I am generally possessed of a mighty thick skin. Not a quality I was born with but rather one acquired through repeated injury. I don’t say this with any drama—it’s simply a fact. And I, being a scrappy survivor, have developed tools/personality traits to effectively protect myself.

However every once in a while something gets under my skin. When I logged onto Facebook this morning, another cancer survivor had characterized my cancer as ‘amazingly slow growing.’ I should have just let it go but I responded by saying that I wished my cancer did grow more slowly, before listing for her all the modalities of treatment that I have undergone since my diagnosis. And then I counseled her to be more sensitive when describing another’s cancer as amazingly slow growing.

For those who wonder what the fuss is all about, here is the synopsis from my most recent radiology report:

Surveillance for lung cancer status post left lower lobectomy. Sub-solid mass like opacities in the left upper lobe have increased in size and attenuation since the prior study as described.

Persistent and slightly increased groundglass and interlobular septal thickening in the basilar left lung, suggestive of lymphangitic carcinomatosis. 

Additional subsolid nodules in the left lung are stable or slightly increased in size compared with the prior exam. 

Slightly increased small loculated left pleural effusion.

First of all, the possibility of lymphangitic carcinomatosis. Now you don’t want to let those horses out of the barn.

Secondly, just for scale, the largest of my masses is now 4.4 by 2.1 centimeters. No small potato when one is talking about cancer.

So yes, I am darn fortunate that I have been able to survive for as long as I have. But I haven’t exactly been sitting around and eating bonbons as I’ve fought (yes, fought) rather tirelessly to stay alive.

There. Got that off my chest. Now if I could just get this other shit out of my chest I could get back to that box of candy.


11 responses to “Deets

  1. I wish people weren’t so cruel. Please take good care.

  2. Wake up ppl. This is real life.

  3. Good for you! So irritating when others comment/make assumptions on issues they know nothing about –


    love you! and very well said!

  5. I’m sending some simple love…..know my spirit is with you.

  6. Linnea, well said. I so wish I could meet you and catch some of you scrappiness!!! I am a nearly 6 year NSCL survivor and I feel my so called friends think I have beat this. Seriously, google stage IV. My support base has dropped to about 10% of what it was on Dx. Sorry , not about me. So keep fighting and know that you may not know me but you inspire me. Also how did you get so involved in the activist role. I want to join you. Thanks for all you do and fight on!!!

    jayne Cioni

  7. I think this woman who posted that was jealous of you. You get so much attention and support both spiritual and financial from your supporters and because you have had it for so many years she can’t stand it. You are a great writer and travel as guest and advocate for lung cancer victims and have integrated yourself into the cancer society a lot of people will not understand and will not wish you well. Ignore them life even without cancer is to short. Best wishes and don’t let the people who think you are in the line of Munchhausers disease bother you. Screw them. Stay well.

  8. I had someone a few weeks ago say to me “well your cancer is all gone and you’re alright”! Bravo for speaking out kid. Stay strong keep looking up sending you love!

  9. First off sending hugs! You have been through so much. Yet you continue, through all that with the education to others of what CANCER looks like and what possibilities can be💕. Thank you for all that.
    I too have been dealing with lung cancer since 2010. At the same time have lost many dear to me far too soon from the same disease. Any one who has been diagnosed with ANY cancer is only too grateful for any time extended to us!
    How sad that judgement comes from another! Yet it does.
    Glad you informed them of the facts, yet again🙏

  10. I hear you.

    FWIW, I think the “amazingly slow growing” caption fits me for the last 2 years (thanks to my 2nd experimental miracle drug for ROS1+). I’m glad for it, but a catastrophe in slow motion is still no cakewalk, and your road especially has fought through more than your share of rocky challenges and avalanches along the way.

    Best hopes,

    Craig in PA

  11. You handled that very well Linnea! 👏 It’s very frustrating to hear the ignorant comments people make.. I’ve experienced a few times someone saying to me “ You don’t look sick!?”
    Sorry for the downside of being such a public representative for all of us… You are amazing!! 🙏🏻 Thank you! ❤️

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