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Strudel Blog

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Strudel

Post Surgery Update

Posted by Strudel Apr 16, 2019
Greetings friends! Thank you all for the love, support, and prayers! It has been 3 weeks since I had my surgery - here is an update: 
 
I met with the surgeon’s P.A. yesterday. She took out the sutures and we discussed various restrictions and the lifting of one....driving! Yay! So, I am driving again as of today. Still can’t lift though. I return to the surgeon next Thursday to further discuss things. He has referred me to an oncologist and I see him on May 13. That will be to follow things from here. (I was diagnosed with Stage 1 lung cancer and they removed my right lower lobe. I assume I will need to be followed in the future to make sure nothing else shows up in other areas of my lungs.) 
Today I saw the endocrinologist. He said the nodule in my thyroid (which lit up during the PET scan of lung) is most likely not cancer - but they will need to do further testing to rule it out. He also said that if it is cancer, it is not related to the lung cancer. And, it is very small. I will have an ultrasound of the thyroid and they will go from there. If those results indicate a higher chance of it being cancer, they will then do a biopsy. But, if the ultrasound doesn’t show an increased chance - then they will probably have me repeat the ultrasound in 6 - 12 months - and no biopsy at this point. 
So, a lot going on - but, I do feel better to now have met with the the endocrinologist. Thank you all again! 
I will once again mention the “Low Dose CT Scan” which led to all this. I feel that it saved my life - I most likely would not have known about this cancer until it was much more advanced and I actually had symptoms. And, since I heard about it here - this site has once again saved my life! 
Please do a search on here for “Low Dose CT Scan” to learn more and talk to your doctor if you think you would consider doing it. 
Thanks again for all of the love, prayers, and support!
Kathy  
Strudel

EX 7 - Important Info

Posted by Strudel Apr 15, 2019

I have just sent an email to those attending EX 7 about making sure Best Western has all of the reservations made through the group process. They will be releasing the rooms in our block after tomorrow. I have already found several errors in the list they sent me. I have emailed the group sales woman and will call her tomorrow to follow up. PLEASE LET ME KNOW AFTER YOU CHECK THE EMAIL IF YOUR RESERVATION IS MISSING! Thanks! 

Strudel

Another Update

Posted by Strudel Apr 9, 2019

Greetings dear friends. I have not been here as much lately. I hope to be back more often soon. 

My surgery for stage 1 lung cancer was 2 weeks ago. They removed my right lower lobe.  I am still in recovery mode...pretty sore. But, I plan to continue to recover and I plan to be at Virginia Beach! Thanks for your continued love, support, and prayers! 

Strudel

Quick Note

Posted by Strudel Apr 4, 2019

I will write a longer update in the next few days. However, I wanted to let you all know that I am doing great following my surgery. I have been recovering at home since Monday. My body does feel like I was hit by a truck - but, just a small truck! 

More soon! 

Love you all, 

Kathy

Strudel

Beach trip before surgery

Posted by Strudel Mar 20, 2019

I am leaving tomorrow after going to my pre-op meeting at the hospital. I am going to the beach for the weekend - I am so excited to get away from all of this for a few days! Surgery will be on Tuesday. I will try to check back in here on Monday - but, I may not be here much this weekend and after Monday. I have asked Nancy - Youngatheart.7.4.12 - to let the group know how the surgery goes. (She should get an email from my sister and then she can pass on the info.) 

Thank you SO MUCH for all of the prayers, love, and support!! 

Strudel

Update on lung cancer surgery

Posted by Strudel Mar 14, 2019
Please see my past few blogs if you aren’t aware of my situation. I met with the surgeon today - I really liked him. He thinks it is Stage 1 - but they will be checking lymph nodes to be sure. If it is in the nodes - more treatment will be needed. Looks like surgery on March 26. They will probably take the whole lobe - instead of just a section. That cuts risk of recurrence. (We have 5 lobes and since I am in good shape, he feels I can handle it.) He also said that if it is Stage 1, it is 80% curable. That wasn’t quite as optimistic as pulmonologist just saying “curable” - but it is still okay. I figure those statistics are looking at a very large group of people with lots of other health isssues and who may still be smoking. I don’t need toworry about that happening! 
He also said that the thyroid will often light up on PET without it being cancer - hope so! Will wait to deal with that until after taking care of the lung. 
Scary - yes, am I stressed - yes. Will I smoke - no way! 
I truly hope that I will be recovered in plenty of time to attend EX 7! 
Thanks for for all the love, support, and prayers!
And - please consider talking to your doctor about the Low Dose CT scan. 
Kathy
I saw the pulmonologist today. (He was the one who called about the PET scan on Tuesday. He was handling cases for the first doctor I saw last week who is on vacation.)
I liked him. He is referring me to an endocrinologist for the thyroid nodule which also “lit up” on PET scan. It will need to be biopsied. (I see him in 3 weeks unless they get a cancellation. Don’t like waiting - but already have plenty to deal with in terms of the lung!) He feels that the 2 things are not related - which is actually a very good thing. It means that one cancer (if both are cancer) has not spread to the other area. It would be considered “two primary cancers” - rather than starting in one place and then mestastisizing to the other area. That would be bad! The PET scan did not show any other areas beyond the lung and thyroid. Yay! 
He is 90% sure that the lung growth is cancer. However, he said it is definitely “curable”. It is very small and has been found very early in a screening CT lung scan. (Please see my last few blogs about this if you haven’t already.) I can not stress enough about important I feel that test was for me. Lucky? YES!! 
I took a breathing test yesterday. My lung function tested out as good - which means I can have “direct surgery” - they can go in surgically, biopsy it, and then remove as much as needed to clear the cancer. It may be a just a small section of the growth and some surrounding tissue - or a larger area called a wedge. Again, the growth is small and it is fairly close to the edge of my lower right lobe. It is serious surgery - up to a week in the hospital - but he feels I am in good enough shape for the surgery. Thank God I quit almost 9 years ago - and thank God - and many folks here - that I had that screening test! I realize that there are “false positives” - but in my case this test has probably saved my life! He was so impressed that I had the test. 
So - although not the greatest news in terms of having cancer....hearing that it is curable is great. He wants me to be a part of a research study being done in my area to draw blood from people like me who have been diagnosed in the early stages of lung cancer.....in the hopes of eventually discovering commonalities in the blood to eventually develop a blood test to detect lung cancer! Loved the idea of helping others someday....so I said yes. 
He is going to consult with the other pulmonologist I met with last week. So - there will be 2 opinions which is good. If Dr. McQuaid agrees with the plan, they will refer me to a thoracic surgeon to do the surgery. 
I am doing okay....main problem is some sleeping trouble. But, the more I know about the plan, the better off I am. Thomas3.20.2010 - as I was leaving I asked if he had any suggestions for dealing with the stress of all of this - “mindful mediation” he said as he left the room! 
I truly hope and pray that this will not impact my attendance at EX 7! My sister Chris will be here to go with me, so if I can walk - she can drive both of us! 
Strudel

PET Scan Results

Posted by Strudel Mar 5, 2019
I wrote an earlier blog about having a Low Dose Lung Scan three weeks ago - Low dose CT lung scan  - This is an update. 
I had the PET scan yesterday. The PET scan unfortunately showed that the lung nodule showed the kind of metabolic activity that increases the suspicion of lung cancer. There was also metabolic activity in the thyroid gland. I’m not sure how this fits together - if at all. They could be 2 unrelated things.
The good news is the doctor who called me (a second one in the same pulmonology office - first doctor who I saw last week is on vacation) said the same thing the first one did - the lung cancer, if that is what it is, has been found early and should be treatable. I think the next step will be to biopsy the lung nodule. And, I will be referred to an endocrinologist for the thyroid issue. The doctor who called wants to meet with me in person tomorrow or Thursday. He called late - so, he said I should hear from someone in the office in the morning to set up an appointment to see him. 
I am processing all of this. I actually feel better at least knowing part of what I am facing. (The thyroid thing is a sucker punch - what!!?) But, hopefully I will find out more in the next few days. I will keep you posted. Thank you all for the love and support! I may become another “poster child” for the benefits of having this early screening! 
Strudel

EX 7 Update!

Posted by Strudel Feb 28, 2019

We are planning an informal EX Reunion/Gathering May 16 - 20 (you can come for one or more days) in Virginia Beach. I just sent everyone who has signed up an email with a request for some info. I am using the list of emails from folks who have indicated they are coming.

Please let me know if you plan to come to EX 7 in May - but did not receive the email. Send me a PM and ask me to add your email address. I am hoping I have everyone - but want to make sure! 

If you are still thinking about it - please give it more consideration! I promise you will have a wonderful time! Send me a PM on here to be added to the list! 

Strudel

Update on lung scan story

Posted by Strudel Feb 26, 2019

I wrote a blog the other day about the low dose CT lung scan I had a few weeks ago. In case you missed it - Low dose CT lung scan  

I met with a pulmonologist today. I liked him. We decided that I will have a PET scan. Given the size of the nodule they found and my history of smoking, it is the wise thing to do. He said that he was not on board with these scans when they first came out several years ago - but now he is very much in favor of them. He said it is like having a mammogram or colonoscopy - a way to screen for lung cancer. He reassured me that even if this is cancer - I am so much better off than if I hadn’t had the test. He said that worse case - it is still early enough that they should be able to do something about it. So, although still nervous, I felt better. The PET scan will be on Monday....so please keep up the prayers and good vibes! Thank you dear friends! 

Strudel

Low dose CT lung scan

Posted by Strudel Feb 22, 2019

This is a tough blog to write, but I feel that it is very important. Thanks to folks here, like marciemThomas3.20.2010elvanBarbara145Sandy-9-17-17mikecitydr.hurtMark  and many others who have discussed the screening test for lung cancer - I decided to have one done. It was completed about 10 days ago.

 

Unfortunately they found a nodule. It is my understanding that finding one in a former smoker is quite common. (I quit almost 9 years ago.) These nodules can range from about 5 mm to 30 mm...after that the growth would be referred to as a “mass”. Mine is 14 mm - right in the middle of the range to be called a “nodule”. He called it “suspicious” - which is not a great word to hear! I think that the radiologist then makes recommendations based the size, shape, patient’s risk factors, etc. (That is based on my reading.)  He also classified it as “4A” which I think is also part of the recommendation determination. The radiologist who did my test, has recommended “rescreening in 3 months OR having a PET scan now”. After talking to my primary care doctor, I have decided to see a pulmonologist and consult about my next step. That appointment is next Tuesday. 

 

Now - of course I want to ask my very dear friends here for prayers. Prayers that no matter the diagnosis, that I will have to strength to face it and do what I need to do! I am a bit stressed out, which is to be expected I think. Once I know what I am dealing with - I think that will help. 

 

I also wanted to share this story because I think that this test, although scary, is very important if you have a history of smoking. (I smoked for 40 years.) It is my understanding that since lung cancer often does not show symptoms, this screening tool gives us a chance to find things before they may be even worse. 

 

Thank you again to the many people here who have discussed their personal stories about this issue!! That is what inspired me to decide to finally do it!  It is another example of the great power of this place! Thank you! 

I will keep you posted! 

Strudel

Join the EX 7 Group!

Posted by Strudel Jan 11, 2019

Each year, friends who have met here on EX, get together to meet for the first time or to reunite with each other. This is a very informal gathering. We have a blast! We are getting ready to have the 7th event in Virginia Beach during the weekend of May 16 - 20. Please - consider joining us! 

 

If you are planning on attending EX 7 in Virginia Beach in May, considering it, - or if you want to just follow what is going on as the trip is planned - please join (follow) the group - EX Weekend 2019 - Virginia Beach 

 

Thanks! 

Strudel

New avatar

Posted by Strudel Jan 10, 2019

I finally added a new picture for my avatar. (My dear Tootise died in June.)  My new cat, Monet, along with Holly, are in the new picture. (Holly is in the front - with Monet in the back.) 

 

Each year we gather informally - this year we are going to Virginia Beach the weekend of May 16 - 20. You can join us for 2, 3, 4, or more nights. Here is what you need to know:

 

We have heard back from the Best Western group sales person. The info on how to reserve is below. Laura has checked this out for us by making her reservation and it worked! Please let us know about any problems. At this time you will need to CALL to make the reservation. I am waiting for the link to do it online as BW group sales person mentions below. 

My blog following EX 5 when we also went to Virginia Beach. It will give you a good idea of what these weekends are like! 

https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/blogs/Strudel-blog/2017/05/30/ex5-what-a-weekend 

 

The Group Sales person at Best Western wrote - 

***”Your room block is in and you can have guests call the hotel at 757-428-5370 and ask for the Becoming An Ex Reunion group block, to make their reservation. I have submitted a request to get a group booking link created, so as soon as that comes through, I will send it to you.” 

 Thanks again!

 Happy travels, 

 Amy Overstreet

Director of Sales

 

The rates she quoted are - Oceanfront $113 wkday, $139 wkend & 

Non-oceanfront $72 wkday & $85 wkend.

Non-Oceanfront rooms are located across the street from the main oceanfront building. It is a 3-story motor-inn with exterior. 

 

If you are planning on attending EX7 - please send a private message to Strudel - with your email and cell phone contact information.  (Do not post personal info in a blog - due to spammers.) We will use that for communication closer to the trip - and we can begin to make a list of attendees. 

 

Hotel: Best Western Plus

2809 Atlantic Ave

Virginia Beach, VA 23451

http://www.bwvabeach.com/

Group Name - “Becoming An Ex Reunion group block”

 

You will need to call to make reservation - waiting for link to do it online. 

 

Dates May 16 - 20 (Stay 2,3,4, or more nights! Please, if possible, include Saturday in your stay since that is when we usually do something special!)

The hotel should send you a confirmation by email after you make your reservation. Also – feel free to reserve on any other travel site you may want to use. Or – stay at any area hotel.

 

Please reserve ASAP! They will fill up soon for the spring! 

 

****IF THE GROUP ROOMS ARE ALL BOOKED WHEN YOU CALL - PLEASE LET ME KNOW.

 

This info below is from last time we stayed. Hopefully it is the same or similar. Be sure to ask! 

 

A one night's advance deposit payment or credit card deposit is required for each room reserved. Balance of payment is due at check-in. Any individual cancellations must be received 72 hours or more prior to arrival to avoid penalty of one night's room & tax charge to the credit card, or taken from any deposit received. Change of arrival or departure date is based strictly on availability and should be requested prior to arrival.

 

Guest Check In and Out

Procedures

Guest check-in time is 4:00 pm. Check-out time is 11:00 am. During the spring and summer months, the hotel must adhere to the designated check-in times. Anyone wishing special consideration for a late checkout should inquire with the front desk on the day of departure. Additional room charges may be added for late check out.

 

Hotel Amenities

Complimentary Breakfast is provided to all hotel guests daily 6am – 10am.

Indoor and Outdoor Swimming Pools, In-Room Refrigerators, Microwaves and Coffee

Makers, Fitness Center,

 

Shoreline Grill Restaurant and Bar

 

Wireless internet provided free of charge to all guests.

 

Parking - The Hotel has complimentary parking on-site for registered guests- limit 1 vehicle per room. Local attendees may park at the 31st Street Garage (2 blocks North of the hotel) or on street metered parking.

 

More info to come! 

Strudel

Mark your calendars!!

Posted by Strudel Jan 8, 2019

The middle date choice has won! That would be May 16 - 20 (That is Thursday through Monday - you stay for as many days as you want.)

I am excited - however I know this will exclude

some folks. I hope that those people will find a way to make that date work - even if they can only come for a few days! 

More info to come about how to make the reservation - I am waiting to hear back from the woman at Best Western. 

Poll results - May 2 - 3 votes

                     May 16 - 14 votes 

                     June 13   - 7 votes

So - the middle of May was the clear choice.