Monthly Archives: January 2014

Finding lung cancer in young nonsmokers: some thoughts on screening

As of this year, for the first time ever, national guidelines exist for screening people at the highest risk for lung cancer. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now recommends that people from 55 to 80 years old with a … Continue reading

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Clinical trials and their role in lung cancer treatment: a brief introduction

If you’re receiving top-notch care for advanced lung cancer, your oncologist should be talking with you about clinical trials. Clinical trials are tests, in human patients, of new medications, new combinations of medications, and/or new approaches to treatment. While it … Continue reading

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Talking with a young child about advanced lung cancer

My daughter was seven when I was diagnosed. Now she is eight. She is beautiful and my number-one motivation to live and stay strong as long as possible. When Chris and I first received the terrible news from the surgeon … Continue reading

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Palliative care for lung cancer: getting help for your symptoms

Shortly after my diagnosis, a physician I knew socially said, “Call me if you have questions. I’m board certified in palliative care.” I was polite, but quietly took offense: how dare he tell me I was dying when he wasn’t … Continue reading

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Celebrating a birthday and a great quality of life with Stage IV lung cancer

On my 43rd birthday I was getting a brain MRI and imagining I would be dead in 8 months. Today, I am 44. The first time I met with my oncologist, he explained that with the right treatment, even people … Continue reading

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Chemotherapy tips: Ask for warm hats!

Everyone knows that chemotherapy can cause your hair to fall out. Not every chemotherapy regimen causes hair loss, and not every regimen affects every patient the same way. Nevertheless, standard chemotherapy works by killing fast-growing cells indiscriminately. It doesn’t distinguish … Continue reading

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Finding the right emotional support for lung cancer

When you have lung cancer, not every cancer support group will be helpful. Lung cancer is just so much deadlier, on average, than other common cancers like breast and prostate cancer, and tends to be diagnosed when it is so … Continue reading

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Chemotherapy tips: alleviating nausea

Chemotherapy and nausea: they go together like a horse and carriage. You may not be able to escape nausea, but there are things you can do that should alleviate it to a certain extent. I’m told that the drugs are … Continue reading

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Chemotherapy tips: Infusions are not so bad

While the total experience of chemotherapy – nausea, fatigue, hair loss – was rough, the actual days spent getting the infusions at the cancer center were not so bad. In a way, they were even pleasant. I’m not saying I … Continue reading

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Chemotherapy tips: EMLA cream

The best advice I got about chemotherapy came from a cousin who is a breast cancer survivor. She said, “Ask for the EMLA cream.” EMLA cream is a numbing cream that you can use for painless port access (see https://thrivingwithlungcancer.com/2014/01/11/what-its-like-to-have-a-port-inserted/Continue reading

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