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Meet..Faye

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Summer has arrived and it's Faye's favourite time of year. Take a minute to learn more about Faye's experience with lung cancer and what helped her get through.

Hi , my name is Faye and I live in a rural community in southeast Saskatchewan. My husband and I are celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary this year. Together we have raised two beautiful daughters and have one grandson.

My cancer journey began in August 2016 when I was diagnosed with stage 3 non operable Non Small Cell Lung cancer. I was treated with simultaneous chemo and radiation. I had 33 radiation treatments and 3 days of chemo every 3 weeks. I finished treatment in December 2016.I have had follow up CT or PET scans every 3 months and now am on a 6 month recall and at this time I am cancer free.I do have various side effects from the cancer and treatment but I feel that is the price to pay for successful treatment.

I am so grateful for the excellent care I received from my oncologists, the nurses and technologists both at the cancer clinic and while in hospital.This has not been an easy journey but with the support of my family I was able to get through treatment. My husband is my hero as he was beside me every step of the way and I’m not sure I could have done it on my own.My inspiration came from my girls who are my world and hearing them tell me”mom you are the toughest momma we know, you can do this”and my husband encouraging and supporting me everyday especially on the really crappy days.

What have I learned?
I learned that unless you have been diagnosed with cancer you just don’t “get it”. I thought I did as I had worked in acute health care for 35 years, my husband has had treatment for cancer and I was caregiver for my Dad who died from cancer. I found out it’s something hard to explain to those who haven’t had to experience a personal diagnosis. I think family and caregivers go through their own personal torment but it is different maybe even worse as they feel helpless.

I found this forum when I was struggling with the feelings of guilt of been diagnosed with lung cancer when I had been a smoker. Members on this forum were a great support to me and I only hope to be able to pay that forward and help others struggling with that aspect of lung cancer diagnosis. All cancer diagnosis comes with so much anguish but lung cancer is such a devastating diagnosis due to poor survival rates ,there is not as much research and awareness as compared to some other cancers and then there is the stigma of smoking as the cause. I wish I knew how to address this issue because it is real and I know I did not receive the same compassion as others with different cancer diagnosis. I don’t expect people to feel sorry for me just give me the same compassion you give to others, I know what I did and remember there is other reasons for lung cancer. I am happy to say I have never felt judged by any of the cancer clinic staff or oncologists.

My interests include spending time with family and especially spoiling my grandson. I love to read and summer is my favourite time of year. I like to spend time outdoors and to garden but that has been reduced as I have back issues from radiation. I hope to be able to do some more travelling soon.

My wish for anyone on this forum facing cancer diagnosis is to receive successful treatment and fight hard to regain your health.
Faye

Thank you Faye for sharing your experience and insights with us, we are happy to have you as part of our community!





 




Comments

Faye‍ Thanks for sharing your story and congrats on the successful treatment!

50 years, wow!  Congrats again and it sounds like you have a wonderful supportive family, what everyone hopes for we going through any health issue.  You comment about people not being diagnosed with cancer not getting it is so true for the most part.  Those close and understanding do get it but not like those that have received that diagnosis themselves.

Thanks again and good luck moving forward and enjoy your milestone this year.
  • Posted Tue 11 Jun 2019 09:57 AM EDT
Faye‍, Sincere congratulations on the success of your treatment and the amazing love and support from your husband and daughters.  You have definitely paid it forward with your many insights and words of support to so many on this site.   Here's to more time in the garden and more travelling!
Ann (ashcon)
  • Posted Tue 11 Jun 2019 09:55 AM EDT
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Faye‍ .  Just talking openly about the compassion you experienced or lack there of, will impact others, and hopefully bring about more thoughtful responses in the future.
hope you continue to live well.
  • Posted Mon 10 Jun 2019 05:25 PM EDT
Faye‍ Thank you for sharing your story.  So very touching and so wonderful that you were a caregiver but also accepted "care".  Sometimes that is the tricky part - asking for and/or accepting help. Sounds like you are "one tough momma"!.

Although I don't have lung cancer nor did I smoke, I agree with you about the stigma around smoking and lung cancer. Thankfully there are many great health professionals who don't "judge" but as a society we really need to work on judgement.  I believe all of us have coping strategies / vices - some good and some not so good - it's not about punishment but rather compassion.  Cancer - albeit -  whatever  the cause - is a very difficult pathway and no one would want to bring this onto themselves. Blame and judgement are things we need to help society with.  My cancer experience has helped me to be more humble and less judgemental - but we are all a work in progress.

Thank you so much for sharing - hope you get to do some travelling!  Kim
  • Posted Mon 10 Jun 2019 05:19 PM EDT
Hi Faye‍  you are a very brave person who has gone through  a lot.   I read your posts on the site and you are very helpful  to many .    No one deserves cancer no matter if they smoke or not .    Happy 50th anniversary  to you and hubby!!!!!!! A great milestone!!!!!! You have much to celebrate! !!
  • Posted Mon 10 Jun 2019 07:18 PM EDT

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