Wednesday, November 28, 2012

snow falling on lung cancer

I awoke to snow falling outside the window. It was Tuesday, February 7th, the Super Bowl had just been played two days earlier and Valentine’s Day was looming.

For the first time in my life I had spent the night in a hospital because of a pneumothorax (collapsed lung) following my CT guided needle biopsy

Staring out the window believing I was watching my last snow fall - memories of my life swirled in a snow globe.

I’m an old dude, I never knew anyone who ever survived lung cancer. I was tired of 7 weeks of tests and kids in medical coats. To quote another old dude, “You don’t need a weatherman to tell you which way the wind is blowing”.

My melodramatic melancholy was shattered by my adult daughter arriving with chocolate milk. (To truly know me is to know that chocolate milk is my elixir.)

Tuesday morning, Nov 27th I awoke to snow falling again, 9 months and three weeks later. Five mornings after Thanksgiving, and 25 days until the 1 year cancerversary of the chest x-ray that caught the 9 mm vague nodular density in my left upper lobe.

That tumor is gone and I’m here. If I can measure my life living with a lung cancer diagnosis by smiling at the changing seasons and standing in falling snow, I am a man blessed. 

Patrick Leer
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @


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  2. I like the hint of your heightened sense of awareness- watching the seasons change and noting it. I wonder which life changing event was the cause. Yours? Your wife's? Probably both and probably different impacts. I'm curious...

    I hope I experience snow too. We don't get much of that in rainy Portland, Oregon. I could if I head to the mountains but isn't it cold up there?

    1. Hi Kim! Unfortunately my wife's Multiple Sclerosis dementia symptoms prevent her from even remembering I have lung cancer soooo she doesn't play any role in support or awareness. ... I LOVE snow and for me this first year snowfall has served as bookends for my lowest and highest points.