In 2012 I was planning to celebrate the first time I have reached 5 years without cancer since my first diagnosis in 1989. (I’ve had three primary cancers and multiple recurrences.) You may have heard that “life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” Life happened.

We’ve been watching a spot on my lung since 2007 (Cancer Again? 2010) that I had been told in 2010 was stable so nothing to worry about. We didn’t know what it was. This past year it grew from 1.2 cm to 1.5 cm. This year it became something to be concerned about. A lung needle biopsy in December showed it is metastatic breast cancer.

Even though this could be devastating news, I don’t feel devastated. I have held onto the lesson I learned several years ago — that I will be OK no matter what. Of course I am disappointed that I won’t get my celebration, and I’ve had some anxious moments, but I also feel energized by the challenge of mobilizing my healing forces once again. And I am exercising my responsibility to be the director of my treatment team. When my doctor recommended a treatment I wasn’t comfortable with, I asked for a second opinion.

January 9th I had my “second opinion” appointment with another oncologist. He came totally prepared with having read my extensive chart and knowing my 23-year history with cancer. He showed me the images on the computer of my CT scans and my PET scan, which I hadn’t seen before. I now know what the tumor looks like so I can do more effective guided imagery.

The best news is that he gave me information about my lung tumor that I hadn’t been told before. He said between August and December of 2010, it grew 2 mm. Between December 2010 and December 2011 it grew 3 mm. So in 2010 it grew 2 mm in only 4 months. In 2011 it grew only 3 mm in an entire year. That means the growth has actually slowed down. I have been working hard to create a terrain in my body that is inhospitable to cancer. This news tells me that what I have been doing seems to have made a difference. That’s very empowering news.

His recommendation is that I have a thermal ablation. This is the very treatment I had learned about through other sources that felt like my best option. He will present “me” to the lung board to determine if I am a good candidate for this treatment. The team he is presenting to is the very team I had found on the internet that is the most experienced in Sacramento with this treatment.

He said as slow-growing as this is, even if it does come back, it probably won’t be noticeable for 5 years.

I’m feeling blessed, excited, and optimistic, and committed to being more diligent with my nutrition and exercise program, my spiritual growth, and my stress reduction. I always have time to do what is important for my health (new affirmation). I’m feeling empowered that I really can make a difference, both in the quality, and the quantity of my life.

Please leave a reply, or read comments left by others. Thank you!

In the spirit of healing,
Jan Adrian's signature
Jan Adrian, MSW
Founder and Program Director

Return to Turning Points eNewsletter – January 2012