(Dave's Note: Well, it seems rather late in the game to start up a blog but Lee Anne wanted very much to have some of her letters and emails posted in one location, so here goes...we'll start with her first email shortly after she became aware of her cancer...)
As some of you might already know, I have been experiencing some heath problems of late. I’m not sure were to start, so I’ll just begin with what I think is the beginning.
I saw the doctor about a month ago for what we thought was a torn muscle of the scapula. I had a cough that started at the same time, which I didn't think much of. I was given percocet to manage the pain, which also suppressed the cough. As I began to go off the percocet the cough returned, along with some blood. When Dave saw how much blood, he put me in the car and took me to the ER the evening of July 20th.
They did x-rays and a CT scan, where they found something in my right lung. This led to an appointment with a Pulmonologist and a lung biopsy. The biopsy results confirmed lung cancer. So we were off to the oncologist who ordered a brain MRI and a PET scan to determine the extent of the cancer and what stage the cancer is in.
I have stage 4 lung cancer. There is involvement in the left adrenal gland and one of the vertebrae in my lower back, the L2. This makes my cancer inoperable and incurable. The chemotherapy is starting on August 6th and is done as an outpatient treatment, one day every three weeks, for a total of four treatments, each lasting five to six hours. I will be receiving two different types of chemo, the first being Taxol and the second one is Carboplatin. My spelling may be off, so please forgive me if I am. If I respond positively to the chemo, there is the possibility that they will do radiation down the line. After which my life expectancy is six months to a year on the average, although my oncologist has seen patients live three to four years.
These are just statistics, and they only have meaning when applied to a large number of people. They mean nothing to me. The important thing here is that I have lessons to learn and lesson to share. I have the most wonderful opportunity to teach my children, in the most profound way possible that each day is a gift. If we can really reach out, each day, and gracefully accept the gift we have been given and with an open and grateful heart, help as many people as we can with the time that we have been given, then life has meaning. I want mine to be about true power and not force. I want that warm, all encompassing love that shines in the smile of a newborn child to be felt by every person I smile at. I want my children to truly understand that happiness in an inside job and not something that other people make you feel.
So, here is the deal my friends. I am not going to have the attitude of 'I'm going to fight this thing.' That implies that someone wins and someone loses. I am going to win, no matter how you look at it. I have the best team of doctors that my wonderful husband is putting together for me. I have God, Karma, the Universe and the Great Divine Feminine on my side. They are my army of warriors with all of the weapons. They will worry and fight for me. We, my team and I, are going to manage my pain so that I can live each and everyday to it's fullest and enjoy the best that each day has to offer. I am going to live through this adventure. And I invite each and every one of you to join me each day as we rise above this and make the most of each day.
I am not going to refer to the masses as cancer or tumors or any other scary name. Since the masses in my lung are the same size, I have named them Castor and Pollux - The Gemini Twins. This carries with it the added bonus that Castor and Pollux were the bad guys in the movie Face/Off and they both died at the end of the movie. My apologies to all of you Gemini out there.
There is no room for anger or sadness here. When my father was dying of cancer, I asked him if he was angry. He held my hands and said, "Sweetheart, God chose this for me. How could I ever be angry at anything God chose for me?' Well, Castor and Pollux were chosen for me and there are great gifts here. I am going to meet each day with dignity and grace and a grateful heart. I choose Life.
I would ask that you pray, meditate, dance under the stars, whatever it is that you choose to do to connect with God/Goddess/All that Is, and ask for whatever your heart leads you to. I will be praying for the strength to meet this with humor and grace. I own this, it is mine and I am grateful for the adventure that is about to begin.
I promise to give each of you the best of who I am each day although my best will vary. I will keep all of updated as we progress on our adventure. Some of this is going to get boring and repetitive for me and I don’t want to bore you, so if you haven’t heard from me, or you just wonder what is going on, please feel free to call or email. My address and phone numbers are listed below. I love all of you more than you could ever know. I know that I can do this because I am not alone and I am loved.
209 Sherry Court
San Jose, CA 95119