Tonight was a very special evening. After work, my friends Pam and Janeen (and I) went to dinner at Macaroni's (and we put a feather in our hat...)
After dinner, we headed off to my 1st (of many) lung cancer support groups. Much to our surprise, when we got there, cameras and microphones were everywhere in the room. Apparently, Jean Enersen from King 5 was coming to film some of our meeting for a health program that will be airing in October. I'll let you know when we find out the specific date. Lung cancer funding is well below all other cancer funding. I hope this program will relay that message to the public. "Food for thought": While Richard Nixon was our president, he declared "WAR on CANCER". At that time, the 5-year survival rate for lung cancer was at 13%. It is now 2006 and the 5-year survival rate for lung cancer is at 15%. It appears we are losing this WAR.
I met some wonderful people who, much like me were being treated for pneumonia or asthma before they were diagnosed with lung cancer. Some had no symptoms at all, but had a routine chest x-ray and a tumor was discovered. Some of their stories were much too familiar to me. I think we must have all been given a script when we are diagnosed because many of us said the same words. "We're blessed, cancer has changed us for the better, we really appreciate life". I intend to find hope and information with my new found friends. I think this meeting was good for Pam and Janeen as well. I believe they have a better understanding of what's happening in my world (though sometimes I don't have a clue). For those of you who know me well, YES, I CRIED AT THE MEETING. I tried not to, but you know I cry at commercials, and during the Olympics, and at every movie I go to....So take these tears with a grain of salt. I really had an awesome time.
Now for my little pity party....I was a tiny bit jealous tonight...sounds dumb, but everyone in the support group has had a lung or a part of a lung removed, radiation and/or chemotherapy. I sat in my little chair and said "I take Tarceva and I have no side effects". Again, I know it sounds stupid to say that but I sometimes feel like we're not fighting hard enough. Once I heard the stories of the horrific side effects people are still struggling with after their chemotherapy I started to re-think my jealousy. How do we know if we're doing the right thing? When do we grasp on to every voodoo medicine, tea, herb and cure-all that someone gives us?
I hope the Relay for Life meeting went well tonight too. I'm sure we'll get the lowdown from our Co-Chair Amy very soon. I am so proud of my family and friends for helping with this fight. They have no idea how many lives they have (and continue) to touch.
Jake is home for the weekend (to watch his Cougars at Quest field & to see his mother). I hope to have a terrific couple of days with my amazing family by my side. :) I love them all so much.
Remember, we're just a breath away from a cure....