LUNG FORCE Heroes
I am a stage 4 lung cancer survivor for 6 years now. I have never smoked.
November is Lung Cancer Awareness month. It is the number one killer of women but yet the least funded. The survival rate is 17.9% compared to almost 90% for breast cancer. I believe the reason is not only funding, but awareness. I went 6 months of being misdiagnosed because I never smoked. All you need to get lung cancer is lungs.
I've been through hell and back with chemotherapy, radiation, chemo pills, horrible side effects, etc. but somehow, I manage to keep on going. I work two jobs to be able to afford this disease and the high cost of health insurance that goes with it. I also help raise three of my grandchildren, as my daughter is a single mom. In the next few weeks I will be going back for round three of radiation with the hope of zapping a tumor that has doubled in size.
With the exception of my bald head, you would not know that there is anything wrong with me because I don't look sick. I get IV fluids several times a month to keep me going. And...there is NOTHING wrong with being bald!
Six years ago I was given one year to live by two different oncology doctors. As you can see, that didn't work for me. I will do anything I can to raise awareness. What can you do to help me?
First published: October 19, 2016
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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.