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Small Cell Carcinoma- The beginning of my journey

Updated on January 27, 2016

A Cough

It started simply enough, a cough. Actually just a tickle in the throat, but it wouldn't go away. Then it began to sound like a bark and there was some wheezing. Well, time to see a doctor because it's just not going away. You know its different. You've had pneumonia and bronchitis before, but this is different.

It is annoying and almost always there. Laughing makes you cough and walking makes you wheeze more. Something is going on. You're afraid you know what it is, but you don't want to admit it. You really don't want to hear someone else, especially your doctor, tell you what you think it is.

If you haven't guessed by now, this is about me!

A Trip to the Doctor

Normally a trip to the doctor is no big deal, but knowing somehow I had cancer made this trip a big deal. In our wonderful world of medicine and Obamacare, big business has taken over the doctor's office. While there are some advantages there are also strong disadvantages. My doctor retired a year ago so here I am with a new doctor in that ever expanding group that is owned by a corporation miles and miles away.

So, I call the new doctor who I've seen twice, and of course he's too busy to see me, but I can see his Physician's Assistant. That doesn't exactly float my boat. I'm afraid something serious is going on and I have to go to a PA I've never met before. Oh well, I really don't have a choice so I make the appointment.

His first diagnosis is post nasal drip but he doesn't like the wheeze. Really now? Haven't you ever had a wheeze so bad you can't walk across the street? I mean, doesn't that go with post nasal drip? After a nebulizer treatment with no results his next step is an EKG. My heart is fine but he wants me to go to a heart doctor for a stress test. I look at him and say, "how am I supposed to do a stress test when I can't walk down your hallway without wheezing?" Nonplussed he says, well, let's do a chest x-ray. Brilliant idea!

He calls me later to tell me there's a spot on my right lung. Probably a calcification though it could be an infection, a pneumonia he can't hear or cancer. He believes it is a calcification but orders a CAT Scan. (Thank God he decides to be thorough.)

Driving to Chemotherapy

Small cell carcinoma

Small cell carcinoma is well known as an aggressive, rapidly spreading form of cancer. It is called "small cell" because when viewed under a microscope the cells are small.

Carcinoma defines a cancer that begins in the skin or tissue of an organ, such as the lung.

There is no cure for small cell carcinoma, but it it known to be responsive to chemotherapy. However, it is also known to reappear.

The Diagnosis

So, I have the CAT Scan and after badgering him for the results I finally get a diagnosis. Diagnosis, a fairly large mass in my right lung and spots on my liver. He believes the spots on my liver are hemangioma's kind of like blood blisters. He says we'll concentrate on the lung for now. So now, I ask, what are we looking at? His reply, lung cancer.

Next step is a fine needle biopsy. I will leave out the fairly gory details of this type of biopsy where a woman's lung is accessed through her breast, use your imagination to fill in the blanks. The result is in fact lung cancer.

Next step is a PET Scan which gives a clearer and more detailed picture of the cancer. Once I have had the PET Scan, he recommends since we know it is cancer, an oncologist should review the test results and begin treatment.

I chose a cancer hospital, Memorial Sloan Kettering, which fortunately had a treatment center one and one half hours away. Even more fortunate, the doctor I chose is wonderful. So, on my first visit to my new oncologist I was to learn the full extent of my "lung cancer".

My lung cancer had metastasized (spread) to various locations throughout my body. Those spots on my liver were not hemangioma, but lung cancer. Seems I had cancer on my liver, pelvis, hip bone, cervical spine, lymph nodes next to my esophagus, and right gluteus. My doctor pointed out I had small cell carcinoma which is a rapidly spreading form of cancer. A chest X-ray done just two months ago showed no sign of the cancer and now it was all over the place. Not exactly encouraging.

The official diagnosis was a bit hard to swallow. It was apparent I was full of cancer. Just one short month ago I was fine with no thoughts of cancer. It was amazing how much my life was about to change with this diagnosis.

Treatment Begins

My doctor asked if I would be willing to participate in a drug trial. I said yes. Not only would it help me, but it could help others too, to me a win-win. She left the room to call about the trial. When she returned she said I couldn't participate. I asked why and she told me I would have to wait two weeks and I didn't have two weeks. Things were getting more and more real, unfortunately.

She then explained my chemotherapy protocol. I would receive two chemo drugs the first day, one the next two days, and a Neulasta shot on the fourth day. The shot was to help regenerate my white blood cells, helping my immune system. On the three days I received the chemo drugs I would also receive an IV steroid and antI-nausea drug. By this time I felt like we were talking about someone else, it couldn't be happening to me, but it was. This treatment will last until April. It seems like a very long time, but in fact it is only ten courses of treatment. Four days of treatment then two weeks off. Two weeks to recuperate I guess.

At the beginning of each course of treatment blood is drawn to check the status of my kidneys and a few other things. Then a meeting with my doctor to check my progress followed by my chemotherapy. All pretty cut and dry, except we were talking about me! I was about to embark on a chemo journey, a journey I had never dreamed I'd be taking. How did this happen to me? Well, let's be honest, all those years of smoking have brought me to this journey. Now, however is not the time for self recrimination, but a time for positive attitude and faith. The road ahead will not be easy. It will be fraught with fear and losses, but it will also be loaded with love and support.

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Side Trips Along the Journey

The first "side trip" on this journey was an issue with my kidneys. Seems they weren't producing enough creatinine. It is important to know how well the kidneys are filtering things like creatinine out of the blood. Increased creatinine levels indicate there are conditions affecting the kidneys.

You guessed it, I have increased creatinine levels. As a result my oncologist started me out drinking eighty ounces of water every day. While that may not sound like a lot of water, trust me, when you drink it every day, it is. When my kidneys were re-checked I was allowed to drop down to sixty ounces a day.

The next side trip along my journey was a bout of pneumonia. My oncologist was very vocal about monitoring my temperature. If at any time I thought I might have a fever I was to take my temperature. If it went over 100.3 I was advised to go right to the emergency room. Tell them I have lung cancer and I am on chemotherapy. She said they would know what to do and would start IV antibiotics immediately.

I had a port placed in my chest to facilitate all these IVs and give my poor veins and arms a rest. Once my veins were strong and easy to access, but chemotherapy quickly changed that. I was happy to have the port so that all bloodwork and IVs could go through the port rather than my veins.

Back to my side trip. The day after the port was put in I began to feel "flukey". Nothing in particular, just not right. That evening I thought I might be getting a fever. My temperature went from 99 to 101 fairly quickly, so off to the hospital we went. Five hours after arriving at the emergency room I was admitted with pneumonia. My stay was four days.

Oh, and don't forget the hair loss. Watching your hair fall like snow is the strangest feeling. Watching it thin is not unexpected so easier to deal with than a lot of other issues associated with this cancer.

Thinning Hair

The Journey Continues

I continue with my journey and chemotherapy. Since I have had two courses of chemotherapy I am scheduled for a CAT Scan to see if the chemo is working. My life has totally changed as it now centers around chemotherapy and doctor's appointments, not to mention fear of germs and more pneumonia. I know there is light at the end of the tunnel and that is what I concentrate on. God's will and mercy to get me there.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

This hub was started in November 2015, but took time and effort to finish. It is now January and things have remained pretty much the same.


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    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 19 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Mary...I send you warm thoughts and wishes on your final journey, my dear Til. You have been a constant inspiration, beloved writer and friend, whose encouragement, humor and understanding are exceptional in this crazy world of ours. You will be missed by many. My heart goes out to your family...I wish them peace and love.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 19 months ago from Texas

      Rest in Peace, dear Mary,

      Write you hubs across the sky

      Some happy ones to make us laugh

      Sad ones to make us sigh

      Just as you did here on HP

      I will miss you each time I think of you

      And hope that you may see

      HP will never be the same

      Where friends who love to write all meet

      But, it is our destiny that someday you will greet

      All those of us who know your writing was our treat

      Until that day rest in peace our dear friend who is so sweet

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 19 months ago from Central Florida

      Paula speaks for all of us. You are missed, my friend. May your family find peace in knowing you are no longer in pain and are in a better place where love reigns and pain and ugliness don't exist.

      Rest in Peace, Mary. We love you.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 19 months ago from Brazil

      I was sorry to hear of Mary's passing. She was always supportive and offered encouragement to so many here on Hubpages.

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 19 months ago from Cronulla NSW

      So very sad to read you've gone Til, such a lovely spirit and engaging will be sadly has been our privilege to know you & learn from sympathy for Tils family & friends and for sharing her with us

      X X

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 19 months ago from Taos, NM

      I am so sad to hear this. How brave you have been. RIP Mary. To her family and friends I sent my thoughts and prayers to you in this time of sadness.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 19 months ago from Orlando, FL

      RIP, Tills. Thanks for the many memories.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 19 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Amen, Fpherj48. Your message is beautiful and your words comforting. Missing you already, Mary.

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      Sondra Rochelle 19 months ago from USA

      So sad to hear this unhappy news, but so happy that you are no longer suffering or afraid and can rest in peace. God Bless You.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 19 months ago from Norfolk

      R.I.P Mary, you will be missed here.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 19 months ago from Southern Illinois

      When I hear of someone who has passed away from cancer after all the available drugs were given, and still the cancer was not destroyed, I feel the cancer was too advanced, but my next thought is always, " She's now pain free and in heaven." Mary was a wonderful writer and will be missed here on HP. The bible speaks of happiness after death, read Psalms 23-6. RIP Mary..

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 19 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Mary's death is very heart-breaking. I was hoping that the chemo and radiation would work. Evidently the Lord has other plans. R.I.P. Mary! You will be missed here on Hubpages.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 19 months ago from California

      This makes my heart ache. Each of us is unique and a fountain of love. You are the best of them. We are all richer for your loving heart

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 19 months ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Heaven is better today for Mary being added to that realm, and Earth is a little worse off for having lost her. I am praying for peace and comfort for her family and friends, including us at HP.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 19 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I've just heard about this sad news. My thoughts are with Mary's family and friends. She will be missed by many people.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 19 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      No. Please, tell me we have not just suffered this devastating loss. Oh Tille, my beautiful, loving friend, my heart is so heavy with sadness to face this emptiness.

      We know that you have now gone home to the God you embraced and that one day we will see your smiling face again. Your absence here is a heartbreaking void we must endure. I love you my Tillie and I always will. Rest in Peace precious friend.

      To Mary's family & loved ones: My sympathies & heartfelt thoughts are with all of you. Mary continually expressed how very much she loved & cherished each & every one of you. How blessed you have all been to have had Mary in your lives. In my heart she will always remain the sweet, compassionate & gentle woman I was privileged to know and call my dear friend. May you cling to your lifetime of beautiful memories and to the bonds you have with one another.

      Mary was truly a bright shining star to all of us here who knew and admired her. Please know that we share your pain. Peace, Paula

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 19 months ago from southern USA

      Amen, Jackie.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 19 months ago from The Beautiful South

      I know Mary was ready and as hard as it is we should be happy for her; she has done what we all must do. Being a sister-in-Christ I know we will one day see her in a beautiful eternity. She had a lot of friends here; now she has friends from everywhere!

      Jesus is Lord.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 19 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      R.I.P. dear Mary - miss you already.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 19 months ago from Shelton

      This is indeed heart aching news.. she will be dearly missed.. thanks for telling me about her Faith... God should bless her soul..:(

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 19 months ago from southern USA

      Oh, how sad. Dear Mary was the best of the best. She was a strong woman with a heart of love, and loved by all. I enjoyed reading her wonderful hubs. Whenever she commented on my hubs, I felt so blessed.

      She will surely be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family.

      I will see you again one day, Dearest Mary, sweet friend.

    • shanmarie profile image

      shanmarie 19 months ago

      So sorry for your loss. I was just noticing a comment she left on one of my past hubs before reading this. I didn't know her well, but her comments to me were always kind.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 19 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      This is such a great loss for all of us. R.I.P. Mary. Author and friend to all

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 19 months ago from Queensland Australia

      That is such sad news. I have lost far to many friends and good people this year. Mary was so strong and always remained positive. She was a wonderful writer and will be dearly missed.

    • Don Bobbitt profile image

      Don Bobbitt 19 months ago from Ruskin Florida

      A loss for us all, but as Winnie the Pooh said;

      “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

      A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh)

      Don Bobbitt, a follower and admirer.

    • profile image

      Debbie 19 months ago

      To all "tillsontitan" friends. My dear, dear friend passed away this morning. She was the rock, the one that worried about everyone else. She fought an amazing fights (a true warrior). Writing was her true passion and outlet. She always questioned her talent, which was undeniable. I made a promise that I would do this for her, and hoped I would never, never have to. So when you go to bed tonight, say a prayer for her and for her amazing and loving family. Nite "Gracie" xxoo

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 22 months ago from New York

      Paula we understand each other so well!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 22 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      You're my Hero. "Fatigue" can be remedied! Rest & wonderful Sleep. Let everyone else do what needs to be done. You're the Queen for a while. Fatigue never scared a Mother Of 4 !!! Bless you lady friend.

      Hugs, Paula You are right in the middle of my heart.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 22 months ago from New York

      Ladies, your good thoughts and positive energy are felt every day. Prayers and blessings are always welcome!

      I have two more brain radiation treatments. Monday I start a chemo pill. I have been warned about fatigue so I'm ready ☺️

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 22 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Tillie.....Your update along with some interesting news about cancer treatment advances I've been reading about, are positive and encouraging. You have so many with you in spirit on your journey, I just know you can feel the strength of our support & prayers.

      Between Dr. visits & treatments, I appreciate that you take time to touch base with all of us.

      You stay upbeat GF....every time I think of you, I focus on sending happy thoughts & positive vibes. If you happen to feel extra peaceful & relaxed now & then.....that's Me, stopping by with a hug! Paula/Effer

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 22 months ago from southern USA

      Hi Dear Mary,

      I just wanted to pop in here and let you know I keep you in my thoughts and prayers always. You are loved.


    • shanmarie profile image

      shanmarie 23 months ago

      This was in the HP feed and caught my attention. I've seen you around here and even sent you a request on FB awhile back when I saw you on another mutual friend's comments. But I haven't yet gotten to know you at all. I do, however, remember a comment you left on one of my hubs from a couple of years ago now, I believe. Might have been around Christmas time. It was one addressed to friends in general and those here on HP. And you told me that reading that made you wish you were my friend. I think I told you then that I've always got room for more friends. So, reading this now, especially. . .I'm offering my hugs, thoughts, and prayers along with your many other supporters here.

      HP wouldn't let me vote in your pole. . .or maybe it was my crappy internet connection. . .doesn't matter. . .but I have had cancer in my life on multiple occassions. My grandmother many years ago, who did survive. It did not come back for a couple of decades when she was already suffering probably from Alzheimer's and too fragile for treatment. My dad had prostate cancer and survived and then my grandpa had cancer in his lymph nodes and so far has not had a reoccurrence. My uncle's wife passes away a couple of years ago from some kind of rare spinal cancer. What an amazing woman she was! Those are just my immediate family members who have dealt with this horrific disease. I can't help but rally with you to kick its ass.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 23 months ago from New York

      Thank you Audrey. I'm doing ok. Some of the metastasized sites are now clean and there are a few new sites, but all in all its good.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 23 months ago from California

      Hi Mary--just ran across this and am thinking about you. Let us know how you are doing --hugs

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 23 months ago from New York

      Thank you Paula and Peg. Your thoughts are always with me and certainly help along the journey. Prayers are certainly keeping this ship afloat!

      Radiation was a bummer, but at least it's over now. Starting to actually recuperate and feeling better.

      Paula, I've tried gardening, but still get too tired. Hubby and kids have been weeding fiends and helped a lot. Hey, I have an excuse now, it's called chemo brain so when I forget something that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

      Miss both of you, but hope to start back on HP soon. A little here, a little there.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 23 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      The lady in red - you look so good, Mary. Glad to read this update and learn about how you're doing. You have a few hurdles ahead it seems. Please know that you are loved and I am praying for your complete healing. Love. P.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 23 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Oh so happy to see you online, GF and hear how your journey is coming along. Wish I had just a nickel for every time you come to mind. I wonder sometimes if the mental messages travel through mid-air.....I've actually had that happen a few times. I'll think of someone and discover later that they were thinking of me just about the same exact time!! I love it when that happens!

      Sounds like you're experiencing some good outcomes with a sprinkling of a disappointment here & there. In the big scope of things GF, that sounds like the normal route and enough to be positive about. Your spirit sounds steadfast. That's our girl!!

      Sending happy thoughts, big hugs and lots of love.....Soon this will be behind you Tillie. You'll be wearing those gardening gloves in no time!! Happy Thursday! Paula

      Oh yeah...I have a confession to make. I'm terribly angry with myself. I made a comment recently about "authors" and I mentioned a few of our own from HP. Afterwards, I was horrified that I neglected to mention my BFF Mary Craig!! My damned old swiss cheese brain! Sometimes I piss myself off! I am so sorry my sweet friend. Forgive me. :(

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 23 months ago from New York

      Thanks for asking Karen. Well, yes and no. Many mestastised sites have disappeared, but there are a few new small ones together with a new spot on my lung. I just finished three weeks of radiation, start chemo again next week with a new drug and then in about three weeks another CAT Scan to see how we're doing. All in all I'm hanging in ;)

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 2 years ago from Georgia

      Hi Mary!

      I've been thinking about you and am wondering how you are doing? Any updates? Remember we all love you here on Hubpages.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Thank you Kathleen. You are so right, "He" is the source and prayers are the best medicine. I hope to write another hub soon. God bless.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      "He will give His angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways." That is my prayer for you. I know the specialists can do amazing things these days, but you and I both know the source when you need a really amazing outcome. That is what I'm praying for you. I'm so sorry I'm just now reading about this situation. Please keep your friends posted through continuing to write your experiences.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Paula you are more special to me than you know. Everyone at HP has been so supportive. I have to admit this has been a looong four months and the future is sketchy, but God bless all of you!, I couldn't have done it without you.

      God willing, there may be a new hub coming soon.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Your message to Peg (above) is a beautiful sight to read! You can't know how often you pop up in my mind! I see that as a "connection." Just understand I (and MANY others) are with you in one unique way or another!.....I have such faith and confidence that YOU will be a victor.

      Thank you dear, for taking the time to keep us updated. Sending love & hugs. With Spring around the corner....A FRESH, NEW day is dawning!......Paula

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Thanks Peg. Things seem to be going well. I am recuperating after my last chemo (fingers crossed).

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Thinking about you today! You are quite an inspiration, Mary. Hoping you are doing okay.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Thank you 'Ann. No good wish is too late. I may be ending this round of chemo, will know after April 15 CAT Scan.

      I truly believe this is part of His plan, and take each day as it is given to me. I look forward to getting back to HP, been missing all my friends.

      Thanks for the love and positive thoughts!

      Love back to you,


    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      My apologies again, I seem to be very late in realising what you are going through.

      I too would like to send you all the energy that our world's portals can transfer, earthly and heavenly. I hope your chemo is proving effective; I notice you say it's until April so I guess there is some progress by now.

      You are plucky to be able to write about it and share your experiences - this will be valuable to others who go through such a thing and will give them support too, such a valuable gift to give them.

      My best to you, Mary; I know you are strong and you have faith. These will pull you through. You will be in my thoughts and prayers and you have many here who feel the same so all these positive vibes are reaching out to you.

      With love,


    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Before I answer each comment let me just say chemo kind of knocks me out so I am behind in my HP and correspondence.

      Bill, your best wishes and prayers are important to me. This is not an easy journey, but one I intend to continue with!

      Yup Effer, God willing we'll meet up for lunch or something!

      Thank you for your prayers and friendship Mr. Archer. I miss being here on HP, but do try to pop back on when I am able and I can't tell you how much it means to see comments like yours.

      Ah Peg, life isn't always kind is it? It seems each new round of chemo takes a little longer to get over, but I do. Thank you my friend for your love and prayers! Sending the same back to you.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Darling sweet Mary,

      Words can't properly express my concern, love, appreciation for your courage, your bravery at sharing this journey, and my hopes for your full and complete recovery from this. I had clues about your illness from bits and pieces I read elsewhere, but, truly had no idea until I found the notice from months ago on Hubs that were published and that I overlooked until tonight.

      I am thinking of you right now and will put you in my prayers, for your strength, for your comfort, your family, your health, and your success in regaining your strength. You are an inspiration.

      Love you and thinking of you right now. Peg

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 2 years ago from Missouri

      Why oh why does Hubpages not let me know when my friends post a hub! I have not seen this until today, Mary and I am so, so sorry! I am saying a prayer as I write this. A dear friend of mine's wife is going through this now. We talk periodically and keep the faith, and it appears as though she is doing better. I pray the same for you, Mary. You are a dear friend and a truly good person. You take care and we will stay in touch. God's love be with you!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Niagara Falls this Spring!! Wonderful! I will look forward!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Mary. I commend you for bravely sharing your journey with us. The first thing that came to mind while reading this was my fathers cancer journey from a few years ago. Stay positive, surround yourself with love, and fight this dreaded disease with everything you have. Sending my best wishes and prayers.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      It is "boosters" like you who have helped me get through this. Love you GF. Hey, we're thinking of Niagara Falls this spring, God willing.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      GOOD to see you GF! You're on my mind & in my heart. I'm sending strength & love & lots of hugs. Something went out in the mail for you~be watching for the mailman! I created something positive & COLORFUL for you to read every day. Let's just say I am officially one of Tillie's "Boosters!"

      Love you beautiful lady................Paula

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Manatita I switch between scarves and wig depending on where I'm going and what my mood is.

      All things considered I am doing well. Thank you my friend.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      A friend of mines wore a modern style cap. A bit like the Sikh's latest, not the big one, but a more trendy-looking one. She looked 'cool.' Glad you love your new wig.

      I came back here to see how you're doing. So happy for you. Much Love.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Time Traveler, I am so glad you and your friend are doing well. This is certainly a different world, but so far things are going well. Small cell is inoperable, but the chemo seems to be doing its job.

      Thank you Glimmer Twin.

      Sha, I had no idea. I will email you. I am sitting at chemo now with the drugs running and while I love my iPad it is not a computer and I just can't type as fast. I have been very fortunate to have so much loving support and credit the prayers with keeping me going. Plus I love my new wig. I was against it, but my husband wanted it.

      Thanks Deb, you are appreciated.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Sounds like a hard road, Mary. My thoughts are with you.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Mary, you've gone into more detail here than in the emails I've received from you. Please don't treat me with kid gloves. I don't want you to go through this alone. I know you're not, but your cyber friends want to do all they can to help you, even if only as support and a form of release. Know you can vent on me any time. I can't physically hold your hand, but I can certainly lend a shoulder and an ear.

      I wish your cancer hospital was closer than an hour and a half away. I have a great one here just 30 minutes or so away. I know it well. I have a condition called A-typical hyperplasia, which increases my risk of breast cancer (I've had a biopsy and two aspirations). I was on preventative medication for 2 1/2 of the five years I was supposed to be on it, but started exhibiting the no-no symptoms the fine print warns about. As the result, I had to have a partial vulvectomy to remove a pre-cancerous patch on my lady parts. I haven't been to my breast doctor in years, nor have I had a follow-up since the vulvectomy (because I lost insurance). Now that I have insurance again, I'm afraid to get checked out. Stupid, I know.

      Be brave my friend and please call on me anytime. Email me and I'll give you my cell. Sometimes it helps to talk.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 2 years ago

      Thinking of you and your family right now. How brave of you to write this article. Wishing you all the best with your fight!

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      Sondra Rochelle 2 years ago from USA

      Dear Sweet Lady: When I saw this, my stomach literally turned. I am so, so sorry that you are having to deal with this terrible disease, but I do know how you feel. 11 years ago I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Fortunately for me, they caught it very early, simply removed my breast, and I have been fine ever since.

      If it helps, at the same time I was diagnosed, my best friend found out that she had lung cancer in BOTH lungs! I thought for sure she was going to die, and the thought of losing her devastated me.

      Guess what? She had two surgeries, 6 weeks apart, where they removed a lobe from one lung and all lesions. She has been fine every since and is still doing great!

      My wish for you is that the same result will come your way.

      God Bless You, and may the path you follow from this point forward be filled with love, hope and all good things.

      I will keep you safe in my heart from this point forward.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Thank you Shy. Blessings, hugs and positive energy will steady me in my battle.

      Thanks to you too Alicia.

      Paul, I am sorry to hear about your battle with cancer. I hope that yours is gone and you will live many more years. Thanks for sharing your 'journey'. I certainly put my trust in God. His will be done. Thank you for sharing my friend. Sending prayers your way.

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Mary, I was shocked reading this hub and really hope and pray that your chemo is arresting your carcinoma. I also had a scare with cancer, being diagnosed with a large cancerous mass on my left kidney in March of 2015. I had the kidney removed last April and so far my ultrasounds, blood work, and chest X-rays have been okay. I go for more follow-up tests in May. I'm putting my hope in the Lord that I will pull through with this bout against cancer and live many more years. If you have a positive attitude and put your trust and prayers in God, I'm sure that you will defeat your small cell carcinoma. I am sharing this with HP followers.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      My very best wishes to you, Mary. Thank you for sharing your experience in this very educational hub. I will be thinking of you!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

      Dear Mary, thank you for sharing this information with all of us who love you and are saying prayers for you and sending (as Bill says) positive energy.

      Blessings and hugs dear Mary

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Mike I don't know how I missed your glowing comment! After reading it I feel faster than a speeding bullet. Always looking for those trainloads of energy. Bless you my friend.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Theresa, your "faith" and understanding warm my heart. Someone who has been there has that inside understanding. I hope I can be as strong as you have been and know, I believe my faith will help me through whatever lies ahead.

      Dear Phyllis, thank you. I can feel the hug, blessings, support and love. It jumps right out of your comment.

      Audrey, than you for the hugs, I can feel the warmth. I wrote this mainly to share my experience so others might understand.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Hugs and more hugs to you Mary! And thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this! We are all with you!

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Mary, dear friend, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Did you feel that hug I just sent? It comes along with Light and Energy for healing. You have a positive perspective and I know you will conquer this. Blessings, support, and lots of love are yours.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Dear Mary,

      Thank you for sharing here. You are a strong, courageous and beautiful woman, who has a loving family and plenty of friends who are keeping you in their prayers, including me.

      I am a cancer survivor and know exactly what you mean when you say you just knew it was cancer, as I just knew too. God was so faithful to heal me and so I am still here for some reason, but even if that is not the case, I knew I would be okay His loving arms.

      Please do keep us updated, sweet lady, and know just how much you are loved by all.

      Peace and much love,


    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Thank you MizBejabbers. I am sorry you went through having part of your colon removed as well as the scare of colon cancer. At this stage of the game it is one day at a time, and God willing there will be many more days.

      Alwaysexploring, yes, new drugs are being approved every day to fight cancer and keep it in remission. Time and prayer will tell.

      Manatita your words give much comfort. I have to admit I had to chuckle when I read "God is not going on vacation", I am certainly glad to always have him near me. I am certainly trying to be brave. Some days I am very successful,,others not so much. God and the prayers of all my friends will see me through.

      Thank you Genna. It is amazing what we can do when we have to! I intend to fight with all my might.

      Jackie, I will certainly look into the alkaline body. At this stage there is nothing that isn't worth trying. My husband bought me a nutribullet and I have been making healthy shakes with spinach, fruit, nuts, and chia seeds. It certainly can't hurt.

      Thank you Carter. Always good to see you and I appreciate your good thoughts.

      Thank you Frank. I'm aiming to be one of those survival stories!

      And thank you DD for the encouraging comment.

      Suhail, your prayers are deeply appreciated, now and always.

      Karen I had to smile when I read your comment as I believe I would have reacted the same way. We are all friends here and feel for each other. Your warm wishes and prayers mean a lot to me.

      Thank you Larry. I hope I give encouragement to at least one person.

      Paula I will certainly look into it!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Jackie is absolutely correct about an alkaline system being of utmost importance when fighting cancer. It's well worth looking into GF.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      What you have done here by writing this is very selfless and important.

      I wish you the best, my friend.

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 2 years ago from Georgia

      Dear Mary,

      As I was reading this, I just kept saying,"Oh no" and I realized I was saying it out loud as my husband asked what was wrong. I am so sorry you are having to go through this. I will keep you in prayer and am happy to read that you have a lot of love and support to help you through this time. You are brave to write about this, but I guess that's what writers do best: share their personal thoughts and stories. Sending you hugs, smiles, prayers.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 2 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      I will always be praying for you, Mary. Rest assured! And thank you for being so brave as to write this hub and educate us about cancer.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      You are brave to share with us your journey. Be strong and positive. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      That word alone can stop a heart.. make one lose their breath.. but we are now fighting back.. I'm hearing more survival stories.. and I hope I keep hearing more.. blessings be with you and your family my dear virtual friend :)

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 2 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Oh Till I'm so sorry you have to go through this..I just popped into hubpages & found your hub & can't believe it's been so quick!! Stay well my friend sending

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I am so sorry Mary that you are going through this and it is so wonderful of you to share it to help others; what greater thing could we do?

      I hope you will try some natural things just as the water they had you drink to help you there are other things and they (doctors) are not legally allowed to mention them. I have done some studies on cancer and the biggest thing I got out of them is that cancer cannot live in an alkaline body. I won't suggest how you go about that but drinking or eating foods that discourage acidity wouldn't hurt to try and I believe that would be the best advice I could give to anyone I cared for with cancer.

      God bless and heal you and keep you strong. Amen

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Mary, I am in awe of your courage and inspiration. You know how much you are loved -- both at home, and here, in this community. As Marie wrote, "you are in the driver's seat," dear friend. Sending warm and healing thoughts your way, always.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      Very brave and yet so good of you to write this. I agree with Bill. It will help others but also help you. Continue to be courageous, and yes, you look very beautiful! Even more beautiful than before. Never forget this. You still write well and have explained your experience in quite a lucid way.

      A lot here, and yes, there is some pain, I know. My Spirit is with you, and God is with you. He is not going on vacation, but living though the pain and the gentler days. To be brave is a tough thing to say, so I will only ask you to try. What else can we do? Hari Om!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Mary, at this time words are just words, but I know many who have survived this dreadful disease, totally in remission and never returned, so hang in and know that we all @ Hub Pages wish you the best. God bless.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

      Mary, I'm so sorry that you are having to go through all this. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I am sending you some Reike. I have been going through my own illness since last year and feel like I have scraped by by the skin of my teeth. I had 18 inches of my colon removed last December, but at least it wasn't cancerous. My mother died of colon cancer, so I was somewhat worried. I know what you are going through with the installation of the port and chemo. I hope to hear that you are making big-time progress. Please keep us posted.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Linda, when I get nervous or scared it's comments and thoughts like yours that keep me going. For the most part I'm ahead of it, but every once in a while doubts creep in. Knowing you and others here love me and have my back propels me forward!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Your courage shines through your words. I detest cancer, but I love you! I got your back! Staying positive was what helped Cap in his fight, you got this!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Dearest Maria, all I can say is thank you. You help fuel me and yes dear friend, I love you too. You have inspired me with your bravery and spirit. We do what we have to do and ask for God's blessings.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Mary,

      You are amazingly inspiring...I believe in your strength, determination and love of life.

      Thank you for taking us on your journey - of which you are in the driver's seat.

      Love you so much, Maria

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Bill, you have been one of my pillars, your positive energy and blessings and hugs mean the world to me. I thought the writing would help....and I hope it helps someone else too.

      Thank you John. Through the grace of God we don't go through life alone. Your friendship, prayers and thoughts are part of the support system that keeps me going.

      Don, I had no idea! You certainly took the bull by the horns. God bless you, your journey was certainly fraught with unpleasant side trips. Your words are not only encouraging, but brought tears to my eyes. Thank you, and thank you for sharing. I'm sure you can beat anything that comes your way.

      Paula, you could never intrude. GF we've been friends for a long time and God willing we will be for a long time to come. As you know from experience, adversity is no excuse to buckle under, it's time to buckle up and take control of the ride.

      Thank you all. If I can ever get my schedule straight I really want to get back to reading all the wonderful hubs my friends have to offer. If I may borrow fron Tiny Tim, God bless us everyone.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Mary. You are tougher than Muhammad Ali. More courageous than Amelia Earhart. And stronger than Atlas. Shipping you train loads of energy.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Oh my dear sweet friend Tillie......Thank you for taking the time to do this for all of us who are thinking of you, praying for you and cheering you on. I was so hesitant to keep sending notes & of course did not want to question, so reading this helps me to know you're taking your journey with a Dr. you like, your family, friends & day at a time. This is how we need to do all things.

      I am most shocked that you explained having had a "clear" Xray result not all that long ago & yet were faced with such a devastating diagnosis in November. Of course you would be knocked over, taken completely off guard. How you buckled up and got immediately on the job, fighting this, is just what I'd expect of a woman of your strength and heart. I am so proud of you.

      I am here at all times.....24/ your disposal. Please never hesitate to tell me what I can do to lighten your load or brighten your days. I hate being so far from you Tillie. Sending you a big hug and a huge dose of positive energy! I love you girl.......Paula

    • Don Bobbitt profile image

      Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Tilsontitan - OK, First of all, a little about me. 23 years ago, I caught (I wasn't trying, but I caught it) Wegener's Granulomatosis) I was healthy as a horse and then I had a Sinus infection, which turned into inflamed blood vessels, which turned into this strange new thing (to me) that they were telling me was 96% fatal.

      Well, imagine my shock, as I lay in my hospital bed, wondering what would happen next.

      Well, as you mentioned, it was a journey. A journey where I had a lot of family and friends who stood by me as I fought for my life.

      I spent the next 3 years developing my own set of standards; defining what a "good" Doctor is and who the others are, arguing with all Doctors over every point they made that I didn't understand. Demanding to know what every drug did, the good and the bad. And, smiling, always smiling because nurses and Doctors don't like complainers. Smiling while being told I had to have Chemo for a few months. Smiling when they wanted to perform exploratory surgery on me, Smiling as I puked my guts out regularly. Yeah, I went on a journey, me and God. We made some deals and I fell in line. I read up about my illness and discussed everything until I knew everything.

      I took drugs that they don't even want to give people today.

      It wasn't my time. Eventually, everything came together and I was declared to be in remission. And I even went back to work. Of course, along the way, I had to have a kidney transplant, my anti-rejection drugs drove my body into Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol and attacks of the Gout to name a few of the things i have to manage daily.

      I will not sit here and make sad or ridiculous statements about your future. But, I will wish you well on your personal journey as you fight for your health to improve. I will think about you and your battle and I will go back and read some of your comments over the past on different Hubs I wrote. And I will smile at your intelligence, your attitude, and your evident joy in what you wrote in comments and on hubs.

      What the Heck! Now you have a fantastic story to write!


    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Mary, thank you for writing this. Your personal journey will help others understand the process that many of us or family members will go through when cancer strikes, and writing about it will help as therapy for you as well. God bless, my prayers and thoughts are with you.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You know how I feel about you, my friend. Words are pretty useless, but I'm sending all the positive energy I have. I do think it's very important that you keep writing about this experience. It probably will help you, and if it helps one other person then that's a bonus.

      Blessings and hugs are winging their way across the country.



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