Monthly Archives: January 2014

Three biopsies in eight months

In my first post, “Lung Cancer: What I Wish I’d Known in the First 72 Hours,” I said I wished I had known to ask the doctor to take extra tissue in the initial biopsy. It might have helped me … Continue reading

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“So, you’re cured? Or in remission?”

I recently attended an event where I saw a number of people I hadn’t seen in several years. Many hadn’t known I had cancer. When I tried to explain, my story didn’t always seem to compute. “So you’re all better … Continue reading

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Patient engagement: a powerful tool with a powerful history

“Patient engagement” is a relatively recent term for patients becoming actively involved in their health care experience by educating themselves and working together with their doctors to make health care decisions. Sometimes it’s used as a buzzword to simply mean … Continue reading

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A chart of genetic mutations in adenocarcinoma*

A friend of mine, reading Paul Kalanithi’s beautiful piece about living with lung cancer in this past Sunday’s New York Times, asked if Kalanithi has the same mutation I have. He takes a pill that targets his specific genetic mutation, … Continue reading

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Lung cancer in 140 characters: finding your people on Twitter

You might have trouble finding a lung cancer support group in your community. However, the Internet makes it possible to find people with lung cancer all over the world who are engaged in critical thinking about their own treatment, and … Continue reading

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When your friend has cancer

People often ask what they can do to help. While friends have done some truly spectacular things for me since my diagnosis, some of the most important and helpful things have been very small and simple. I figure everyone knows … Continue reading

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Beautiful piece from The New York Times: “How long have I got left?”

I was going to finish writing something new this morning, but nothing I could write today could possibly be as beautiful or thoughtful as Paul Kalinithi’s piece in tomorrow’s New York Times. Kalinithi is a chief resident in neurosurgery at … Continue reading

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Lung cancer tips: Keeping track of meds

Here are some low-tech devices every lung cancer patient needs. The big pill box is for each day’s morning and evening pills. Right now, in the mornings I take crizotinib (Xalkori), Chinese herbs, a reflux medication, and a multivitamin, plus … Continue reading

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PSA: If you have lung cancer, don’t dig out this car.

I mean it. No matter how well you are doing on targeted therapy. No matter how long your lungs have sounded beautiful and clear. No matter how light and fluffy you think the snow is. Let someone help you. Also: … Continue reading

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Lung cancer tips: My handy pocket pulse oximeter

When I was discharged from the hospital in December 2012, my oxygen levels were still kind of low. They were high enough for me to go home without oxygen, but definitely still below normal. I was worried about that. Some … Continue reading

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