Week 52: one year anniversary!

Written by Lars Haakon Soraas

So, we have come to week 52 in the war on cancer. One year since we started regarding this as a war. A year and five months since we got the diagnosis (March 2015). One year since we really understood the following important points:

  1. Beating stage IV lung cancer is, despite the defeatist attitude of most oncologists, not impossible
  2. You will not beat stage IV lung cancer by following the “standard protocol” offered by most public hospitals in the Western world. Hence, if you want to survive, you need to take some action on your own.
  3. Lung cancer is a monster and it will not be beaten by tiny measures (e.g. taking some supplement, exercising a bit more). To beat the monster, an all out comprehensive war plan, incorporating multiple and coordinated treatments, is necessary.

We have gotten a lot of help from many people, including several outstanding doctors, this last year. Without the help from all these people, we would not have been able to do everything we have done. We wish we would have gotten more help from Norway’s public health system, but we have come to realize they are busy with infighting, restructuring and reorganizations. It doesn’t help that they completely lack any incentives to help us either.

We do realize, of course, that fighting this war comes with no guarantees. Even if we make, and implement, the best of plans, there is no guarantee that we will be successful. Like the soldiers who landed in Normandy in 1944: they did not know whether they would survive, and they did not know whether the Allies would eventually win the Second World War. But they did nevertheless land on those beaches and fought to the best of their abilities, and their efforts and sacrifice were ultimately rewarded with success. And so we hope that our efforts, the fight we put up to the best of our abilities, will be rewarded with success. And for all the support we are getting from countless of people in this battle, we will be forever grateful.

So to this week’s update:

  • Dyanne did a CT and MRI this week. We will get the results tomorrow. We are crossing our fingers and hoping for good news.
  • Dyanne has been in good shape pretty much all week.
  • On Wednesday, Dyanne flew to Frankfurt and on Thursday she got a new vaccine injection. As the coughing and itching in her lungs have disappeared, she also got another injection of low dose nivolumab.
  • I was in Arendal, a small city in Southern Norway, to participate in a meeting about health and communications. I represented legelisten.no, so was not directly related to our cancer journey. For anyone interested in seeing the meeting, here it is.
  • We have also been interviewed by CancerCommons.org, a US based NGO supporting cancer patients. In the interview we were also asked what advice we would give newly diagnosed cancer patients. The interview can be read here.

In other news, Naomi slept over at a friend’s place for the first time this week. The girl, Saga, is in Naomi’s kindergarden and she is also our neighbour. They slept in separate rooms, which worked a lot better than sleeping in the same room (which we have tried earlier). Naomi apparently very much enjoyed her holiday away from us 🙂 Thank you Kari and Kjetil!

Thanks to everyone who has helped us with so many different things in the last year. It has been of tremendous help and we look forward to getting your help also in the coming years! 🙂

Kari, Saga and Naomi drinking milk and reading

Saga and Naomi walking to kindergarden

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