Mary Lynn’s Message: Be More than a Survivor, Be a Thriver

Mary Lynn Moser
Mary Lynn Moser giving a thumbs up and a quote from her about being both a mentor and mentee

Read time: 3 minutes 

Mary Lynn Moser, with her husband and caregiver, Tom, wrote the words below before her passing. She was a supporter of LUNGevity and served as a mentor to others experiencing lung cancer. Her message encourages others to be “thrivers” and mentors in their lung cancer journeys. Tom has authored a separate blog that offers suggestions for caregivers. 

It was the day of my second brain metastases treatment. I was sitting in the waiting area and a young lady walked over to me. She introduced herself as Shannon. We had a pleasant conversation, and then she asked if she could pray for me. She proceeded to get down on her knees right there in the waiting room and prayed such beautiful words for me. 

Later that morning, in the pre-op area, I discovered that she was there for the same treatment, and her cancer had spread even more than mine. Her mother and sister were there with her, and she told me about her young children. It was so amazing to me that she was in worse condition than me, and yet she reached out to show concern for me, to share experiences, and to discuss our faith.  

I now strive to live up to Shannon’s example by sharing how much my own Christian faith has sustained me through fifteen years of cancer, breast cancer for five and lung cancer for going on ten, and now with brain metastases for over five years as well. 

Shannon’s example also inspired me to want to try to help others diagnosed with lung cancer, by sharing thoughts and insights from my own experience and just being a “buddy” to listen and show love and care. The opportunities I’ve had to do this so far have been such blessings to me. 

Let me share just these three suggestions: 

  1. If you are a person of faith, share your challenge and updates with fellow members of your faith. Encourage them to pray for you, and be open about your faith with medical folks who are helping you. Prayer is powerful, and you will have many opportunities to witness. My own Christian faith has brought both hope and peace throughout this journey, along with the blessing of prayers for me by family and friends. 
  1. Be both a mentee and a mentor. Learn from others who have had your challenges/treatments—at least one useful tidbit will come out of your calls with them. And as you gain experience yourself, offer to be a mentor/buddy yourself. Your insights can be helpful to others! 
Mary Lynn with her husband Tom
  1. Stay positive. Be more than just a “survivor.” Be a “thriver!” 

I’ve been blessed at so many points in my own journey. Years ago, a radiologist noted and reported a “spot” in my lung from a mammogram read, which detected my lung cancer at stage III rather than IV.  

So many wonderful doctors, PAs, nurses, schedulers, and others have helped me through three lung surgeries, chemotherapy, six stereotactic radiation procedures for 23 brain metastases, brain surgery for recurring lesions, and now an aggressive immunotherapy/chemotherapy regimen.  

My network of family and friends, including comfort dog Yogi, provide such love; and my husband Tom is such a good and dedicated researcher, questioner, advocate, and caregiver. 

The future promises to be more and more hopeful. Organizations such as LUNGevity try to help us all with information, community, and advocacy; and amazing researchers give us greater hope through their ongoing discoveries and advances. 

May all of you who read this have faith, blessings, and hope in your own cancer journeys. 

You can take Mary Lynn's advice of being both a mentor and mentee by joining the LUNGevity LifeLine Program. Everyone who joins is matched with a support partner who has a similar background and medical history.

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