Laurianne's Hope

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

"Mourning is not forgetting . . . It is an undoing. Every minute tie has to be untied and something permanent and valuable recovered and assimilated from the knot. The end is gain, of course. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be made strong, in fact. But the process is like all other human births, painful and long and dangerous."

-- Margery Allingham -- The Tiger in the Smoke

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Henry (Calem's Opa) :: 8:58 PM :: 1 people are more aware
only one more week

And then we are going to Indiana to visit Lynda .Iam curious about her reaction after she see"s Calem.he has been growing so much and makes all kind of sounds and laughs out loud. He is also introduced to some solid foods and he just loves it .Calem checks out everything and seems very observent.I hope he will do good on the plane and that he will not be too much jetlagged.Personally I am looking forward to our early christmas and I am sure we will have a good time

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Henry (Calem's Opa) :: 8:25 PM :: 1 people are more aware
better day

Today it was a better day then previous days.I went to the hospital for some long overdue labwork.I ran into some of my co-workers today and got to talk alittle bit .After that I ran into one of Lauriannes favorite chemo nurse.She asked me righ away to come over to the infusion center after my labwork was finished .It was somewhat difficult for me since there are so many memories over there. It felt good to talk to the nurses there who I got to know so well. After that I ran some errands and this afternoon I took Calem for a long walk.The day was over before I know it.I hope one day to snap out of my sad spell and I can become the old Henry again

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Henry (Calem's Opa) :: 8:08 PM :: 1 people are more aware

They say time
heals all sorrow
And helps us to forget
So far, time has only proved
How much I miss you yet.

There are no words to say
Exactly how I feel
The fact that you have left me,
Does not seem quite real.

If I could have one lifetime wish,
A dream that would come true,
I would pray to God with all my heart
For Yesterday and you.

I think of you in silence
And often speak your name,
But all that is left for an answer
Is a picture in a frame.

A million times I have wanted you,
A million times I have cried.
If love could have saved you,
You would never have died.

No farewells were spoken,
No time to say goodbye.
You were gone before I knew it,
And only God knows why.

It tears could build a stairway,
And heartaches make a lane,
I would walk my way to Heaven
And bring you home again.

Author - Unknown

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Henry (Calem's Opa) :: 10:49 AM :: 1 people are more aware

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

difficult times

It has been very difficult to post anything in the last couple of days .The feeling of sadness is
sometimes too overwhelming.I found this 2 poems wich describes exactly my feelings so I decided to share them with you .

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Henry (Calem's Opa) :: 4:55 PM :: 0 people are more aware

Monday, November 28, 2005

If I knew .......

If I knew it would be the last time
That I'd see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.

If I knew it would be the last time
I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word,
so I could play them back day after day.

If I knew it would be the last time,
I could spare an extra minute
to stop and say "I love you"
instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.

If I knew it would be the last time
I would be there to share your day,
well I'm sure you'll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.

For surely there's always tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance
to make everything just right.

There will always be another day
to say "I love you,"
and certainly there's another chance to say
our "anything I can do?"

But just in case I might be wrong
and today is all I get,
I'd like to say how much I love you
and I hope we never forget.

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance
you get to hold your loved one tight.

So if you're waiting for tomorrow
why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes
you'll surely regret the day,
that you didn't take that extra time
for a smile, a hug or a kiss
and you were too busy to grant someone,
what turned out to be their one last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today,
and whisper in their ear,
Tell them how much you love them
and that you'll always hold them dear.
Take time to say "I'm sorry,"
"Please forgive me," "Thank you," or
"it's okay."
And if tomorrow never comes
you'll have no regrets about today.

Author Unknown

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Henry (Calem's Opa) :: 3:28 PM :: 2 people are more aware

Friday, November 25, 2005

Early Lung Cancer Detection

Unfortunately, it seems that the fight for lung cancer is also the fight to stop smoking. This is because so often, people who smoke are the ones that get lung cancer. But, it is important for people to be aware that even non-smokers and people who never have touched a cigarette in their lives can get lung cancer. And if you do smoke, your chances of getting lung cancer will be greatly reduced if you quit. (If you are interested in quitting, a site I found out about in Self magazine is that will help you quit for under $10 - might be worth a look!)

Here are some signs for early dectection of lung cancer from Lung Cancer Support Community:

Common warning sign is a cough, which occurs when a tumor irritates the lining of the airways or blocks the passage of air.

In addition to a new cough, be alert for:

  • "Smoker's cough" that worsens
  • Coughing up blood, even a small amount
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • New onset of wheezing
  • Repeated bouts of pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Hoarseness that lasts more than 2 week

Lung cancer also may cause:

  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss.
  • If it has spread to other parts of your body (metastasized), you may have headaches or bone pain.
If you are a non-smoker, I strongly encourage you to request a lung cancer screening from your doctor. My sister, Laurianne, was a non-smoker and she was first diagnosed with pregnancy related asthma. It is very common for doctors to not diagnose lung cancer in non-smokers because of the stigma that it is a smoking disease. I know that every time I cough, I worry about this now, even though I never even experimented with cigarettes, just because of my sister. I probably will worry about this for the rest of my life.

With that said, I hope you all find that you are healthy and have a happy holidays! My dad will be posting again soon!

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Lynda :: 1:47 PM :: 2 people are more aware
Awareness Ribbons

Since my dad is away for Thanksgiving, I thought I would post something here for him.

Today my husband and I were crazy enough to venture out on the busiest shopping day of the year. I don't know how it happened, because we had planned to stay home, but it happened. We ventured into Target. Of course, Christmas stuff is out, and I was shopping for gifts. Shopping early for me!

Well, we pass by some ornaments and what do I see but Awareness Ribbons!! I am so excited. I can put one up for Laurianne. I go through them. All they have is Support Hurricane Katrina Victims (teal), Support our Troops (American flag-ish) and a Breast Cancer ribbon(pink). All proceeds went to the American Red Cross.

Afterwards, I felt dumb thinking they would have something for lung cancer. After all, why would Target sell a ribbon for the most misunderstood, underfunded and most common form of cancer?

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Lynda :: 1:40 PM :: 0 people are more aware

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

happy Thanksgiving

I wish all the people who read this blog a happy and blessed thanksgiving

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Henry (Calem's Opa) :: 9:44 AM :: 1 people are more aware

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

What Cancer Can Not Do

Cancer is so limited
It cannot cripple Love
It cannot shatter Hope
It cannot corrode Faith
It cannot destroy Peace
It cannot kill Friendship
It cannot suppress Memories
It cannot silence Courage
It cannot invade the Soul
It cannot steal eternal Life
It cannot conquer the Spirit


Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Lynda :: 8:12 AM :: 0 people are more aware

Monday, November 21, 2005

will the pain ever go away

Tomorrow it is already a month ago that Laurianne past away. It is hard to believe to never see or hear her again I t is like a bad dream and you expecting a call from New York every time the phone rings. The feeling of sadness and emotional pain is almost impossible to bear at times. It is very hard to concentrate on daily tasks and Iam glad to be off from work because I am very occupied with her death and it consumed a big part of my day.

They say time will heal but that is hard to understand right now. I hope that over time I will learn how to cope with the pain and that my life somehow will stabilize again.

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Henry (Calem's Opa) :: 10:14 PM :: 0 people are more aware

Friday, November 18, 2005

I was just wondering

A couple of days ago we got a phone call from somebody who happened to be a smoker.
She told us that it was impossible to quit because the nicotine patches were too expensive. When I went to the drug store today, I decided to take a look for myself.

The patches were anywhere in between $50 and $60 dollars. Nicotine gum was about $30. This was just a small package, and I found it very expensive too. I am wondering how much money got spend a year on smoking related illnesses. As a RN working in a hospital setting I know it is a lot of money. I was thinking if they could make it a little bit more affordable for everybody how much money could be saved on hospitalization due to smoking related illnesses. Especially now in a time that health insurance is almost unaffordable for a lot of Americans. I don"t know what the answer is but this is something I was just thinking about.

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Henry (Calem's Opa) :: 7:44 PM :: 1 people are more aware

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A small step forwards

Today my daughter sent me a link about women and non smoking lung cancer. It told the story of a woman in her 30's battling lung cancer.Two days ago there was a segment on ABC news about the same subject. It is my understanding that tomorow morning there will be a discussion on Good Morning America with Dana Reeves. I am delighted that so much education is given to the public this week especially since November is Lung Cancer Awareness month.

I was also delighted that a person I don't know commented on my blog. I wish him or her all the best and all I have to say to him or her is you can do it and I commend you for it. I remember when I tried to quit it took me a long time but in the long run I did it.

I hope the news will continue to pay attention to this severe epidemic called lung cancer because nobody deserves lung cancer.

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Henry (Calem's Opa) :: 7:32 PM :: 0 people are more aware
Third Thursday in November

Today we are celebrating the great american smokeout. It is traditionally the third weekend in November and it is going on for 29 years. I would love it for all of your smokers to give up smoking this day in memory of Laurianne. I know from experience that it is a hard habit to break. I quit smoking with much difficulty many decades ago, but was able to quit. Even if you could quit for half a day would be a great acomplishment. Thank you very much for reading my blog and help me celebrate this important day.

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Henry (Calem's Opa) :: 9:42 AM :: 1 people are more aware

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

tis the season to be jolly

With just over a week for thanksgiving and the traditional start of the holiday season I was thinking maybe we should skip the whole season this year. Sometimes you feel so overwhelmed with grieve that you yhink you never gonna celebrate, or sometimes you doubt if you even can be happy again in this lifetime. Even with the sun shining and experiencing 80 degrees here in California the whole world looks very somber and dark at this time to me.

But then when I walked today in Michael's old bedroom and I saw all the presents Laurianne bought just 3 weeks before she died, I felt very selfish. I remembered Laurianne always said "I want it to be the best christmas ever". I should really try to make the best of it even if it is for the people around me and especially for Calem, of course. Iam pretty sure that's what Laurianne wants from me too. And even if I am not in the holiday spirit this year, I should make the best for all the people who are close to me. Of course the best christmas present this year would be if the guardianship for Calem comes through the way Laurianne and us wanted it to be.

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Henry (Calem's Opa) :: 11:01 AM :: 4 people are more aware

Sunday, November 13, 2005

What do you mean, she never smoked?

First, you get a shocker diagnosis and then you get treated like a leper. Or, worse, like a smoker.

That can compel a sick person to shout all the way to Sacramento, like Nancy Michener of Pasadena, who has terminal lung cancer and calls herself a "never-smoker." In July, Nancy proposed that the governor proclaim November as Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

There are as many disease months as there are disease awareness bracelets. Proclamations are routine and rarely even make the news. But to people with a nightmarish condition an official word from the top is an important recognition that could shake loose more research money and might also educate people who are at risk and don't know it.

Nancy, who belongs to the Lung Cancer Alliance, a national advocacy group for patients, wrote a draft proclamation focusing on the often ignored fact about lung cancer - namely, that you don't have to be a smoker to get it.

After much correspondence with Sacramento, Nancy learned the proclamation was a go: On Nov. 1, Gov. Schwarzenegger declared November as Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

But the crucial awareness that Nancy included in her version was missing.

"The focus of the proclamation is on smoking," she says. "Nothing at all about screening, nothing about the majority of people diagnosed not being current smokers, nothing at all about compassion for people living with lung cancer, nothing at all about research on this disease being severely underfunded."

It ignored what Nancy - a bike-riding, tennis-playing, asymptomatic 44-year-old nonsmoker - discovered more than five years ago: Anyone can get lung cancer.

The governor's proclamation does mention that "a small percentage of deaths can also be attributed to secondhand smoke, asbestos or radon exposure," but the main message is on preventing tobacco use. A spokesperson for the governor said she sees no problem with the proclamation and the wording will stand.

Few would want to be in the position of saying "thanks, but no thanks" to the governor, but that's what happened earlier this month when 200 people gathered at a cancer survivors' park in Santa Rosa.

Joyce Neifert called the proclamation "misleading and damaging." Her husband, Steve, died of lung cancer last month, but his diagnosis was delayed because "once he told doctors he never smoked, they crossed lung cancer off the list."

Laurianne Kooning, a 25-year-old new mother whose doctors first thought she had asthma or pneumonia, died last month of lung cancer. She was a swimmer, never smoked and grew up in a tobacco-free home.

Why did they get lung cancer? Why did Dana Reeve, the widow of actor Christopher Reeve who never smoked, get lung cancer? Why did my mother-in-law, Eloise Klose, who never smoked, die of lung cancer?

Thanks to effective anti-tobacco campaigns, we all recognize the connection between smoking and lung cancer. But why do some people smoke for decades and live unscathed and some adolescent smokers get zapped at middle age? Why are 60 percent of new lung cancer cases in people who no longer smoke - including many who gave it up long ago - and 15 percent in people who never touched tobacco? Why are women two to three times more vulnerable than men? Why are more young women than ever before getting lung cancer?

Could it be hormones, air pollution, diet or something else? Are we missing a crucial link between lung cancer in the smoker and nonsmoker that has nothing to do with tobacco? If we only keep blowing smoke, we may never have the answers.

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Lynda :: 5:07 PM :: 0 people are more aware

Saturday, November 12, 2005

It is hard to believe

That 3 weeks ago Laurianne was still alive.Who would have guessed that she would leave us forever that saturday night. I am still thankful for all the firemen paramedics and doctors to try to save her live. In the last weeks after her brain surgery she let us know that she was very afraid of severs suffering and possible getting on hospice. We really don't know if people know when it is the end of their life. Significant is that she had done all her christmas shopping for Calem. I relive that horrible saturday night many times. Every time I her a siren of a ambulance I had the picture in my head following the ambulance with the sirens on to the hospital. I am personally happy that Laurianne did not have the suffering what she was fearing so much. I can live with the fact that she is in a place where there is no illnes seizures or pain. I hope her death at an early age is not for nothing and that her story can be used to bring awareness to lung cancer. That it is not a disease to punish smokers, but that it also happpens a lot to non smokers, especially non smoking women. I hope that we who stay behind are able to cope with this inmense loss.

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Henry (Calem's Opa) :: 11:36 AM :: 0 people are more aware

Friday, November 11, 2005

deja vu

First Lynda I want to thank you for your poem broken chain. I know it is very painful if the chain is broken and it almost feel it is unrepairable but I also think a smaller chain will be stronger.

This week has been the first week that we are with the 3 of us. I titled it deja vu because we doing the same thing as 30 years ago. Yesterday we went to target for nipples for Calem'bs ottles, and currently we are looking for a new stroller. Laurianne researched a lot of this and of course we gonna try to honor her wishes. It was a strange week with a lot of emptyness. Today I took Calem for a walk in his bigger jogging stroller. He finally fit in it. I know that Laurianne could not wait for Calem to fit in it. I am really regretting it that she is not here anymore to enjoy it. It is also strangely quiet in the house with no more Kaiser appointments. But well one of these days we might get accustomed to it.

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Henry (Calem's Opa) :: 7:38 PM :: 0 people are more aware
The Broken Chain

We little knew that day,
God was going to call your name.
In life we loved you dearly,
In death, we do the same.

It broke our hearts to lose you.
You did not go alone.
For part of us went with you,
The day God called you home.

You left us beautiful memories,
Your love is still our guide.
And although we cannot see you,
You are always at our side.

Our family chain is broken,
And nothing seems the same,
But as God calls us one by one,
The chain will link again.
~Author Unknown~

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Lynda :: 4:48 PM :: 0 people are more aware

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Great News

Today we received a phone call from a representative from th eAmerican Lung association that
they are gonna use Laurianne story for their fund raising on a national level I hope her story is coming out and that it will help with fund raising efforts and that the money can be used for research and other good causes .I want to thank my daughter Lynda for working so hard to bring Laurianne story out on that shine a light for lung cancer.Iam very proud of you and I admire your writing skills
.I hope that Laurianne story will not be for nothing and that it will bring awareness especially to lung cancer,because I think nobody deserves lung cancer or any other cancer for that matter

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Henry (Calem's Opa) :: 9:06 PM :: 0 people are more aware
Just a thought

Today while reading the news I came across this article.

I was thinking if all people who are affected by lung cancer would go to DC
what message would it send to our goverment ?.Of cause HIV is also a severe health issue we are facing today.But being it a fairly new disease a lot of progress had been made in the last 20 year.The survivability of HIV and AIDS has been significantly improved.Iam sure part of it is because a lot of people rallied for research on the disease and possible treatments.And my feelings are good for them.But in the meantime we are facing an other severe health problem which happens to be under
funded as well wich is called lung cancer.So I was thinking if all of us affected by lung cancer go to Washington and raise cane what would happen with funding for research for lung cancer

Just a thought

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Henry (Calem's Opa) :: 7:49 PM :: 0 people are more aware
Support Increased Funding for Lung Cancer Research

WALC has a petition to help make politicians realize the danger of lung cancer. Lung cancer is more common in women, but it can affect men as well. Not only can men get lung cancer, but they may have a wife, mother, sister or daughter who can be afflicted by this disease. This disease isn't just for smokers and those who live and work in a second-hand smoke environment. My sister was one of the 10-15% who can be afflicted without ever having smoked or living with smokers.

Please share this link with the people in your email address book and ask them to sign the petition today! This is a very important issue. Lung cancer is severely underfunded and without proper funding, we will not find a cure.

From the petition website:

Dear Mr. President, Senators and Representatives:

It is a little known and much ignored fact that LUNG CANCER kills more women in the United States of America each year than any other cancer. Over 160,000 Americans will die this year from lung cancer and nearly 70,000 of those will be our mothers, sisters and daughters. To put this in perspective, lung cancer will be responsible for more deaths than breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and uterine cancer combined.

Women Against Lung Cancer is a unique non-profit organization of leading scientists, physicians, nurses and advocates dedicated to DECREASING DEATHS DUE TO LUNG CANCER, AND HELPING PATIENTS LIVE LONGER AND BETTER, THROUGH RESEARCH, AWARENESS AND ADVOCACY. As our country's representatives and leaders, we need your help to increase awareness of, improve education about, and support research funding for this disease. A marked increase in research funding specifically for LUNG CANCER is urgently needed. As you know, improvements in survival will only come through increased research. We believe that an up-front investment of research dollars is critical to raise awareness and increase research efforts to at least the level of achievement currently being expended on other common types of cancer.

Signed,Women Against Lung Cancer and the People of America whose lives have been changed forever by LUNG CANCER

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Lynda :: 11:57 AM :: 1 people are more aware

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I would give up 15 years of my life

to see your blue eyes one more time
to cook spaghetti for you the way you like it
for you to enjoy your baby son alittle longer
to hear you sing to Calem
to tuck you in at bedtime the way you liked in the last week of your life
To go to starbucks on friday and to go for a thai lunch
to see the look on your face after I showed Calem to you for the first time
to hear you say "daddy I really love you" like you did in the last weeks of your live
to go to Safeway and buy you your favorite snapppels
just to be with you for a couple more hours
To tell you how much I love you and how much meaning you had in my life
to see you finish your schooling for sign languance intepreter

I would give up the rest of my life
if you were healthy and were able to raise your child to adulthood
If you never had lung cancer in your life

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Henry (Calem's Opa) :: 7:39 PM :: 4 people are more aware
Cancer Research Funding

National Cancer Institute (NCI): In 1971, President Nixon and Congress declared a War on Cancer. At that time, lung cancer was the leading cause of cancer death—it still is today. Funding for NCI grew from $400 million per year in 1971 to $4.78 billion in 2005. Most major cancers have benefited with increasingly high five-year survival rates.

The underfunding of lung cancer research has kept its survival rate almost as low as it was in 1971.

Department of Defense (DOD): In 1992, Congress started funding cancer research programs at DOD. From 1992 to 2004, DOD funding for breast cancer research totaled $1.66 billion. An additional $150 million has been appropriated for 2005. Prostate cancer research totaled $565 million from 1997-2004. Another $85 million has been appropriated for 2005.

Lung cancer research received only $33 million from 1999 to 2004, with just $2.1 million appropriated for 2005.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
Congress also earmarks funding within CDC for specific cancers. The 2005 budget includes $204 million for breast and cervical cancer research, $14 million for prostate cancer research, and $14.6 million for colon cancer research.

The 2005 budget includes $0 for lung cancer research.

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Henry (Calem's Opa) :: 1:31 PM :: 0 people are more aware

Monday, November 07, 2005

Lung cancer facts

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer in the United States
Lung cancer causes 30% of all cancer deaths
Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer among Caucasians African Americans Asians and Hispanic males
Lung cancer will kill more people this year than
  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • colon cancer
  • liver cancer
  • kidney cancer
  • melanoma combined
Lung cancer will kill three times as many men as prostate cancer this year
Lung cancer will killnearly twice as many women as breast cancer this year
Over 50% of new lung cancer will be diagnosed at a very late stage; only 5% will live for 5 years
Myth: after you stop smoking your lungs go back tonormal in 10 years
Truth: the lungs never go back to normal.Mostformer smokers remain at a elevated riskl
Current smokers 35-40% of new lung cancer cases
Former smokers 50% of new lung cancer cases
Never smoked 10-15 % of new lung cancer cases
more statistics later

(Taken from: The Lung Cancer Alliance)

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Henry (Calem's Opa) :: 7:26 PM :: 2 people are more aware

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Lungcancer sucks

the idea of a blog came up in me along time ago .I really enjoy the blog of my oldest daughter Lynda .Iam not a writer but feel the need to express myself via this blog.It will be about my youngest daughter who passed away from complications of lungcancer .I would also like to bring awareness to lungcancer since it is the most underfunded illness of all cancers .I also hope it will help me with the intense sadness Iam experiencing now.Iwill do this with the help of my daughter Lynda who is a experienced blogger.this is all so far.I hope to write soon again

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Henry (Calem's Opa) :: 7:37 PM :: 0 people are more aware
Laurianne's Story

Although this blog is mostly for my dad to share information about my sister and lung cancer, I wanted to share her story with you. Last names have been omitted. I gave this speech on November 4th at the Cancer Survivor Park in Santa Rosa, CA for Shine a Little Light on Lung Cancer. My sister was debating speaking at this event before she died. I decided to write and deliver a speech in her memory. My dad and nephew were on the stage with me. People from Washington D.C. were supposed to be in attendance, so I hope I impressed them as well.

My name is Lynda, and I am standing here with my father, Henry, and my sister’s 5 month old son Calem. My sister, Laurianne, called me just 2 weeks ago to tell me about the Shine a Light on Lung Cancer event. She was debating whether or not she should speak about her experience with lung cancer. Unfortunately, the following day, October 22, my sister died due to complications of the disease. I am here today to be her voice.

My sister grew up in a non-smoking household. She lived a short time in New York, but did not work or live in a smoking environment. Laurianne was an avid swimmer and would swim several miles at a time. In November 2004, she told me she was pregnant with my nephew, Calem. Just one month after that, she was diagnosed with pregnancy-related asthma.

Laurianne’s asthma got so bad she could no longer walk a city block without losing her breath. Since she was going to be a single mom, my parents convinced her to move back home to California so they could help her out until the baby was born. In May, she was diagnosed with pneumonia and was hospitalized for a week.

Due to her increased breathing difficulties, and because her baby could be delivered safely, they began to induce labor June 3rd. On June 5th, Calem was born by cesarean. He was very healthy. Unlike most mothers who can immediately take care of their babies, however, Laurianne was tested to see why she couldn’t breath. One day after Calem was born, they diagnosed that her right lung had collapsed. They rushed her to ICU and put a chest tube in her side to reinflate her lung. Two days after Calem was born, my sister was diagnosed with lung cancer. It was later determined the cancer was mucinous adenocarinoma (ah-den-o-car-sin-o-ma), a rare form of lung cancer for non-smokers. I remember calling my mom to see how my sister was doing, and hearing Laurianne sob because she just wanted to be with her baby. After six days of testing and limited visits with her newborn, she was finally released from the hospital.

Laurianne had been looking forward to breast feeding her baby, but due to the chemotherapy she only was able to breast feed for a short time. My husband and I came from Indianapolis to visit my sister in August. She was very tired but very positive. She was trying to pump milk because she was convinced that after her chemotherapy her tumor would be gone, and then she would be able to breast feed again. Laurianne never lost her sense of humor or positive attitude. Since she loved chocolate cake, she joked with us that the doctors were wrong and she really just had a piece of chocolate cake lodged in her lung. And she already was trying to help promote lung cancer awareness and how it could affect anyone, even a non-smoking, 25-year-old single mom.

In September, my sister was planning on attending an event to make people aware of lung cancer. Laurianne also began suffering from dizziness and headaches. The Friday before one of her cancer events, my mom convinced Laurianne to go out with a friend for a Girls Night Out and not talk cancer or Calem. Her life had been revolving around these two things and she needed time for herself. When Laurianne returned home with her friend, she suffered from severe dizziness, a massive headache and vomiting. My dad, a registered nurse, recognized something more was going on and took her to the emergency room. The doctors were not sure what was going on with her. They told her they wanted to admit her to the hospital, but they could not begin testing until Monday. She convinced her doctors not to have her sit around all weekend, because she would miss her event and an opportunity to share her story about lung cancer. That Monday, September 19th, Laurianne found out she had a brain tumor that was spread by the lung tumor. On Tuesday, September 20, we almost lost my sister because she began having seizures related to the brain tumor. They operated on her, and the brain tumor was successfully removed. Laurianne was to undergo radiation to make sure the tumor did not return which is standard procedure. I am very grateful to the doctors that helped perform this operation on my sister, because it gave us one more precious month to have her in our lives.

On October 22, Laurianne went to a doctor friend’s house for dinner, accompanied by my parents and her son. She was in the doorway when she collapsed. Her friend quickly began CPR and 911 was called. Laurianne died from complications of her illness on the way to the hospital. I will never forget my mom’s voice when she phoned me with the news my sister had died.

There is a stigma that lung cancer only affects smokers. No one in my family is a smoker. My 25-year-old sister never lived with smokers. Yet, because of lung cancer my brother and I no longer have our sister. Because of lung cancer, my parents no longer have their youngest daughter. Because of lung cancer, my nephew is going to grow up without his mom in his life. Stories, pictures and videos can not replace his mother for him. I stand before you today as a voice for my sister, Laurianne, and I ask you to help find a cure for lung cancer so that other families will not have to suffer loss, the way my family is suffering because Laurianne is no longer in our lives.

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Lynda :: 10:14 AM :: 12 people are more aware