Author Archives: Irene Elizabeth (Beth!) Stroud

About Irene Elizabeth (Beth!) Stroud

Queer suburban mom, graduate student, lung cancer survivor, card-carrying United Methodist.

Applying for disability

My sister, a former social worker, recommended that I apply for Social Security disability benefits as soon as possible after diagnosis. It would never have occurred to me, and it sounded complicated. As it turns out, though, if you have … Continue reading

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What it’s like to have a port inserted

As soon as it became clear that my initial treatment would be chemotherapy, the doctor recommended a port insertion. I wondered: What’s a port? Thinking back now to all the confusion and worries of those early days, I couldn’t even … Continue reading

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Even with stage IV lung cancer, long-term survival is possible

When they diagnose you with advanced lung cancer, of course the first terms you type into your search engine are things like “stage IV lung cancer survival” or “stage IV lung cancer life expectancy.” Your nurses and doctors tell you … Continue reading

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Poked and prodded: dealing with lung cancer tests and procedures

The first six weeks after a lung cancer diagnosis are a grueling battery of tests and procedures. You may have any or most of the following within a very short time: bronchoscopy, biopsy, CT scan, PET scan, brain MRI, port … Continue reading

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All the drugs have two names

File this under “things I sort of knew, but sort of forgot,” and “never be afraid to ask a question”: all commercially available drugs have two names, a brand name and a generic name. Yes, I did know that Excedrin … Continue reading

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Gene mutations in lung cancer (for the beginner)

If you have non-small-cell lung cancer, some of the most powerful information you can have is about gene mutations and their role in lung cancer treatment. With an up-to-date knowledge of gene mutations, you and your doctors may be able … Continue reading

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A serious illness: managing all the love

When people found out I had advanced lung cancer, in general they were wonderful. Sometimes, though, all the “wonderful” was a little much for me to take. They wanted to visit, they wanted to help, they wanted to understand what … Continue reading

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Double half-caf soy hazelnut cappuccino, or why no one has “lung cancer”

Just as almost no one orders a plain old “coffee” anymore, no one has plain old “lung cancer.” “Lung cancer” is what they think you may have when your doctors see some suspicious cells, a mass that doesn’t respond to … Continue reading

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Lung cancer cells

Did I mention how important it is to have tissue samples, that is, some of the actual cancer cells from your body, for examination and testing? For my first appointment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering back in January 2013, I was told … Continue reading

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Lung cancer doctors: You need at least two

Every lung cancer patient needs a minimum of two doctors: a surgeon and an oncologist. The surgeon will analyze your imaging studies and determine whether surgery is possible; if it is, he or she will perform the surgery. The oncologist … Continue reading

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