Lung cancer blogs are a window into the real world. Real people develop lung cancer. For some people, journaling their story after a diagnosis of cancer can be a wonderful release and source of support. For those who read their words, the opportunity to peer into the daily life and struggles of someone living with a similar condition provides comfort that they are not alone. What are some of these lung cancer blogs, and who are the people that devote their time to making the world a little smaller?
Linnea Duff summarizes her blog very well when she says “This is a blog about life, love, laughter and well, lung cancer.” Her blog is about living, with all of its faces.
Linnea, a 50 year old mother of 3, was diagnosed over 5 years ago with stage 1B non-small cell lung cancer (adenocarcinoma with BAC subtype). Initially her prognosis looked very good and she underwent a lobectomy and adjuvant chemotherapy.
One particular blog post by Linnea penetrated my heart as I sensed a wisdom that goes far beyond her years: In Summer: all things must end she speaks of embracing her own mortality, while at the same time actively engaging in the act of living. In her words: “After all, death is really just part of life. You can’t have one without the other.”
On a lighter note, I have fallen in love with her musings. What do cockroaches and cancer have in common? (I don’t want to spoil it so you’ll have to read it yourself.)
Dusty was diagnosed in 2005 with BAC (a form of non-small cell lung cancer), nearly 8 months after her initial symptom. She was only 51 at the time.
As she shares her journey over those first months, many people will identify. The waiting. The roller coaster. But amidst the turmoil, her sense of humor had me giggling aloud. What is it like having to lie still during a PET scan when you itch in private places?
As her blog progresses she shares what she has learned, the resources available, and how we need to learn to be compassionate towards people living with lung cancer.
“I’m still in shock. How does a 34 year old, vegetarian, nonsmoker, get lung cancer?”
Emily Roberts, a 34 year-old never smoker with 3 young boys, was diagnosed March 12, 2009 with stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer. Her lung cancer blog takes us through her journey thus far. Her symptoms before diagnosis, her VATS lobectomy, her Cyberknife treatment, her treatment with Tarceva (erlotinib).
She talks openly about so many issues others with lung cancer – and not just lung cancer, but other conditions - face. Insurance issues and denials. The anxiety of waiting for test results which she terms “Scan Anxiety.” Genetic mutation testing. Side effects of treatment. What she has done that has helped her cope, from family vacations to yoga. She also shares things she has learned from her illness that prompted her to find ways to raise awareness.
In an entry I found particularly touching, Emily shares feelings she is experiencing on the anniversary of her diagnosis, how she thinks about lung cancer every day, and what has helped her cope:
Emily quickly acknowledges that everyone is different. She states that lung cancer treatment is “not one size fits all.” But even though treatment journeys differ, I sense that many people living with lung cancer will find a kindred spirit in reading her blog.
Just as her book title Help Me Live: 20 Things People with Cancer Want You to Know suggests, her journey with cancer gave her valuable lessons to share. I am grateful to Lori for sharing her life with me as a dear friend, and her efforts to help others which continued until the day she died.
A few of my favorites include:
- Telling me to think positively can make me feel worse
- What do you say to someone on her cancerversary?
- What do you do when there’s nothing to say?
Morgan, N. et al. Implementing an expressive writing study in a cancer clinic. The Oncologist. 2008. 13(2):196-204.