My Cancer Survival Story: lung cancer survivor and colon cancer survivor stories

Surgery preparation
Surgery preparation | Source

I have been a colon cancer survivor for about a decade and a lung cancer survivor for three years. I am grateful for modern medicine and for excellent surgeons for survival.

 Cancer is a subject that was not discussed when I grew up. When my father died I never heard the word cancer. In retrospect and knowing more about cancer symptoms I now know that he had cancer. I don’t know why cancer was a taboo subject but it was. I saw purple molds on his body but did not know that they meant anything. My grandfather had a blue or purple discoloation on his lip where he held his pipe. I never knew it meant anything. Maybe nobody knew back in the 1950’s.

The year 1999 we were living in Moline, Illinois it was an odd year for weather. El Nino winters seemed to come to an end. In the late fall we got snow slush and cold and The stores were about sold out of winter boots.

Snowy Bench
Snowy Bench | Source

Colon Cancer

In my physical exam in that year my doctor found blood in my rectal exam and sent me to have a colonoscopy. I then had to drink some truly awful stuff to clear my bowels and when I got to the exam they found a tumor that was almost totally obstructing my colon. This was about December 16. They told me I could go home for a couple of weeks and enjoy the holidays or go into the hospital directly. Despite the fact that I would be in the hospital over Christmas I opted for going to the hospital. Mainly because I didn’t want to go through that prep again.

The weather had gotten extremely cold, as in subzero, and it had snowed a lot—several inches. My wife was unable to get to the hospital because our house was snowed in. Even inside the hospital it was chilly, to say the least. I was rather startled when some attendants brought in what looked like a fish tank filled with a solution that I was supposedly supposed to drink. I had a talk with the surgeon and told him that I had just had a colonoscopy and should already be fairly cleared out. He did reduce the amount of prep fluid I had to consume but it still seemed like as lot. I never had any colon cancer symptoms, at least none that I recognized.

Surgery


The surgery went well but I had to stay in the hospital until after Christmas. I’t was a pleasant surprise to have some visitors from work. My supervisor came and we chatted for a while. A supervisor from another division came. I didn’t really know him but because he had colon cancer himself he came to give me encouragement. That was really nice of him. The woman who I was basically training to take my place when I retired came to visit. She also volunteered her family to help my wife by shoveling snow and doing some shopping for her. She also volunteered to pick me up from the hospital when I was released. These were some positive experiences, which I will long remember.


My son and my daughter came from Minneapolis and stayed for a few days and helped out with things while I was incapacitated.

My future replacement was a bit worried about not having me there at work for guidance. However, she was a very competent person and I told her it was a good experience because she would learn the jobs faster this way.

My surgery was followed with chemotherapy and I did retire about 18 months later.

After my lung surgery a neighbor kindly offered to help with anything he could do.

Lung Cancer

About three years ago I became a lung cancer survivor when a routine x-ray revealed a rather large tumor in my right lung. A lung cancer prognosis was made after have a biopsy. I had not had any lung cancer symptoms even though they removed a tumor described as being as large as a tennis ball. In this case the surgery was done at St Joseph’s hospital in Marshfield, Wisconsin. Oddly the weather was much like the year I had the other surgery. Lots of snow and cold.

The tumor was successfully removed and followed up by chemotherapy. My doctor that treats me for cancer has reduced follows up to once a year for I think two or three more years.

My daughter and granddaughter drove in from Minneapolis the night before my surgery and were there for a few days. My son and family who lived nearby were there the night before also.

Side effects

I didn’t seem to have any particular side effects from the colon cancer but the lung cancer has led to some. Over the last year or two I have been bothered by an allergic reaction of facial swelling.  An allergist has taken me off of aspirind and related products, I have not had any problem with swelling for a while. However the allergist tells me that it is also an effect of the cancer so something else could cause the swelling in the future. I have also had a yeast infection in my lungs, which the doctor treating me tells me that the cancer has weakened my resistance to such infections. I am told that the yeast spores are everywhere. I have just finished a six-month anti-biotic treatment for it, but have not had follow up x-rays yet.

Support Groups

 

Support groups are popular with some people. For me, personally I am not inclined to join them. If you have a serious illness and are in recovery I would recommend considering a support group   if it might help you.

© 2011 Don A. Hoglund

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Comments 72 comments

The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas

That's quite a story. I had thyroid cancer seven years ago (they removed my thyroid and gave me some radiation to drink) but it was nothing compared to your story. I don't consider myself a cancer survivor because in my view if you don't go through chemo then it's not the real thing. I don't mean to be blunt but I can't say I had the fear that you possibly experienced. I'm glad you came through it all... stay healthy man...


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for being the first to comment.Actually the colon cancer happened so fast that I didn't really have time to fear it. There was something about the mere idea of lung cancer made me fear that I might not come out of it. I'm gratefukl for a very skilled surgeon.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas

I had a great surgeon (Dr. Clayman) at MD Anderson in Houston... it is tough to hear the cancer word the first time when they tell you about the diagnosis. It's a surreal almost out of body experience as they keep rolling with what it means and how they will treat it. I remember thinking "he's joking... wait... he's still talking to me about it..." The hard part was telling my Mom....


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

I can imagine that being fairly young that cancer is more of a shock. As we get older we realize that nearly everyone has an experience with it if they live long enough.For us who did not take good care of our health when we were young it is the price we pay, I guess.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Enjoyed reading your story dahoglund and I hope that all goes well for you. I have been cancer free now for 20 years now. Had to do the math as I remember it as if it were yesterday. I was young when I was told I had breast cancer. Having good surgeons and doctors makes a world of difference.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

I've never had cancer but I've lost several relatives to cancer. I'm glad you got through it. I can only hope a cure is found for it.

Rob


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Just Ask Susan. Breast Cancer seems a lot worse than what I had.When I was in chemo I ran across a woman I used to work with who had breast cancer and she had been back for therapy several times.Thanks for your comments and good wishes.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Robwrite

Thanks for the well wishes and comments.I have an oncologist who checks up on me regularly, so if anything returns I expect he will catch it.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago

Dahoglund , My Gosh , Such a trial for you , that must be difficult to deal with, I wish you great luck with all of this . Why does it sseem that there ar so many around us that have cancer? It sounds like you are in good shape! Good luck my fiend.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thank you for commenting and for your good wishes.Oddly one reason there is more cancer around is that we are living longer. To some extent these diseases come with age.My father died at 20 years younger than I am now but did not have the advantages of today's medical knowledge. I had doubts about writing about this but thought maybe it would be of use to someone else who is facing the prospects of cancer.


creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 5 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

Thank you dahoglund, for sharing your personal story with us here at hubpages, we appreciate you. May God Continue to keep you safe and protected. Godspeed. creativeone59


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thank you for you comment.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

I am so sad to hear this from you, my friend. Have you ever try herbal medicine in healing cancer? I but I am glad to know that you have done a great operation. I always pray for you. Don't worry my friend. God give this and I believe God also give us a solution. God bless you.

Love and peace,


Princessa profile image

Princessa 5 years ago from France

Amazingly inspiring story, twice a survivor!

Thanks for sharing the positive side of your experience -like having friends and other people who you hardly knew at the time being so kind and supportive.

All the best to you,

Princessa


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota

You have an inspiring and encouraging story.

I was also impressed by the people who came alongside you, helped, and supported your family.

Glad you were victorious in this battle


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Prasetio30

Thanks for your concern. However,I wrote this because the 'Hubmob topic" for the week is cancer and I thought that providing my personal experience might be of some value to others.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Princessa,

Thanks for commenting. The positive side of having stressful situations like Illnesses is that you do learn who your friends are. You also learn about others who share the same problem.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Tamarajo

Thank you for reading and commenting. Actually I forgot to mention one friend who came but I had not awoke from the anesthesia when he was there so I did not see him.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

A great hub written by a very brave writer. It is so nice for people to talk openly about this illness and then it also shows others that there are many who do indeed overcome cancer.

I'm sure that very m,any will find comfort from your words and I wish you well.

Take care,

Eiddwen.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thank you for the comment.I hope you are write and some will find encouragement from my words.


twentyfive profile image

twentyfive 5 years ago

Your story would give a lot of hope to everyone especially those with cancer. What a brave man you are to overpass two deadly illness. Thanks for sharing this. God bless.. TC


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for commenting.I hope it is encouragement for somebody.


AnnieRoseVA 5 years ago

Thank you for sharing your story and I'm so glad that you are ok now. If it had to happen, I'm glad that you did not have long painful symptoms as some with cancer do.

I too am a cancer survivor - had surgery in 1995. I've been cancer free since then and in great health - thank God! I found a system of nutrition that works for me and seems to be keeping me healthy. Every morning that's the first thing I thank God for - my good health. It's precious. I pray that for you too and all the others that are struggling with illness.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thank you for commenting. I am glad to hear that you are cancer free.


AskAshlie3433 profile image

AskAshlie3433 5 years ago from WEST VIRGINIA

Was that this December that just passed Daho? That is so sad. They say that kind is very painful, a lot more then other types. And then lung cancer as well, I feel so bad. Glad that you are doing much better now my friend. It shows your will to live. Great hub with a great ending. Had me scared. I knew this was your latest hub. Cancer is no joke. Thanks for sharing this amazing story and best to you and your loved ones.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

The colon cancer was ten years ago. the lung cancer was three years ago.Actually I didn't suffer much pain and with the colon cancer things seemed to happen so fast I didn't have a lot of time to think about it. The most painful thing was when they did a biopsy of my lung.They poke a needle into the tumor to get a sampling. They said there was like a one in 100 chance of missing the tumor and puncturing the lung. They did puncture the lung and that was the most painful thing I can ever remember.I appreciate you concern and comments.


eovery profile image

eovery 5 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

I am so glad that everything has turned out well. I watched my mother die of cancer when I was a teen...not something I would like anyone to go through.

Keep on hubbing!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

I am so glad you survived this.I lost my first Husband when he was 48 to bowel Cancer, just 2 weeks after he was diagnosed. It was way too advanced for them to be able to do anything. It broke my heart and tore my life apart. To hear of cases like yours where survival is the end result makes me feel such relief. Keep living :)

PS. I did Hub a long time ago about how 'Bowel Cancer Stole My Husband' if ever you want to know what happened.


QudsiaP1 profile image

QudsiaP1 5 years ago

Oh God, thank goodness, you survived it.

Thank you for sharing.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

eovery,

Thanks for your concern and comment. I understand what it must have been like for you when your mother died.I'm glad tha modern medicine has improved so much. Maybe a reason I don't want government getting involved.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Misteyhorizon2003

Forty eight is awfully young to go through it. I was in my sixties.My father was in his fifties. there are a lot of variables. Actually in both of my cases the tumors were large but fortunately it had not spread.

I'll take a look at your hub.Thanks for commenting.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

QudsiaP1

I am sure God had something to do with it.Thanks for your good wishes and comment.


RunAbstract profile image

RunAbstract 5 years ago from USA

Thank you so much for sharing with us! And I am SO GLAD you are here to do so!

Best wishes always!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for your interest and commenting.


Wealthmadehealthy profile image

Wealthmadehealthy 5 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

Oh dahoglund...I am so glad you have been blessed with life to be an example to us all....Your wonderful stories have brought joy to many, of which I am one. I am praying for you, and wish I had known sooner of your ills. Have you read up on Echinacea? It is an immune system builder of the natural sort. And yogurts help with yeast infections, I wonder if they would help the yeast in your lungs as well?? Thank you for sharing and I am so glad you are here to write for us Blessings to you and yours.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for your prayers and comments.Most ot the problems occurred before I started writing on hubpages.I'll look into yogurt.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

So very sorry to hear about your battles with cancer but happy to hear that you seem to be winning the latest one. Have you read any of Kelly Eidem's hubs about curing cancer? Here is a link:

http://hubpages.com/health/How-I-Cured-Stage-4-Can...

Quite interesting! At least the foods are natural if one can stand the heat.

God bless you!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for commenting. One never knows but it seems to be clear for now at least. I sort of hesitated to write on this subject but I had committed myself to the hubmob challenge and cancer was the subject. It seems to be one of my more popular hubs.


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 5 years ago from San Antonio Texas

Wow! Thanks so much for sharing your story, and best of luck to you in the future. At the risk of you thinking I'm crazy, I suggest you educate yourself on yeast. Experts like Dr. William Crook (The Yeast Connection) would say antibiotics is the worst thing you can do. Here's a link:

http://www.yeastconnection.com/

It seems you've really embraced Western Medicine, but I would also urge you to explore alternative medicine, like Chinese medicine. I think the perspective on why you have had multiple cancers could interest you, if you have an open mind.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

I will look into other ideas but I can't knock our medical system. I have outlived others in my family. My father was 52 when he died, I'm 74. My Mother died at about 64.

I am always open to better ways to do things but I also have to respect what has worked for me.

Thanks for your concern and thanks for your comments.


BeckyA 5 years ago

What a story! I had endometrial endometriod adenocarcinoma (that's a mouthful) in 2002. Ovarian and uterine cancer. I felt tired before the diagnosis, probably because I was severly anemic, but after the treatments - whew! I am still plagued by fatigue, but I figure that I must be okay since I am here to complain about it! :) I had a couple of doctors at the Medical University of South Carolina/Hollings Cancer Center and they were terrific! Godspeed, Fellow Survivor!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks much for your comment. I'm not sure why the weather seemed to dominate my experiences but that's life in the Midwest.


Fluffy77 profile image

Fluffy77 5 years ago from Enterprise, OR

What an awesome story you have now truly amazing! I love to hear the survival stories they keep me more positive and hopeful. I have been around too many now that did not have such a great ending with family and friends, main reason I'm smoke free today. Check out my hub on anti-smoking ads today, not all cancer is smoke related I know. Yet, all the one's I'v known personally have been. Love your inspiring story of survival,keep writing!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thank you for the kind words. If it helps you and others to be more positive I'll figure some good is done. Thanks for commentings.


carolp profile image

carolp 5 years ago from Switzerland

A nice story thank you. My Mother had a colon cancer later a lung cancer. She lives a normal life for about 5 years. I believe good treatment and regular health consultation contribute much in maintaining health conditions to cancer patients be careful not to have severe infections. Glad you are doing great and pray for your recovery.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thank you for the kind comment.I am cancer free at the moment but still have regular follow ups.My father was not so fortunate back in the 1950's and died without the medical opportunities that I have had.


raymond1489 5 years ago

Sorry to read about your struggles with cancer. You have endured an awful lot and you have survived. Hopefully, you will remain cancer-free. I enjoy your hubs and your writings.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thank you for caring and reading my hubs.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

A touching story which leaves me to think about my son who died of testecular cancer. He was physically in perfect condition, full of life and caring for his 4 children by himself. I will never understand how the cancer advanced so fast.

You have such wonderful friends and family. That is a huge blessing. And your doctors sound amazing. May you continue to be blessed with good health and live another 70 years. :) vocalcoach


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

I appreciate your good wishes.A lt seems t depend on where the cancer spreads. I had a friend my age at work who died of lung cancer not too long after it was diagnosed.While I had a large tumor, it apparently had not spread yet.There is a lot we do not understand about these things.


tony211289 profile image

tony211289 5 years ago

Quiet a story. I myself suffered from Leukaemia so i know exactly how all this affected/ing you. You are welcome to read my story I would be delighted if you would :)


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks you for commenting and I will read yours.


tony211289 profile image

tony211289 5 years ago

muchly appreciated :)


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

I hope all goes well.


freepressrelease 5 years ago

I am sure God had something to do with it.Thanks for your good wishes and comment.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for commenting here.


princesswithapen profile image

princesswithapen 5 years ago

dahoglund

Surely people around the world can take inspiration from your cancer survival story, not once but twice. You are indeed blessed with a caring family, looking at how everyone chipped in during times of distress. Good luck.

Princesswithapen


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

I did sort of hope it would be helpful to some people facing cancer. my allergist seems impressed with my having had cancer twice and surviving.It has been nearly four years since the last one.I appreciate you comment.


cancerguru 4 years ago from Kentucky

Wow. Such great stories of hope. Thanks for sharing!

http://hubpages.com/education/When-to-Stop-End-of-...


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for commenting.There are many people now who survive cancer for many years.It helps if it is detected before it spreads.


CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City

This was definitely a great hub, but even better survival story. My mom died from cancer of the breast back in 1996, and I was stunned to see that you survived, with the use of that awful Chemotherapy.

Your a strong dude for sure, and I commend you on having the strength to even share such a powerful compelling story as this one.

I wish you best of luck with the future of your health and in life in general. Oh and thanks for the kind comment you left me on my hub as well.

Voted up for many reasons, and thanks for sharing with us.

Have you ever watched a movie called the "Beautiful Truth", me & my wife just seen it, and after I was compelled to write a hub about it all. Check it out, its on Youtube, and its free. Till next time.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Cloudexplorer,

Thanks for your good comments. More people survive now than you might think. The clinic I go to has a dinner for cancer survivors and there are quite a few there. Some have survived twice as long as me.

I was probably fortunate that I did not have such bad reactions to it as some people have.It was not pleasant but it was bearable.

I did write the hub with the hope it might encourage some others. My father died a very unpleasant death from cancer.


sweetguide profile image

sweetguide 4 years ago from River side

This hub will give hope to many cancer patients. Keep writing dear dahoglund


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Hi sweetguide. Thank you for reading and commenting on this hub. If even one person finds encouragement it will be a good thing.


kikalina profile image

kikalina 4 years ago from Europe

Glad you made it through. Thanks for sharing this with us. Keep strong.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for reading it and commenting.I've been fortunate to have good surgeons.


healthylife2 profile image

healthylife2 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

Thank you for sharing your story. I went through cancer also and am still dealing with the emotional aftermath but am focusing on building my immune system. I only told a handful of people and have not even told my parents and some siblings. I'm glad you are doing well and appreciate that you talk openly about your experience. Thanks for the inspiration!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

healthylife, we each have our own ways to deal with things. I see no reason not to talk about an experience such as cancer. I find it is part of my experience with life and accept it as such. However, I am not one to join support groups where people might get overly involved with it, although others might feel differently. The cancer center where I had my surgery sponsers activities, such as yearly dinners and many people attending are quite proud of having survived for long periods, such as thirty years. Thanks for commenting.


healthylife2 profile image

healthylife2 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

I have shared my experience with my husband and am always willing to talk about it if it can help others. I agree with you that it is now part of my life experience and shapes who I am. You are right that there is no reason not to talk about it regardless of society's reaction. Support groups didn't feel right at this time but me feelings on the subject seem to change over time. Right now I need to also focus on other things although not a day goes by that it doesn't cross my mind at least once.Thank you for your response.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Maybe I was fortunate that my coworkers were supportive and helpful. I just never thought of society reaction being a problem.Thanks for commenting.


michiganman567 profile image

michiganman567 4 years ago from Michigan

Congratulations on beating cancer. My dad just finished radiation treatments for lung cancer. He is still waiting for a follow up analysis as to whether or not his cancer is completely gone. He has been looking for ways to flush the radiation out of his system. Do you know of any?


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

michiganman,thanks for reading and commenting.I've never done radiation treatment, just surgery and chemo. So I have no experience with radiation. Best I can suggest is to ask his doctors and surf the internet on the subject. I hope your father does well.

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