I never had a problem filling out health forms. Whether it was for the actual doctor, the dentist or for a random facial on a cruise ship. Before my diagnosis it was easy because I was healthy and had no issues. Checkmark all good! Well since being diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer April 2014 that has all changed.
I went to the dentist for the first time since my diagnosis. The reaction of the hygienist was comical. She asked if it was hard to talk about. I told her no. Her reaction was “well at least they caught it early.” I didn’t have the heart to tell her that they indeed did not catch it early.
My next experience filling out a health form was this past week for a facial on the cruise. I almost fibbed but it asked what medical conditions I had and what medications I was on. That was a task as I can never remember all the names of the pills! So I sat down with we will say her name was Marta and she was from Trindad and Tobago. Her reaction was “Lung cancer? Are you going to die?” It caught me off guard so I just said “no.” The after thought was for me to tell her that she doesn’t have to worry I will live thru the 50 minute facial. She gave me the advice that if you live your life right the first time that is all that matters. I just said “yeah go on as many cruises as you can!”
#NoStigma, Neither one of them asked if I had smoked. I have been one of the lucky ones and have not been shamed by my diagnosis. I will continue to preach “if you have lungs you can get lung cancer!”