Damn. I’ve been so busy living (!) that the thirteenth anniversary since my diagnosis with lung cancer–on 4/5/05–just whizzed right on by.

Totally unnoticed.

Screen Shot 2018-04-13 at 9.36.16 AM

Lucky Thirteen

And really, that’s how it should be. It’s the journey that counts, right? And I am enjoying one hell of a scenic ride. Art, advocacy, a little bit of loving (more on that later–wink, wink). Up to my neck in the wonderful details of this one and only life that I call mine.

Which is not to say I’m taking anything for granted. No, far from it. I still begin my days with ‘I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive.’ And now I am apt to add in “I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love.’

I think it is no coincidence that live and love are separated by only one letter. In fact, i directly precedes o both in the list of vowels and on my key board. I am wont to sign my personal missives ‘love, Linnea’ but quite often I hit the wrong key and instead type ‘live, Linnea’.

I am also delighted by the fact that my personal goddess/oncologist Dr. Shaw is named Alice. C directly precedes v on the keyboard and once again, It is not uncommon for me to type Alive rather than Alice.

It’s all so nice. As is being both alive and in love (with life) thirteen years post diagnosis–at least a decade longer than I or my oncologist once thought possible.

Thank you innovative medical research. And keep up the good work. I’ve got plans; big plans.

live, love, Linnea


  1. Wishing you the best as you start year 14!! What an inspiration as I continue in towards my 5th anniversary

  2. Congratulations on 13 years! You are truly inspiring.

  3. Bring me tears of joy ! Li/ove on!!

  4. Linnea, you were an inspiration seven years ago when Steve was diagnosed, I would read your posts to him. Sadly, survival wasn’t in his future and we lost him two years later. Now you are even more inspirational to me as I begin my battle with cancer. I love how you grab life and live big. I’m just beginning my treatments and admit to cowering in a dark corner some of the time. I’m planning to step into the sunshine any day now and follow your example on how to live with cancer, not die with it. Congratulations on 13 years and thank you for sharing with us. Stand Strong, Lady. Hedy

    • Hedy, I am sorry to hear that you are walking this walk again—please know that I am available to talk anytime. Now you stand strong.

      xo Linnea

  5. HURRAY!!

  6. Hi Linnea! Congratulations on your 13 Year Anniversary and beyond! I’ve been following you for about half of those years and am always inspired by your thoughts and insight. Here’s to the next lucky 13 years! Many many thanks!

  7. This makes me so happy. My typos often have me signing off with, lobe, Lisa. It’s like my devices know my lung and brain lobes are the major factors in my Medical Apocalypse and continued life.

  8. Woohoo! You’re obviously doing something right, very very right!

    Best hopes,

    Craig in PA

    • Craig, you and I both know that chance plays far too large a role in who survives and who doesn’t. However, with Alice by my side I feel I’ve optimized those odds.

      xo Linnea

      • Yes, chance is a factor, but it’s you you decided and mustered the effort to seek out and pursue the best expertise in Boston, and participate in no-promises experimental trials, followed your super-doctor’s advice, learned to manage your condition and side effects, and helped the ALK “cause” which inspired efforts by others that collectively may have helped you, too. So even though we are lucky to have survived to moments in time where discoveries can seriously extend some lucky lives, your choices and efforts were also important to discovering you could be one of the lucky ones and making it possible for all of us to have a phenomenal example of success (you) that inspires more progress for all of us. Thank you!

        Best hopes,

        Craig in PA

  9. melissa burton

    Thank you so much for your positive inspirational posts. I’m so happy for you and the life you have worked hard to create. I hope for the same for myself.

  10. This brought a huge smile to my face. You are a constant inspiration and joy to all of us. Live and love! XO

  11. kristen kimball

    As always, writing to grip the heart. Makes me happy! XOXO

  12. Robson, Matthew

    You are such an inspiration, Linnea. It has been a great privilege for me to work with Alice on LDK378, and to meet you last year at Novartis. Now working on CART for children and adults with hem malignancies. Wishing you all the best. Matthew.

    Sent from my iPad

  13. Been waiting for this post!!
    Brilliant!!!……………Just brilliant!!!

  14. Congratulations Linnea. I’ve been aware of you since last summer when my wife was diagnosed with ALK nsclc and I started googling. Reading your descriptions of both successes and setbacks has resonated with me. Also reading that you have such high regard for Dr. Shaw has been soothing, as she is on my wife’s treatment team. I would love for my wife to converse with you at some point on strategies for dealing with the challenges related to this new life of hers/ours.
    But back to your milestone, congratulations again and I hope you get to celebrate many more happy events like this.

    Jeff in Maine

    • Thank you Jeff—your words mean much to me. And know that I am happy to converse with your wife at any time—just let me know.

      xo Linnea

      • Hi Linnea, What would be the best way for her to contact you? I’m not sure that she’d be comfortable with the public nature of blog comments like this, but if that is the only option then so be it. Thank you for your inspiration and sharing. Wishing you much happiness.
        Jeff in Maine

  15. Marie Hazelton

    Amazing, amazing, amazing and so grateful to read this. Thank you for sharing and being such an inspiration. You inspire me to do and be better πŸ’–πŸ’–

  16. A most wonderful post! Congratulations. On everything.
    Live, Love,

  17. Well, I woke up feeling great today, but now I feel even better after a shot of Linnea’s always impactful personal inspiration! Congratulations on so much success on your scenic ride, living and loving all the way πŸ™‚ You truly help to buoy the rest of us.
    Thank you — xoxo

  18. Yes. So very, very happy for you! πŸŒΉβ˜€οΈπŸ’ž

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