gisela

  • Hi, my name is Debbie. I am a 9 year survivor of nsclc stage IIIB. I went through months of chemo and radiation followed by the resection of my upper right lobe and part of two ribs. Followed by 3 more weeks of chemo. Never give up. I have always felt that I have survived to do more in life. Making memories has been a great goal, but I am now involved in an organization to fund the fight against pediatric cancer. Having a greater purpose is a big boost to my fears. Best of luck to you.

  • Thank you so much for the encouragement! It gives me great hope. I thought I was doing good until the news about a couple of spots. But just hearing about your journey helps so much! Thanks again and God Bless!!

  • My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 NSCLC June 2013. After 2 rounds of platinum based chemo he was started on Tarcevia because his mutation was EGFR Econ 19. He was on it 14 months before the cancer started to spread. Then he was on IV chemo Taxotere for 11 months. Then the pet scan showed NED. 7 months later it had spread to innumerable tumors in his liver, bones and both lungs. He then had a new biopsy and it showed he had the mutation T790. Which is what EGFR mutates to when patients take Tarcevia. He started on the oral drug Tagrisso (second generation drug used to treat EGFR) in August. He has showed a complete response in Liver and Bones and partial response in the lungs. My husband says he feel better than he has since being diagnosed right now. Cancer can only take what you let it. The last 3 years we have been living and loving Life. This man has scuba dived, jumped out of planes, and climbed mountains since being diagnosed. Most of all he has spent more quality time with the family and embracing it and never taking anything for granted.

  • Wow, that's wonderful!! Thank you for sharing your story. It helps so much :) He's an inspiration! Since I don't yet know how bad things are having a couple suspicious spots showing up after chemo really scare me and I go between thinking they attack this and I can have some more quality time with my kids and family to thinking how will I get everything ready, house, bills, etc. If I only have a couple of months. The anxiety and sadness can become overwhelming. Wishing you have many more years with your husband and family. One question though, did your husband feel ok while on Tarceva?

    Thank you and God Bless!

    Gisela

  • He did feel ok on Tarcevia and he feels even better on Tagrisso

  • The only tip I can give you on this is that I keep my eyes on the Lord. I've been saved for many years and involved in the church. I know that God still performs miracles today but I also know that the Bible teaches that our days are numbered. Therefore, even though it's hard, I pray that His Will be done.

    Cancer is one of the hardest things in life to have to go through. If you don't have a church, find one and attend as often as you're able. Just remember that God said that He would never leave you nor forsake you. He's there for you and with you and you can talk with Him anytime. He always has time for you.

    God bless you and your family.

  • I too believe God has a huge hand in our lives if we allow him to. I am in remission right now with lung cancer. My Mom died in 1989 with it. She wad a good christian lady. She had a really rough life, raising 4 kids alone. Our dad was an alcoholic and killed himsrlf when I was 14. I felt she got sick just at retirement age and could now enjoy her flower gardens. I had prayed every day for God to heal her. The day she died, i was sitting outside talking to God, asking why he had allowed her to die and not heal her. I know people think Im a lunatic when I say this, but i heard an audible voice that said "what do you think I just did". Of course, I don't want to die, but. I had never looked at death as a form of healing. That has always been a big comfort to me!

  • Thank you! I know God's Will is best but I also know sometimes it's hard to accept. I find it hard to pray that His Will be done because my human side has a specific will and I'm afraid it's not His Will.

    With that being said, in the end I ask that God give me and my family to accept His Will. It sounds like you have a strong relationship with Him.

    God bless you.

  • Thank you, your post brought tears to my eyes! We have a similarity I lost my mother in 1985 from inoperable lung cancer. She was the center of our world and I still remember how much she suffered towards the end, the last couple months were terrible. My siblings and I ended up thanking God for not letting her suffer one more day. Fast forward, I've spent the last 10 years raising my kids alone after my emotionally abusive husband left us. I thought that was hard but it's nothing compared to this disease. Just as I was thinking that my last son was getting to 20 and I could exhale I got this news and to be honest I'm scared to go through what my mother did. I know our next life will be soooo much better, it's getting there that is so scary. I'm hoping that there are still some avenues out there that might give me a chance to see my daughter or sons get married. I'm sooo glad to hear your cancer is in remission what joy!!!

    God Bless!

    Gisela

  • Ruthie!

    I too am a believer and I do pray for healing but I also know His plan which is always for our better may not be what I'm praying for. I know God loves me and all of us. But being human makes this so scary and lonely. I feel blessed to be reaching to others here that understand.

    I'll be praying for all of us too!!

    God Bless!

    Gisela

  • Hi Gisela,

    I'm sorry to hear about this news. My father was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer in June 2016. My sister , brother and I took this very hard. He was a single dad who raised us 3. I'm now 28 years old. He had chemo this past summer and now he's in radiation. We are praying that the new scans show us good news. As hard as it is, please remain optimistic and always remember that God is extremely powerful when it comes to healing. Do not lose hope! I remind my dad everyday that he's strong and he will get through it. You have to believe that too. Also do not read statistics and stuff online, I found this brought us greater worry that wasn't needed. You are not alone!

    Prayers coming your way.

  • Lisa, thank you for your kind words!! I'll keep your dad in my prayers too!

    Gisela

  • The first part of your story is similar to mine: left lung removed and four rounds of Cisplatin and Navelbine (nasty stuff). I also have never smoked. That's when I learned all about radon. We tested our home and found out we had an unacceptable level. That's what caused is cancer. Mitigation costs so much less than dealing with lung cancer!

    I stay positive by doing lots of reading (Radical Remission, How to be Sick, Cancer Hacks, The Book of Joy, Anti-cancer:a new way of life). I also find fellow survivors to reach out to. We are all in this together. I'm glad you know that you have a mutation. That can be very helpful. I sign up for Google Alerts so that I know the latest news for my specific cancer (ALK+). There are lots of Facebook groups and groups organized by lung cancer nonprofits.

    If you live in a state where medical cannabis is legal, I would urge you to explore that.

    I do my best to stay grateful and to keep giving to others in my life.

    Hang in there. This can be a manageable, chronic disease. (Also remember that second opinions are good and it's OK to change docs if you are ever uncomfortable with yours.

    Hugs, Gail

  • Gail,

    Thank you!! I needed to hear that! It's when I'm not busy that my mind starts to wander and it's usually not to a positive place. It would truly be lovely to deal with this as a chronic condition!

    Thanks again for the positive thoughts!

    God Bless!!!

    Gisela

  • Gail,

    I'm going to buy a radon test kit. Thanks for the tip!

    Gisela

  • I think the best advice I received during this journey is to live in the now. By focusing on the present moment, we don't worry about what is to come. Stay positive.

    Jean

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