Meet Jackie (a participant in the new Lahey Clinic Portraits of Inspiration wall I am working on), who has been battling carcinoid for 23 years. Here is her photo and and incredible story:
With our feet on the floor
Just like my mother, who survived from 1967 to 1975 with carcinoid, I put my feet on the floor every day. As her caregiver, I lived through her story daily.
After my diagnosis, I continued to work every day for twenty years as an account manager for a paper manufacturer until 2006. That’s when my co-workers, seeing my increasingly difficult struggle against pain and fatigue, said gently, “Jacklyn, it’s time to go.” I loved the teamwork of that job — in the office and with clients all over the country and abroad — and cried when I left.
When I see healthy, laughing people, I wish I could be as healthy and carefree as they are. Yet whenever I do smile, in that moment I too feel healthier and more carefree.
Now, in my twenty-third year of survival, I know that sharing stories with other patients helps me to fight both medically and mentally. When we share our experiences and feelings, we gain insights into each other’s mental being. We smile, put our feet on the floor, and keep on going with every ounce of our bodies — together.
Diagnosis: carcinoid at age 49
Date of diagnosis: 1986