Middletown Woman Hopes Her Battle with Stage 4 Lung Cancer Helps Educate Others
(December 8, 2014)
(East Hartford, CT)— When Patricia Ghezzi, of Middletown, CT, experienced a pain in her shoulder, she wasn’t expecting her doctor to tell her she had Stage 4 lung cancer. After, a misdiagnosis of fibromyalgia and a plethora of doctor and emergency room visits, Ghezzi’s health is stable and she hopes her experience will help others educate themselves about lung cancer.
With the pain in her shoulder, Ghezzi said it took many trips to various doctors before she was treated for fibromyalgia. But after seeing her doctors about her blurry vision, Ghezzi was given an MRI, where he found spots on her brain. “I was driving back to work and they called me and asked me to come back to the office. I told them no, but they begged me to. I knew then that something was wrong,” Ghezzi said.
When Ghezzi shares her battle with lung cancer, the pain she endured is evident as she fought back tears remembering years of feeling helpless. “I was just a puddle of a person. I remember asking the doctor if I was going to live,” Ghezzi said.
“Patricia has a tremendous amount of strength. The Lung Association needs people like Patricia to be a source of hope for others who share her experience,” said Jeff Seyler, CEO and President of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. November is Lung Cancer Awareness month, we are dedicated to spreading our mission through various programs and educational tools. Nobody deserves to face the hardships of lung cancer.”
After several procedures and chemotherapy Ghezzi says her tumors have decreased and her health is steadily improving. “I’m grateful that I can take my medication and keep my cancer under control. I want to ride this thing out as long as I can,” Ghezzi said.
Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer of women. Yet, the disease is not even on women’s radar, according to the American Lung Association’s inaugural Women’s Lung Health Barometer — a survey that measured women’s awareness, knowledge and perceptions about lung cancer. When asked to identify cancers that affect women, only 1 percent cited lung cancer on a top-of-mind basis.
Ghezzi is now dedicated to educating others about the reality that smoker’s aren’t the only people who are susceptible to lung cancer. “I don’t want people to be scared. But, you have to be aware of your body, and insist on testing from your doctors,” Ghezzi said.