There is a Lung Force Walk taking place on Saturday, May 9th in Seattle! I have decided to participate! If anyone is interested in attending with me it would be so groovy!
I was so blessed to be gifted a scholarship to attend the Lung Expo conference in Renton, Washington!
There were two types of participants. There were professionals and patients. I was placed with the patients. However I arrived early enough that I humbly asked if I could stand in the back of the room and listen to the speaker at the presentation for professionals. It was a doctor and he spoke in words that I did not understand so I hope I am sharing this correctly. What stood out for me is that there is a percentage of people who get a false positive result for cancer, undergo treatment then get cancer as a result of the treatment. That scared me however this doctor provided participants the information they could use to decrease the number of false positives. That made me happy especially because there appeared to be a great sense of urgency in his voice.
The second presenter for the professionals was a nurse in charge of making the process of people who are diagnosed with cancer as comfortable as possible with the emphasis on diminishing the anxiety and fear individuals must experience when receiving the diagnosis. She shared an example of a patient who came in very scared the first time– I imagine a deer in head lights type of look but came to her second appointment with a big smile on her face and full of hope! She shared many resources with folks mostly in the Seattle area.
The patient presentations were also very impactful for many reasons.
First I found myself in a room full of beautiful individuals (maybe 30) and the majority of them I am sad to say they were on oxygen tanks. One beautiful lady struggled with every breath as her friend carried her oxygen tank for her. Still she had a smile on her face as she shared with me how important it is not to give up and stay positive. I cried on the way home.
A doctor presented in the patient track and I learned how to better explain the process of how COPD comes to be. I have added it to my Mindful Smoking© presentation. But the bottom line if you want to know what COPD feels like she suggested we try breathing through a coffee stirrer type straw and that is what it feels like.
One of the Mindful Smoking© Practices is just that – replace one cigarette with breathing through a coffee stirrer. The effects of using tobacco are so subtle that many people don’t know they are in hot water until they are. And many times it is too late. I have many clients ask can I undo the harm I’ve done.
Up until a point yes but once we have crossed the line into COPD we can’t undo it but we can keep it from worsening stated the doctor.
Another presenter spoke about the importance of nutrition and exercise to increase quality of life.
The patients spoke about the stigma that comes with getting a Lung Cancer diagnosis vs. a Breast Cancer diagnosis or diagnosis for other types of cancer. The attitude is that people with a lung cancer diagnosis did it to themselves even if it was caused by second hand smoke or not related to using tobacco at all. It’s scary enough to get a diagnosis like that but to have the world frown on you on top of it – well it’s plain wrong. Like I said – I cried on the way home thinking of the people I met and my kids’ Grandma Julie – bless her heart who we all witness pass away in her den. She was one of the coolest, grooviest people I had the pleasure to know!!! We miss her so much. I felt powerless – like what can I do? And that is why I decided to participate in the Lung Force Walk!!! I can fit up to four people in my car – three comfortably!!! Please let me know if you are interested!!!
BA, CADC1, Recovery Coach, President Chemical Dependency Training Consortium of the Northwest
Creator of Mindful Smoking©