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Tips for Managing Lung Cancer During the Holidays

LUNGevity CommunityThe holidays are a time to celebrate, but oftentimes they can also be a time of stress as we try to create the perfect celebration.  Organizing holiday festivities, bringing together family and friends, decorating, shopping, cooking, hosting—the list goes on! It can all be very demanding, and adding lung cancer to the mix adds even more pressure.

Caregiver Fog

You may have heard of the term “chemo brain” or chemo “fog”.  It’s a term some patients use to describe the cognitive issues and side effects resulting from chemotherapy, radiation, clinical trials and other drugs associated with cancer treatment.

Did you know that cancer caregivers can have cognitive dysfunction too? Sudden life changes, emotional distress, work and financial stresses, insomnia and medications such as anti-anxiety and anti-depressants can cause memory impairment. 

How My Passion for Lung Cancer Advocacy Paved the Road to Thoracic Oncology

On April 4, 2016, I received news that would change my life forever: my mom had been diagnosed with lung cancer. Before my mom was diagnosed, I knew nothing about lung cancer. I assumed that it was a smokers’ disease and that it was relatively easy to treat. I had no idea that lung cancer kills more people than breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers combined, and that people who never touched a cigarette could get lung cancer. After all the health classes and anti-tobacco programs I went through in school, I still felt unprepared for the road ahead.

How I Turned the Big C into a Small c (Part 2 of 2)

I can only imagine up to this day how my sister felt the day I told her she had cancer. Perhaps for her, it felt like being punched in the stomach so hard, it makes you pass out (well, the punching is still going on, by the way). Probably, for my parents, crushed does not begin to describe how they felt knowing they pretty much can't do anything for their child. The 1 year gap between Carla's diagnosis and my dad's is not enough for him to recover from his pain as a father when I, the doctor, had to tell him of his own cancer.

Balance After Cancer - Is it Even Possible? (Part 1 of 2)

My sister is a walking miracle.

A survivor of stage 4 lung cancer for 6 years. Survived liver mets, brain mets, bone mets. On the 10th line of treatment, 35 years old, walking.

My dad is a walking miracle.

On the 5th year post lung surgery for stage 3 cancer, controlled hypertensive, pre-diabetic. Now with only one lung, breathing normally. In remission.

Oh, did I forget to mention? Prostate cancer x 2 years. Asymptomatic. 72 years old, walking. In remission.

Many Hats of Caregiving (Part 3 of 3)

The Comendador FamilyCarla’s lung mass kept on developing resistance to the drugs she was on, but luckily she usually had no symptoms save for some coughing. There were occasional side effects like fatigue but all were manageable. She married Bud in January of 2015. It was one of the most beautiful weddings I have been to. It was a solemn promise of love and a celebration of life. At this point, Carla was on her third line of treatment, Afatinib.