It ain’t over ’til it’s over

Several weeks ago I got a call from a friend who is also battling stage IV lung cancer. He’d gotten bad news; very bad news. His cancer had spread in such a way that his oncologist felt he had only three months to live with treatment but half that long without.

My friend was devastated, as was I. We talking openly about dying—something he couldn’t do easily with his family. I told him that our connection would remain no matter what happened next. He said he loved me. I had the feeling that this might be the last time we spoke.

But I also reminded him that there was really no way to know if this was it—that I too had once been told I had come to the end of options and yet here I was. That he should hold onto hope, because his situation could still change.

Yesterday I got a text message from him. His latest MRI and CT scan had showed reduction of tumor throughout his body.

We spoke again last night–this time the mood far less somber. He was still in a tough spot, but could once more see the horizon. A return to chemotherapy had reduced his tumor burden but he was already looking for the next potential therapy. He sounded like a man with a future.

14 responses to “It ain’t over ’til it’s over

  1. Hi Linnea! I noticed your blog and I greatly appreciate the stories you are willing to share with others. I’m thinking about and praying for your friend as he, too, must battle lung cancer. What an amazing story of optimism. I hope both of your courageous attitudes and tough spirits are contagious to those who are struggling with tough situations. My name is Abby and I’m currently a student at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI working on a project called CancerEd. My team and I are developing curriculum materials to teach children about cancer in an interactive but scientifically accurate way. We are looking to send out a survey to parents who have had cancer to better understand how they communicate with their children about cancer and we would love your help with this! If you could email me at, I would love to give you more information about the survey and about our project. Hope to hear from you soon! Thanks!

  2. Sinking stomach reading this. Such dread for those living with cancer. Hopes up; hopes dashed; hopes up. At age 75, I have finally made peace with the idea of dying, but for all you young people, my heart and my stomach just sink when I read stories like this.

    Sent from my iPad


  3. Thanks Linnea. Always love getting an email that you have posted something Very happy for your friend It is not always bad news but stage IV is relentlous so enjoy it and ride each wave when you can because some will crash over you as you so rightly say. Tom

  4. Hi Linnea,
    My heart goes out to your friend and you and everyone diagnosed with lung cancer. I second the comments about looking forward to reading your blogs. You always share very personal and beautiful thoughts. Some are sad, others very happy. I can’t thank you enough for sharing with all of us. You are a very strong woman. I will say very strong prayers for your friend and you.


  5. Oh what a ride we are on. I know I contacted you a while back about going OS a trial but I have been given more time here with no changes in my last scan. Off to keep living life as best as I can.

    • A wild ride it is. Hang on my friend and get as much time out of your current therapy as you can. And keep living life in the meantime.


  6. Prayers for your friend! My brother finished his final chemo 6/9. Gets ct scan and bone scan Thursday. Praying for shrinking tumors!

  7. Sending prayers and hope and positivity to your friend. No door can close completely if we put our foot in it and keep pushing.

  8. Hi Linnea! I accidentally came and read your touching post. Cried a little… That’s so very true – it’s not over! Your friend and you should never give up! Future is unknown to all of us, healthy and sick. So as long as future is unknown, it is ours! I am sending prayers to both of you! I wish you health.

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