Monday, May 6, 2013

How do you measure a week, living with lung cancer?

… I survived my first outpatient procedure without hospitalization since lung cancer first reared its head, 16 months ago.

… pushed my wife’s wheelchair for a two mile push and roll on a gorgeous April afternoon. In Patti's MS dementia, I have no lung cancer.

… attended a niece’s dance recital

… learned my EBUS biopsy hit the adenocarcinoma trifecta in the opposite lung.

… spent the better part of days on the phone with medical insurance and prescription plans about biomarker testing and hopefully targeted therapies.

… spent a late afternoon feeding my wife dinner in bed while watching “The Simpsons”. Again in her MS dementia, I have no lung cancer.

… preparing to order a 90 day refill of Spiriva I discovered the cost would be almost $700. Calling my pulmonologist, Todd Eckroth to ask if this could be right? He invited me to stop by and overfilled my man purse with samples of Spiriva and RX coupons for a new medicine, Tudorza Pressair, I might want to try if it would be less expensive.

… used my amplified lungs to MC the Special Olympic Spring games only afterwards realizing I also walked up and down the stadium steps uncountable times and all over the track and infield, forgetting in the energy of the moment I have lung cancer. 

… I loaded in and out a couple hundred pounds of my equipment to DJ and MC a 5K Fun/Run for a Prince George’s County scholarship fund and an Elementary School MayFair. I never stopped moving including instructing audiences in line dances. I used my lungs to blow up dozens and dozens of 42” inflatable instruments for prizes for contests forgetting in the laughter of children I have lung cancer.

… entertaining schools and communities post Newtown, CT is as empowering as was post 9/11 America. Let the talking heads babble about guns and gun control, bottom line our society is built upon family units and measured in love. Be involved! Make fun together!

… called an old friend and took a chance on reaching out.

… relaxing Sunday evening under our backyard weeping willow tree I forgot for a moment that I have lung cancer, much less that the appointments of the week ahead will end my first overtime of life with Stage 1 lung cancer and begin my second overtime of life with Stage 3.

Patrick Leer
Health Activist:
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @

1 comment:

  1. So sorry about your biopsy results! Stay positive no matter what . We only have today!