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Showing posts from 2017

Two Communities Mourn Their Lizzie

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On Saturday, March 4. 2017, Robert and I drove north to attend Elizabeth Dessureault’s funeral. Elizabeth was a leading light of the lung cancer advocacy community, and her death a week earlier had shaken a wide circle of people to their core, including me. When I found out that her funeral would be held in Cornwall, Ontario, less than two hours from my home by car, I realized that I had to attend to represent all those who had met her or followed her blog and Facebook posts.
To encounter Elizabeth was to love her. Diagnosed with lung cancer only two years ago, she had a sunny disposition and a compelling story. In her first year of marriage to Dax and 5 months pregnant, she found out that she had lung cancer. She was able to go on chemotherapy and keep her baby alive, giving birth two months early to a little boy they named Jack. She had genetic testing of her cancer and discovered she had the ROS1 mutation. She went on to take targeted therapy, enrolled in a clinical trial, and had…

Social Security Disability Tips at Free to Breathe Site

I've published a new post on Social Security Disability information at the Free to Breathe site on HealthUnlocked. This is important information for anyone facing a lung cancer diagnosis, or diagnosis with any serious disease.

https://healthunlocked.com/freetobreathe/posts/135097082/some-social-security-disability-tips-for-patients-with-lung-cancer?popup=1&exit=0&utm_source=anita&utm_campaign=social-security-tips&utm_medium=social

Knitting Blog: Still Knitting Sweaters

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A new sweater came off of my needles and onto my back, and I’m happy to report that I was able to finish this one in early December, in time to actually be used this winter.





I started this sweater last summer when my vision was deteriorating day by day due to rapid onset cataracts. One day I could no longer knit socks because the stitches were too small for me to see well, and I needed a project using larger yarn on larger needles. I kept trying the sweater on as I knit it and it seemed awfully snug, but denial was on full display as I kept telling myself everything would be OK - “It will block out to size.” Ha! Those famous words have doomed many a knitting project to failure. After I had knit approximately half of the sleeves, denial no longer worked. They were so snug, I could see my skin through the stitches. So I ripped back half of a sweater to the beginning, and cast on again, this time two sizes larger to accommodate both a gauge discrepancy and my need for (literally) more b…

Two Blog Posts at Free to Breathe/HealthUnlocked: What It's Like to Be in a Clinical Trial

Another two-part series, this time looking at what it's like to be in a clinical trial. The first part covers some basic information about clinical trials in general: what are the different types of clinical trials? What do they require? Who pays for them?

https://healthunlocked.com/freetobreathe/posts/134914585/what-its-like-to-be-in-a-lung-cancer-clinical-trial-part-one-background-information?popup=1&exit=0&utm_source=anita&utm_campaign=clinical-trial1&utm_medium=social
The second part describes my experience in a phase II trial for an experimental drug. I have talked about this trial in a previous post on this blog, but this piece has been freshly written.
https://healthunlocked.com/freetobreathe/posts/134948806/what-its-like-to-be-in-a-lung-cancer-clinical-trial-part-two-the-clovis-pharmaceuticals-phase-ii-trial-for-co-1686?popup=1&exit=0&utm_source=anita&utm_campaign=clinical-trial2&utm_medium=social

Blog Post at Free to Breathe/Health Unlocked: Sorting Out the Stuff after a Lung Cancer Diagnosis

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The weight of a lifetime's accumulation of stuff may seem especially heavy when you realize in your gut that your life is finite - and that someone else is going to have to deal with all that stuff some day if you don't.

This post has been one of my most popular at the Free to Breathe patient support site.

https://healthunlocked.com/freetobreathe/posts/134866142/sorting-out-the-stuff-after-a-lung-cancer-diagnosis?utm_source=anita&utm_campaign=sorting-out-stuff&utm_medium=social

Blog Post at Free to Breathe/HealthUnlocked: Why I Have Two Oncologists

I see both a very smart general oncologist who practices at a local cancer center and a very smart research oncologist who practices at a major cancer research hospital. I talk about why in this post.

https://healthunlocked.com/freetobreathe/posts/134727203/finding-support-as-a-lung-cancer-patient-reaching-out

Finding Support as a Lung Cancer Patient: New Posts at Free to Breathe

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The question of where we can find emotional support as lung cancer patients is a huge one, and I break it down into two sections in two blog posts this week for the Free to Breath lung cancer patient support site.

We reach out for support first from family and friends. There are caveats, however - they are also having a difficult time with your illness, and maybe you can't talk with them about everything you are thinking about, or discovering.

Finding Support as a Lung Cancer Patient: Family and Friends














Photo credit: Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain image from Pixabay
In part two, I discuss places to find support if you decide to reach out beyond family and friends: phone calls with other patients, church, support groups, conferences, and counseling.

Finding Support as a Lung Cancer Patient: Reaching Out














Photo credit: Unmodified image by Colin Gray, taken for the Govanhill photoshoot at the Arches, Glasgow, licensed under terms of Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
May we all find s…