Thursday, April 21, 2011

Um, excuse me

Said in the gentlest way possible...

I do not have lung cancer.

That's right, I said it.  Yeah, it's confusing.  But in my case, cancer in my lungs does not equal lung cancer.  Someone with lung cancer is going through a whole different treatment than I am.  No worries, I'm not offended at all.  This whole cancer thing is so confusing, it really is.

From what I understand, the cancer cells in my lungs are from my rectal cancer.  That is, rectal cancer is my primary diagnosis, and now I have metastisis in my lungs.  It's still rectal cancer junk.  I take drugs aimed at controlling wild type rectal cancer cells.

I've had a lot of people ask and misunderstand.  I don't know why I feel I need to differentiate between lung cancer and lung mets from rectal cancer, but I do.  And really, please NO ONE feel bad.  I had no clue that there were so many types of cancers and types of treatments that are so specialized.  I mean, why would I be an expert on that?  Why would anyone unless they're in the thick of things? 

So that's the deal.  Rectal cancer mets in my lungs.  Not lung cancer.  This cancer lesson was brought to you by Edy's Strawberry popsicles, Oriental Ramen (thank you, Tanja!!!!) and that delicious hummus from the store (Jarnetha, you rock!!!).

Really.  Not mad or offended or whatnot.  I promise.  Questions always welcome.  As always, feel free to pass this blog around to anyone you think it might be of help to.  Hugs.


  1. Thanks for clarifying it. Cancer is complicated, man.

  2. I only knew that because my friend died of brain cancer but her primary was lung cancer. She was very young and a non-smoker. I kept thinking that she died of brain cancer until someone informed me that her primary cancer had "that really hard to spell M word" to her brain. Cancer sucks! My mom's cancer is gone for now, but it has recurred twice since original surgery. We all keep hanging in there.

  3. I work with the Vince Lombardi Cancer Center in Oshkosh, WI. They believe that cancer is now a chronic disease and people can live with it longer and indefinitely with the proper treatment.

    You are right, Sheri, it is important to know the original site of the cancer to be able to successfully treat it. Your cancer will always be known as rectal cancer.

    Love you,
    Mom J

  4. Ahh, I think I'm totally guilty of thinking this, and truly appreciate your clarification ♥

  5. It is so hard to know what the "right" thing is to say to someone who has ANY type of cancer. So good on you for the lesson, Sheri. No one should be offended or hurt, you're well within your right to make your situation clear and, there's no one that couldn't use a little education on these types of subjects now and then.

  6. Thanks for clarifying. Makes sense. It's like when people say Maura has weak muscles. No, not weak muscles, low muscle tone. There is a difference. And if you want to know, I can give you the "stretched out rubber band" explanation. Or not ;)

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