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Bernard B : VA

I was diagnosed in January 2014 with stage 3 b non-small cell lung cancer at the age of 58. I had been coughing phlegm with streaks of blood since mid-2013. I asked the normal questions and learned that survival was roughly 12 - 18 months, maybe longer if treatment worked. They had patients that were still alive 4 years after treatment.

I had 30 radiation treatments and 2 courses of chemotherapy of 5 doses each. During the radiation I was very sick. I could see my business was nose diving. A CT scan in late May showed significant reduction in the tumor size which was localized to the right lung and had not spread at all. I was very happy but had lost 25 kgs and felt like half the person I was 12 months before diagnosis. I had started getting my affairs in order so my wife and son would be well taken care of when the time came.

Something made me move up my next CT scan to mid-August the tumor had grown - it was now 1 cm larger. I started back on chemo, 1 dose every 3 weeks. From the 1st dose I went down and really could not work. My factory went on strike over an unrelated issue so I closed it there and then and sold off everything. We were in a good financial situation. I bought my wife a new house and sold the old one we lived in for 20 years. I also bought a beautiful home for my son as a Christmas present. He is a helicopter pilot and has been married just over a year.

I have everything just not a future life. I still cry myself to sleep and ask why but life is life. I'm very scared of the future. I am treated fairly by my wife who stands by me not as a wife but a friend - I could not expect any more. I have stopped the chemo on Tuesday after 4 sessions. I should do 6 but all agreed chemo was hammering me and I am now wheel chair bound the last 2 months. This happened practically over one week. I am happy to stay at home. So far so good or a lot better than I expected. Praying for a break through cure but we all are. I wish I had committed more to family life than business - memories work both ways. Yours and theirs. I hope they remember me well.

First Published: 1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM

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