GRACE Community Outreach Team
I am Jim Celebucki, a member of the GRACE Community Outreach Team. I first became involved with GRACE in the Spring of 2008. My wife Liz had developed a cough. At first, we didn't think too much of it, as a couple of other members of her family had recently suffered from bouts with a cough and cold. But as time passed, and her cough grew worse, we decided it was time to see her primary care physician. That led to a quick succession of tests and procedures which culminated in her lung cancer diagnosis in July, 2008.
From the beginning, I was determined to find as much information as possible to help us not only understand her treatment options but also play an informed role in decisions concerning her care. Liz's sister suggested that I check out the GRACE site, where Dr. Jack West and his outstanding faculty were providing authoritative, specific information about every aspect of lung cancer diagnosis and treatment. For the first year and a half, I used GRACE as a resource, but by then I had become so familiar with the site that I felt it was only right that I should share some of that knowledge with other GRACE users, to help Dr. West in his mission to provide valuable information to those patients and caregivers thrown unwillingly into a cancer fight.
Although Liz eventually passed in November, 2011, my commitment to the GRACE mission continues.
I discovered GRACE when my wife was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2008. After finding so much authoritative information here, I became a forum moderator and now serve as part of the GRACE Community Outreach Team.
Reply # - June 20, 2023, 12:25 PM
Jim, Thank you for sharing your and Liz's story. It's never easy to share this information in hindsight, especially in writing as you have the opportunity to edit, to remember, to contemplate.
With tremendous love, admiration and gratitude,
I joined GRACE as a caregiver for my husband who had a Pancoast tumor, NSCLC stage III in 2009. He had curative chemo/rads then it was believed he had a recurrence in the spine/oligometastasis that was radiated. He's 10 years out from treatment.
Reply # - July 24, 2023, 04:04 PM
I had a very wonderful conversation with a fantastic person, Tom Murphy, after he had started Barb's Beer. I had joined him traipsing around Seattle to sell the beer to local pubs and tell the story of his wife, Barb, one of Dr.West's patients. He, too, had spent years as a caregiver, and his deep deep love for his wife Barb showed in every second I spent with him.
We had many conversations that day, but what really really stuck in my head was his need to persevere, and to turn his pain into purpose. He said to me something to the effect of "you can fall victim to the pain, or you can use it to move forward and do something good". He does it all in honor of his wife, and Barb would love and approve of it all, I am sure.
I feel the same, even though I am years past the deep pain, I feel like I do what I do for others and also still for Melissa. Jim, In response to your quote from above:
I felt it was only right that I should share some of that knowledge with other GRACE users, to help Dr. West in his mission to provide valuable information to those patients and caregivers thrown unwillingly into a cancer fight.
I can only imagine that you too do so much of what you do with Liz in your heart. In a way, I see it as a gift. A gift to have cared so deeply about someone, that we turn our pain into purpose.