Hard to believe it was one year ago that my wife and I received the diagnosis on her cancer. Going in two weeks from potential pneumonia to Stage IV lung cancer was indescribable. But, we have been blessed that she has a wonderful oncology team, and that we have had such supportive family and friends. And, during those dark times of the first few weeks, filled with fear of what might happen to my wonderful wife, I was also blessed to have found this site, that had such straightforward and honest information, and such caring people to let you know you are not alone on this journey. This site has been such a comfort to me as my wife continues through her trails of treatments.
So, here we are a year later, with one successful chemo treatment (and two unsuccessful ones) behind us, and in the midst of a clinical trial (for which we don't yet know the outcome). Her cancer is a bit more than it was when she was diagnosed, and we seemed to have traded the initial bone metasteses for liver ones (and adrenal?). But she is still in great health otherwise, with a wonderfully strong attitude, and we move onward toward the college graduation of son (May) and wedding of daughter (July). We have been very lucky in that most of the time has been working on management of side effects of the treatments and not from effects of the cancer itself, and we know the driver mutation and have potential targeted therapy still to go to try if the trial drug does not work.
I just wanted to thank everyone on this site again for just being there. Having a place to read up on the latest methods, see the stories of others going through the same issues, ask questions, and know there are others traveling along with you on the road, has certainly helped me as I go through the emotional highs and lows of having a loved one dealing with cancer. So, as we mark our first year - thank you so very much to everyone here at GRACE.
Reply # - April 24, 2016, 03:46 PM
I'm writing through tears...
-Of happiness for your family and appreciation for this site when I was new to lung cancer, for the emotions you've evoked I don't even want to contemplate at the moment. Thank you for the post. We the travelers know how important it is to have people who understand.
-Because your family gets to experience the graduation as well as the wedding intact.
-Because I'm so glad to be a part of this community and so very lucky that Don is here to hand me a hanky :)
-Of sadness for all the wonderful people who have moved through this community, many I called friend, some just disappeared.
-Of wonder at how our fabulous faculty work day and night to provide answers, questions, treatment, cure, hope, encouragement and more to us online and in their practices around this continent.
Thank you scohn for reminding me of how lucky I am to be even just a small connection to the process in Grace.
Reply # - April 24, 2016, 07:52 PM
Janine really said it all, but I have to add my thanks for your post, both for the good news and positive attitude you and your wife obviously share, and for your words of thanks for what I consider a very special site.
Eight years ago, I came to this site much as you did, in shock at my wife's lung cancer diagnosis, looking for information to help her and support for both of us. Very quickly I became aware of the tremendous work being done by Dr. West and his colleagues on the GRACE faculty, as well as the caring support of GRACE members traveling the same road, whether as patients or caregivers.
When I lost my wife in November 2011, I thought I would need to take some time to be aware from GRACE and the subject of lung cancer. But I knew how much the site had helped me, and there were too many members that I considered my friends though we'd never met in person, for me to walk away and leave them to their struggles. I felt a need to share whatever knowledge I had gained in my journey and help Dr. West in his mission of education and support. I was posting again within about a week.
I can tell you that everyone associated with GRACE is profoundly dedicated to the GRACE mission, including many who toil behind the scenes to make this unique website what it is. Each of us has been personally touched by the tragedy of cancer, so we have a deep understanding of what that is like and what others in that same situation may need, whether it is the latest information on treatments or words of encouragement.
If we have helped in some way, then I am gratified, and I hope that we can continue to assist you and your wife.
Reply # - April 25, 2016, 06:40 AM
I know that Janine and Jim and others who strengthen the community on the forum are the critical component, but as Jim noted, everyone at GRACE is heartened to know we can help people through the difficulty of navigating cancer.
Thank you so much for your kind words. Congratulations on your son's graduation and daughter's upcoming wedding; I hope your wife does well through these and other future milestones!