OK, I’ve been dragging my feet on this blog, mainly because it is near and dear to my heart.
In March of 2016 my husband, Stuart, was diagnosed with stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer. I’ll never forget hearing those words from the doctor when we went to get the results of his biopsy. Just can be true. Surreal. No way. At 54, healthy, runner, non-smoker, it just CAN’T BE TRUE. It has to be something else. You’ve read the results wrong. Something is not right. Nope. Not us, not him, not my husband, not anyone. We turned to stone. Didn’t talk much on the way home, cried some. No reaction. Numb. Plain numb. Of course we had to come home and make some phone calls. The hardest was to our son Mitch who at the time was preparing for finals in college. Wasn’t sure we should tell him until after his tests, but he insisted on knowing how the doctor appointment went. We couldn’t lie. We were broken, yet we were brought closer as a family. We were all going through this together. Every step of the way. All of us. Mackenzie came home from work and we told her. We all cried, talked about options, etc. Then Stuart got on the phone with his siblings and broke the news to them. They were silent, disbelief. Like the rest of us. Silent. Numb.
Our journey continues. As of today, Stuart has been on a trial drug at the University of Minnesota for 14 months. He has been stable the last 6 or so months. Initially the main tumor in his upper right lobe shrunk 60% in the first month and has not moved since! He has not missed a day of work except for appointments. He continues to exercise, power walk/run, and work out. He’s determined and I love that about him. He has a genetic mutation (ROS-1) that only 1-2% of lung cancer patients have and we are grateful as he was able to get on a clinical trial drug that is saving his life. So far, this means no chemo and no radiation. We are grateful for that. My husband is truly amazing and inspires me with his determination!
This brings me to another topic. Natural health and integrated health. I am an essential oil educator with doTERRA as well as certified for Healing Touch. These have proven instrumental in Stuart’s on-going care. I believe God brought me these two resources for this reason. I need to use my talents and share what I know with him as well as others who are open to natural solutions. Attitude of course, is key as well. We keep a light, happy demeanor as much as we can. Sometimes it’s hard, yes, but we try. God is bringing us on this journey for a reason. We pray, we go to church, we give, we serve, we love.
Facts about lung cancer:
- Lung cancer claims more lives than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined
- Half of America’s lung cancer patients either never smoked or quit before being diagnosed
- Nearly twice as many women die of lung cancer as breast cancer, yet many don’t know they are at risk
- Most patients are diagnosed in stages 3 and 4 due to lack of preventive screening and subtle symptoms
We have partnered with A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation. They have been a great resource and support for Research, Awareness and Patient and Family Support. Stuart has recently signed up for their Ambassador Program to help support others going through this same process. For more information on this foundation or if you’d like to volunteer, please go to abreathofhope.org
Preventive screening: If you suspect or are concerned about a cough you’ve had for awhile, or shortness of breath, you can request a low-dose CT scan from your doctor.
My hope and prayer for everyone is to remain healthy. Love each other every day. Eat healthy, exercise, get plenty of sleep and BE POSITIVE. Be your own best advocate every day!
Happy Thanksgiving from my house to yours!