The First Thirty Days

July 19, 2016 

Living with the unknown…July 19, 2016 found me in urgent care and then the ER because of pain when breathing. Specifically when lying down or taking a deep breath. Chest X-Ray and nuclear CT scan, found something in the upper lobe of my right lung. The ER doc said the word tumor and I don’t remember much else.

July 21, 2016

Still unknown at this point, until 1:30 when we see the pulmonologist. One thing is known, I have a mass in my right lung, upper quadrant approximately 1 inch in diameter, I am 57 years old (58 in 16 days) and I’m not ready to – what? Die, fight, make horrendously difficult decisions, worry about every breath I take, answer questions that I don’t know the answers to, ask questions that others don’t know the answers to??? 

Best case scenario, it’s benign. In the past 2 days, I have come up with every possibility I could think of believing that if I cover all the bases then I won’t be surprised at the diagnosis. Please God, let it be benign.

August 2, 2016

After 10 days of antibiotics, another X-ray showed no improvement. Next is a lymph node needle biopsy, PET/CT and MRI. 

August 19, 2016

The needle biopsy report came back – NSCLC adenocarcinoma, stage 4 – lung cancer. As Lene says, there is an unwanted squatter residing in my ‘lung AirB&B’. The unknown is how do I best assimilate this information and then, how do I go about challenging this interloper that has stayed so well hidden, existing undetected. I have followed a healthy lifestyle for years. Smoker? The occasional cigarette over the years. A non-smoker is considered someone who has smoked less than 100 cigarettes in a lifetime, that would be me. The research tells me that the type of lung cancer I have is the most common form diagnosed in women and non smokers.

Having worked in complementary healing for almost 30 years I am, of course, getting lots of information from friends and peers regarding alternative methods for a cure. I truly appreciate everyone’s point of view and well-intentioned advice, in fact, I welcome it. And, I welcome discovering how orthodox treatment is evolving and the great strides taken in research and treatment options. 

When we are challenged with different beliefs, we tend to gravitate to that which validates our subjective experience. I am beginning to understand on a much deeper level that true courage involves questioning our beliefs and bridging middle ground. Third dimential reality exists in polarity. The pendulum swings to extremes and I am seeing it everywhere from politics, to religious beliefs, to environmental standards, to relationships, to the alternative/orthodox medical community, etc. What I do know is that whatever direction I take I must COMMIT 100% of my energy to my path and pray that I can be strong in my belief that all the pieces combined together make up the WHOLE.

This afternoon I have my first consultation with oncology. I have been reading up trying to educate myself on the words that I will be hearing today. The gene mutation testing should be complete sometime next week and I will wait on those results before deciding on treatment. That is the only DEFINITIVE course of action I am taking right now besides forming my team of medical doctors, alternative practitioners, prayer warriors and supporters who have my back when I get weak as well as when I am strong.

I am reminded of the jigsaw puzzle piece that we lost years ago and then found when we changed the carpet at the Krameria house. The jigsaw puzzle is now complete, a piece was lost for a time which created imbalance in the picture. I’m on a mission to find the missing piece, the missing link if you prefer…How’s that for a metaphor!

August 20, 2016 

Dr. Vignesh Narayanan, MD. is my oncologist. We liked him. Not only did I feel listened to, I felt like he truly knew what was going on and how best to move forward. No treatment plan yet. There was some fluid left over from the lymph node biopsy to test for possible mutations. Dr. Narayanan promised to call the pathologist every day to put a fire under them. Depending on what they find or don’t find, l might still need another biopsy. This one CT guided going through my chest wall and into the largest tumor. This information will give a more complete picture of my specific cancer and how it is manifesting as well as additional information on gene mutations and the possibility of targeted treatment. Oh, and how’s this for the universe/God stepping in to guide my way: when I told my doc that I would be getting a second opinion from Dr. Camidge at UC Health, who also happens to be world-renowned in the lung cancer field, he said ‘I know Dr. Camidge well. He IS the best and I worked with him for 2 years! I feel so relieved knowing there can and will be communication within my medical team. There are no accidents. This next week we continue to wait…

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