LUNG FORCE Heroes
My story began in March of 2016. Durning routine physical, suspicion led to an immediate mammogram, ultrasound and a three-dimensional mammogram. My cancer presented as breast cancer initially. A second opinion then suggested lung cancer and/or both.
I was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and was considered grave. I began chemotherapy, however, in my heart I believed there was more to beating this. I began walking every day, as much as nine miles a day. I continued with chemo, but researched my cancer and began to know my body. I looked into integrative treatments and integrative oncology supplements.
My thoughts were to treat the body as a whole and not just the disease. My doctor was in complete support of any integrative treatments or supplements and shared my belief system. Having your doctor on board with integrative and comtemporary treatments is crucial in your care. After six chemo treatments I developed pneumonitis. Eight weeks of steroids and it was gone, but no more chemo. We than started optivo due to my not having treatments in between, but only made it to three treatments. Pneumonitis had returned.
All through months of chemo my numbers continued to go down to almost normal. My lifestyle had changed to eating more organic and healthy which helped to refuel my body after chemo as well. Given metastatic disease had been clear for months, surgery was an option. I had surgery almost a year to the day of my diagnosis. One lymph node was tested and clear, and my lobe of my right upper lung was removed and tested. Both benign.
I am blessed to be cancer free and in remission. My belief system of integrating contemporary and intagrative therapies and organic eating is a true testament to my being cancer free and in remission. After surgery we asked my doctors how long they would have given me. Their response was a few months a year at best. I've chosen to support LUNG FORCE and walk and participate in the fundraising to raise awareness about lung cancer and other lung diseases. I believe one warrior's voice can help to produce more lung disease warriors and free them from lung disease through research.
More women die of lung cancer every year, and yet more funding and research goes to other cancer organizations. Let's all work together to find a cure! I have watched friends and family struggle with asthma which seems like all these years I've watched, and there is never any thing new except inhalers.
First published: June 13, 2017
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Hero stories are the point of view of the Hero and not necessarily the American Lung Association. The Lung Association does not endorse any specific provider, facility or treatment.