Tag Archives: managing treatment

Living with lung cancer: Respect the fatigue

A friend who’d been through cancer and chemotherapy brought us gifts: a soft, fleecy blanket and a pillow for each of us. “Whenever you need a nap, take one,” she said. “These are to remind you.” Ironically, we’d visited this … Continue reading

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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