James R. on February 9, 2012
I was Diagnosed with:
Non small cell carcinoma . Stage four inoperable
Type and Description of Treatments:
60 straight days of radiation. Three days of carboplatnum chemo and 21 days rest for six months.
How do you feel today?
Blessed by God himself!
Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your life?
I am grateful for everyday I wake up. When my eyes open I think right away what I am I going to do to make this day awesome!
What is going well for you right now?
I began writing about my story because it's so amazing. I ended up writing a book about it. I sent it out to the top publishing companies in the U.S.A. I received three offers and went with the one I wanted most.The book will be out in mid 2012. Its called "Miracle The James D. Richardson Story" I wanted to share it with the world because it is so inspiring and heart felt. I let a few (20 or so)friends read it before I sent it out. They told me that is was one of the best books they ever read. It gave me the courage to send it out.
What is not going well for you right now?
My biggest challenges so far are dealing with people that do not understand. It's hard to be the better person all of the time. I wish more people had the talent of putting themselves in other peoples shoes. I am getting small doses of harassment at work I do not care for. Smart remarks and these "I am watching you" posted signs. For some odd reason I feel sorry for them. It's pretty sad.
What has been the most challenging thing about having cancer?
Pain of course. Back and chest. Broke two ribs on the chest bone. My tumor was 11.0 by 10.5 cm. It was in my right lung and had grown through the lung. It wrap around my pulmonery artery and attached itself to my chest cavity, front and rear. After the miracle I was a given the chance for a surgery. They gave a 15-20% chance of survival. As of today I am doing okay. Still have a lot of pain but doing alright. 2/8/2012
When difficulties overwhelm you, where do you go for support?
I feel my cancer was self inflicted. Although the report came back with asbestos and many other items. I do not let the cancer be a crutch in my life. There are days I feel frustrated because of so many side effects. Days like that I seek God out and sometimes yell a little. Why Me!
How have your long-term goals or life goals changed since diagnosis?
Oh yes! I live every day as it were my last now. I made a huge bucket list and I am crossing them out one at a time. I have been writing a lot and released my first book on Black Friday 2011. It's called 13 Year one. The writing helps take my mind off of the cancer. If I could recommend something to help another cancer patient is to find something you love to do. If it is expensive like deep sea fishing do not give up. There a lot of great people out there willing to help. Keep searching for them. I call them God's angels. They are there keep looking! God bless you all!!!
What is your work arrangement right now? What are your hours?
I work afternoons as a janitor. I rest when I need to. I can't always get my work done. I just do the best I can.
Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your work life?
I found people are shallow. Since my return my boss and coworkers are distant. I just pray for them from time to time.
What has helped you continue to work the most?
I love life! Again, I feel blessed to be here! I have this desire. I do not want to feel defeated!
What advice do you have for others trying to work through treatment?
Let's be honest chemo sucks real bad! Focus on things that brought you joy in your life before the cancer. Close your eyes and go back to those moments when life was great. Not all things are bad. Start living your life for the moment. Live it for you for a change!
How have you dealt with any side effects of treatment?
I have tinnitus (ringing of the ear), neuropathy problems in my feet and hands. My feet hurt when I walk. Hearing loss in my right ear. Constantly dehydrated. I get light headed from time to time. From the surgery I feel unsettled. Other than that life is awesome!
If "today's you" could give advice to "day-of-diagnosis you," what would you say?
What did you do! Maybe a little smack on the head? I would say Focus on healing now. Sleep as much as you can. Your body heals the most when you are asleep. Listen to your heart, it's singing to you. Are you listening? One last thing "I told you never to smoke you dumb dumb!!" Why and the hell did you marry your first wife? Thanks for listening!