Amy F. on March 4, 2020
I was Diagnosed with:
Lung cancer ALK abnormality
Type and Description of Treatments:
Oral medications, radiation, multiple surgeries
How do you feel today?
Very blessed that God has seen me through 7years when I was given 18 months
Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your life?
A fellow coworker who has non-hodgkins lymphoma, told me that I could take our Long Term Disability option and come back whenever I wanted. I took the LTD, they hired someone else for my job and forced retirement.
What is going well for you right now?
I'm fine physically, but feel worthless personally. I am now my disease. Whereas before I was helping people every single day and making a difference in my little area of the world, I now can't even give my services away. I've offered to volunteer at high schools (public and private), Red Cross, mission work, church work. All of them see that I have cancer and migraines as a result of my medication and they never call me back, to volunteer no less.
What is not going well for you right now?
What has been the most challenging thing about having cancer?
People act like you have a plague rather than a disease. Even the massage lady put gloves on before she massaged me.
When difficulties overwhelm you, where do you go for support?
I pray that the Lord give me peace and understanding. He's shone me more peace and grace - "In weakness I am strong" He promises. Boy, has He ever held that promise!
How have your long-term goals or life goals changed since diagnosis?
I'm not sure where to turn next.
What is your work arrangement right now? What are your hours?
Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your work life?
What has helped you continue to work the most?
What advice do you have for others trying to work through treatment?
Don't give up. Find out facts for yourself. Don't listen to others advice, whispers, complaints. Be You. Be Strong. Persevere. You may feel like death some days- As my mom told me "On the days you feel your worst, look your best."
How have you dealt with any side effects of treatment?
Mine are minimal right now. I keep moving and motivate myself by signing up for walking races.
If "today's you" could give advice to "day-of-diagnosis you," what would you say?
Keep praying. Don't give up. Don't listen to mean, uneducated, unblessed people - Yes, I feel that my cancer is a blessing - I've learned so much about faith, compassion, perseverance, mental toughness...the list goes on.