Ringing in this New Year has a much different meaning for me. In the past, although I did wish for Good Health and Happiness for everyone I know, this year I REALLY DO wish for Good Health and Happiness for everyone. Period. People I know, those that I don’t…everyone.
Over the past three weeks, I’ve learned so much about a subject that was barely on my radar. One common question that keeps getting asked is, “How can you be so advanced and not known it.” The textbook answer is: Lung cancer, like a few others, tends not to have very many associated symptoms. Therefore, about 40% of patients are already at stage 4 (spread to other organs) at the time of diagnosis. In my experience, my 3 cm lung tumor isn’t giving me much trouble. Most of my discomfort is from the mets to my liver and bones.
My answer to the above question is: I don’t know. I have been in excellent general health my whole life. Any aches or pains I had I attributed to the active lifestyle Wynn and I have always maintained. In looking back the only thing Wynn recalls has to do with our love for road biking. Whether out on a ride with just Wynn, with our biking buddies, Ann and Mike, or in a small group – it was always my nature to stay at or near the front. I liked leading or chasing the leader. This past summer Wynn recalls that I was often lagging back or bringing up the rear. I noticed it too, but blew it off to arthritic joints and age.
I don’t know the exact message I’m trying to send, other than I’ve been happy to live my life, (some of it in the dark, obviously), doing things I love to do with people I love. Do I wish I was diagnosed sooner so that I’d have a better fighting chance? …ABSOLUTELY! But I also feel very “japanesey” about it all – I didn’t ignore signs. And now that I know, I plan to do my best to get back to the excellent health I’ve enjoyed my whole life.
(I was going to blog about getting a wig, etc. Maybe tomorrow.)