Living and Working with Lung Cancer: Balancing Treatment and Daily Life

My Life With Inoperable Lung Cancer A Day-to-Day Journey

My Life with Inoperable Lung Cancer A Day’s Journey

By Amy McMillin, as told to Kendall Morgan


Finding out that I had lung cancer was a real curveball. But even though my life has been turned upside down, I’ve managed to keep everything under control and continue working full time. Thanks to the support of my family and some adjustments to my routine, I’m finding a way to maintain a sense of normalcy amidst the chaos.

The Power of Support

I’m fortunate to have a fantastic support system both at home and at work. With my oldest in college and my youngest able to drive, my mornings are a little less hectic, which is a relief since fatigue is one of the major side effects of my treatment. Plus, having my mother-in-law nearby is a true godsend. She not only helps with deep cleaning our home once a month but is always there for anything else we might need.

Adapting to Work

Working from home has been a blessing. It has allowed me to have the flexibility I need to deal with the ups and downs of my treatment. I approached my supervisor when I was diagnosed, and together we worked out a schedule that allowed me to rest whenever I was in pain or not feeling well. And let me tell you, a quick power nap at lunchtime can do wonders for getting through the day!

Organizing for Success

With a memory that’s not as sharp as it used to be, staying organized is crucial. I rely on a large desktop calendar, to-do lists, and other organizational tools to keep me on track. These tools help me pick up where I left off the day before and stay focused on what needs to be done next. It’s all about adapting and finding ways to work smarter, not harder.

The Art of Medication Management

One thing that has been a whole new world for me since my diagnosis is medication management. The targeted medicine I take for my specific type of lung cancer has a strict regimen. Two pills, twice a day, precisely 12 hours apart, and I can’t eat for two hours before or one hour after taking them. It took some trial and error, but I finally found a schedule that fits our family’s routine.

Juggling Doctor Visits

Before my diagnosis, I only saw my primary care doctor once a year, if that. Now, it feels like I’m at a doctor’s office all the time. Besides my monthly checkups with my local doctor to manage the side effects of my medication, I also have to travel to a specialty hospital every three months for scans. My oncology and cardiology teams are always there to keep an eye on my progress and address any issues that arise. It’s a lot to manage, but I’ve learned to navigate it all.

Embracing Normalcy

Finding a way to maintain a sense of normalcy in my life, despite all the challenges, has been crucial for my mental well-being. Both for me and my family, it’s important to keep moving forward and not let cancer define us. I still have so much to give to my loved ones and friends, and I won’t let anything hold me back. Some days are tough, but having a solid support system and trusting my team of doctors makes all the difference. And remember, even on the hardest days, just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep on fighting.


Living and working with lung cancer is no easy feat, but with the right support and a positive mindset, it is possible to find a balance. Lean on your loved ones, trust your medical team, and keep moving forward. Life is a dance, and sometimes you have to keep grooving despite the challenges. So, let’s keep fighting and making the most out of every step.

About the Author: Amy McMillin is a lung cancer survivor who is determined to live life to the fullest. With her sharp wit and contagious positive attitude, she inspires others to find strength and embrace each day. She frequently shares her journey on social media, spreading hope and laughter to those who need it most. Connect with Amy and join her in the fight against cancer.