Non-Small Call Lung Cancer

cancer blog

September, 2017 My Non Small Cell Lung cancer

It’s Back again

Some of you know by now that my non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is back again. This is draining way too much of me and Dave, both emotionally and physically. I was not afraid of the treatments that need to be done or the months to heal. And I But I am afraid that after this that it will come back again. That I will need to go through this again. I was given twenty extra years from my first diagnosis in 1997. I have had many many CT scans, MRI’s and a couple of PET scans. This is how my cancers are picked up early. The recent news was just as shocking as the first time I heard it in 1997. Shock turned into depression.

After learning the results of the scan I became depressed enough that I would lie in bed in a fetal position. I coiled myself around my legs, my pillow and comforter hiding me, I whirled around the hurt. Sometimes I would have the TV on and just stare at it hoping that I wouldn’t think. I felt so disconnected to the outside world. Nothing made sense. I felt a crushed by  of loneliness, a deep abyss. I called this my cancer frame of mind: angst: anger, lack of patience, of guilt and dissociation. Great fear. Thoughts of my dying – it’s such a primal instinct to be afraid of dying. It comes so quickly. This was my life. I’m on constant repeat.

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer


I knew that there was be a good chance that I would have another non-small cell lung cancer. But you never think that it would really happen again. You are somehow more mindful. But not after just three years from the last cancer!! Please!! And this would be my sixth tumor, my fourth lung cancer. But I have had multifocal adenocarcinoma of the lung. I would definitely have more cancers. I certainly hope that after this one I can climb the next hill with more ease.

As the days got closer to my PET scan I started to become more focused on the test. I began uncurling myself. My silent pleas for help swallowed up in my sheets became fainter. I knew what the PET scan would show, as my lung surgeon had never been wrong about what he saw on my Computed Tomography (CT) scans. He was right this time too.

I made an appointment to go back to Massachusetts General Hospital and meet with my doctors and make a plan. Dave and I took the train from Rhode Island to South Station in Boston and transferred to the subway which drops us off right in front of the hospital. I felt surprisingly lighter and at ease, stepping more confidently down the last of the subway stairs. The closer we got the stronger I felt oddly healthy, and not depressed, and I began to walk. with a purpose, a direction, towards hope. I even smiled for the first time in weeks.


19 thoughts on “Non-Small Call Lung Cancer

  1. Luiza says:

    For someone who hasn’t had cancer or closely cared for someone who does, I can only imagine and never really know what it’s like to be going through this, over and over again. I’m really glad you decided to publish your blog and share it with your circle, and hopefully a broader audience down the line. It helps me understand better what you’ve been going through and makes me feel closer to you. I’m with you.

  2. Linn says:

    As your sister, witnessing all the years you have endured the treatments and recoveries- you appeared strong while determined to continue a normal life during recovery. This most recent cancer certainly brings me in closer to the fears that you are going through and live with on a day to day basis. Your description helps me to understand your feelings now so that when I talk to you I know. You have expressed it beautifully and others will benefit if you decide to share it.

    • Merry says:

      I am so glad Linn, and love you even more, if possible for being so honest. Thank you for your understanding

  3. Marilyn Hennessey says:

    M I am glad you are doing this. I can understand better without bothering you for all the details. wonderful start…i am proud of you and will take the journey with you. in awe,m

  4. Casey Lupton says:

    As you know, I have been down the cancer road. But, still it is never the same for anyone. I have been very fortunate (so far) not to have a replay. You have and are showing amazing resilience and courage again. Bless you for doing this blog and sharing your experience

    • Merry says:

      I believe that I knew that you had cancer and could relate to at least part of it. I agree, no one will share the exact symptoms and recovery trials the same way. That’s why I wanted to do this blog, so that no one will feel alone. Thank you

  5. Linda Sullivan says:

    Merry, you are always so upbeat when I speak with you. As Linny so nicely expressed, it is very helpful to better understand how you are really feeling emotionally. Please continue to write and share. It will help many others, as well as help your supporters. Please know I am always behind you. You should publish this into a book.

    • Merry says:

      Linda- You have been with me through my entire journey. You have rubbed my legs and back and helped me in and out of the tub. Sharing a dead-end street has it’s advantages!! I think that when I am upbeat I show it, but when I’m far from it I hide. A book!! ow that’s a thought. Linda, where would I be without you?

  6. Sue says:

    Merry, your experience is expressed in a way that we can learn from you. Your honesty helps those who have been fortunate to never experience cancer understand the journey. As I began reading, my first thought is that this needs to be published in a book so that others can learn from your experiences. Please continue writing.

  7. Marie Saccoccio says:

    Merry, as your friend and a 3x’s cancer survivor, myself- I am so proud of you for sharing through your own blog. It shows how much strength, determination and knowledge you have. Through your journey and this blog you are reaching out to others in an effort to spread hope and strength to others. We are ALL on a journey and don’t know from day to day- where our journey leads us— but your words give us ALL strength as we move ahead. I love you ???

    • Merry says:

      Marie- Thank you so much for such a lovely and encouraging comment. Yes, moving ahead is the crux- we all need to do that my friend. If we can. Love you too.

  8. Jean Sawyer says:

    Merry; So very sorry that you are going through this “Hell” but you are so gracious in sharing your journey through your blog and I feel certain that others will benefit from reading it. I am a survivor; my Mother and four best friends, not so lucky. I hope that your honest words will not only help others but may even help you through this. The best I can wish for you is a Very Happy and Healthier New Year.

    • Merry says:

      Jean, my new friend, thank you so much. I am very sorry for all the losses that you’ve had. I’m very glad that you are a survivor!
      Here’s to a healthy and Happy New Year.

  9. Jennifer Calliere says:

    Oh, Merry. I’m so sorry to hear that your cancer returned. You are in our thoughts, often. Mom speaks of you and misses you. I, myself am a recent survivor of breast cancer (I inherited the BRCA 2). I was diagnosed in late September of 2015, finished my first round of surgeries in December ‘15, and my chemo and radiation in May of ‘16. I had a fourth prophylactic surgery in October of 2016, and will be having another next month to repair a large scar left by a nasty port infection. It would be wonderful to be back in touch with you! All my prayers. Xo Jen Valliere

    • Merry says:

      Hi Jen! So good to hear from you. I was aware of your cancer through your mom and I am sorry to hear about the number of surgeries that you’ve had to have. Healing after the initial surgery certainly has it’s ups and downs. I know that after my first surgery I got every little possible infection that I could get, from bladder to yeast. I felt like a petri dish! Give your mom my love. She can email me at

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