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by Diana U. on March 22, 2009
I was Diagnosed with:
pancoast tumor
Date of Diagnosis:
December 18, 2003
Employment Status:
self employed but not working
Age:
53
Type and Description of Treatments:
My tumor was inoperable treatment was chemo and radiation for 6 months with the last month I had radiation twice a day.
How do you feel today?

I feel wonderful especialy knowing that the survival rate isn't so good with this cancer. I have the nerve damage that goes along with treatment, but at least I am here to say yes I have pain .

Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your life?

I see everything with more clarity. I wake up each morning and I thank God for the day and I try to make the most of each moment.

What is going well for you right now?

Pretty much everything.

What is not going well for you right now?

Still trying to find the right combo to manage the pain.

What has been the most challenging thing about having cancer?

Losing my hair. I think that a female has a much harder time with this. I didn't shave my head like alot of people do, I couldn't part with what little hairs I had left! I looked like beatlejuice.

When difficulties overwhelm you, where do you go for support?

My husband, family and friends have been wonderful. Our faith has been our strength.

How have your long-term goals or life goals changed since diagnosis?

You don't make goals other than to get through the next issue. You try to enjoy the moment and not focus to far ahead.

What is your work arrangement right now? What are your hours?

I am lucky enough to own a resturant and I have the most wonderful employees who look after my business like it was their own. I go in every day and do what I can and ask for help if I can't.

Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your work life?

The time I put in and the relationship I have with my customers and help.

What has helped you continue to work the most?

My staff

What advice do you have for others trying to work through treatment?

This to shall pass. No matter how bad you feel it will get better. Keep your spirits up and remember there's no place like Hope.

How have you dealt with any side effects of treatment?

The hardest thing would be the constant pain in my shoulder blade and arm. Pain meds are a constant. but I find that you adjust to each level of discomfort and it eases for awhile and then goes to the next level. It is a series of cycles and you get used to it.

If "today's you" could give advice to "day-of-diagnosis you," what would you say?

Be strong, you can get through anything if you know whats coming at you. Get educated about your cancer, and take one step at a time, be involved with your treatment and always ask questions.