Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Bump in the Road of My Life

As other bloggers have done, I've puzzled over how much of my own life to write about on this blog.  But also as other bloggers have done, I've decided it's my blog and I get to decide what to write about.  The whole point of it, after all, is to keep me writing through thick and thin.

So, I will tell you that I've been diagnosed with lung cancer.  Fortunately for me, it's a small nodule in my left upper lobe and it is removable.  I've been referred to a surgeon I like very much and have heard nothing but good things about his skills and personality.  Therefore, I believe I'm in good hands as I enter the hospital Thursday, June 21st, to have my left upper lobe and several lymph nodes removed.  He believes I will do just fine - and just as importantly perhaps, so do I.

It's quite a shock to learn you have lung cancer.  I mean after all lung cancer used to be a death sentence.  It was caught only because I had shoulder surgery with a nerve block afterward in April which limited my breathing so much that Dave took me to the emergency room that evening.  Among the tests done there was a CT scan which showed the nodule I had known about for at least 7 years had changed drastically.  As of 5 years ago it was benign and we were convinced it was simply scar tissue from pneumonia.  Not any more!

I had a PET scan, which lit up like the 4th of July, followed by a biopsy which proved malignancy.  The waiting in between scans and tests drove me crazy so it was almost a relief to have the final verdict.  Almost.  

Since then I've had periods of worrying about my life expectancy alternating with periods of optimism that I will return home after a week in the hospital cancer free and ready to go on with my life.  There are so many things I want to do before Thursday and yet somehow I can't bring myself to do them.  I seem to be in a limbo-like vacuum where nothing is changed and yet so much is.  

I'm feeling very well so it seems odd to be going to the hospital where I will feel very ill for a while.  I just keep telling myself that the 6-8 weeks of my recovery before I'm allowed to do much are just a welcome respite from yard work, the bane of my existence here in the country.

Meanwhile, I'm mowing (of course) and reading the diary and letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh from the 1940s through I think it's the 70s.  Her introspection and understanding of life is a comfort to me at this time.  

I expect to write more before Thursday, but then will be absent from my blog for a week or more.  Thank you for indulging me in releasing a little tension and steam.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear your news. My mother-in-law was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2005. If your cancer can be removed surgically, your prognosis should be great! I'll be sending prayers and hugs your way.

  2. Yay for small removable nodules! We'll be thinking of you!

  3. Barbara, the Big (C) is a scary diagnosis indeed, but I'm thinking you will be one of the lucky ones, caught early. Wishing you the best. HUGS

  4. I understand some of what you're going through now having just been through a similar thing myself. (Mine was breast cancer.) I think once surgery is over, you'll begin to feel better in your spirits. I hope you enjoying planning your hospital & convalescent reading. I'll be thinking of you & wishing you a full & speedy recovery.

  5. Thanks everyone! I expect to be back after the surgery cancer free and feeling good, but I do have occasional lapses when I realize the full import for a minute and must shake off the scare. So glad to have friends and Dave.

  6. So glad to hear your medical team found the nodule early. I'm sure you will be on the road to a speedy reciverry. I'm glad to told us your news. I will keep you in my prayers.

  7. Barbara, so sorry to hear that word 'cancer', but so happy to know that the prognosis is GREAT. I'll be thinking of you on Thursday.

    Do take it easy, as prescribed, and e-n-j-o-y your summer! :-)

  8. I just wanted you to know that I'm thinking of you and hope things went well yesterday.

  9. Dear Barbara, my thoughts are with you. It really sounds like all will be well. Thank you so much for telling your readers, who all care about you. Love to you.