Location Select your location

LUNG FORCE
 
  • Share this page:

LUNG FORCE Heroes

Christopher F

On September 11, 2014 I got a call from my primary care doctor telling me the results of a biopsy of a lymph node in my neck showed lung cancer. Lung cancer?! How is this possible? I am (was) 39 and had quit smoking five years earlier and felt totally 100% healthy. I had my hands full with a 1 year old and felt like I could run a marathon if inclined. Nonetheless what followed was a battery of tests, meetings with an oncologist, and an full investigation into what exactly was going on here. The fact I felt fine was puzzling to my doctor but soon enough we would have our answer. Yes I had lung cancer, yes it was stage IV but it's presentation was an anomaly.

I have what is called "lymph node only lung cancer". What this specifically means is that my cancer is non-small cell lung cancer but I have no tumors or sign of it in my lungs whatsoever. It's completely confined to the lymph nodes in my chest (most, if not all of them) and neck. My doctor has only seen this presentation in two other patients over the course of his 8+ years in the field. After doing genetic testing on my cancer (which came back as a HER2 mutation, also incredibly rare in lung cancer) a treatment plan was put in place. Six rounds of chemo (cisplatin, avastin, and alimta) were prescribed every three weeks. Followed by 35 sessions of intense, broad field radiation to my chest and neck.

Thankfully my cancer is incredibly sensitive to treatment and I am currently NED. I still have maintenance chemo every 4 weeks (hoping to get to every 6 weeks eventually). However I feel incredibly lucky and now want to share my story with the hope that it will in some way, any way, help others. Whether that is to stop smoking (or not ever start), or to get scanned as a means of getting an early diagnosis, or simply to give others hope that it is possible to live and thrive with this horrible disease. Organizations like the American Lung Association and LUNG FORCE are a huge part of that and your gifts of money and/or time are instrumental in making sure that new treatments are researched and awareness to our cause is spread. Thank you to everyone that supports my fellow survivors. Together I am confident we can and will make dying from lung cancer a rarity rather than the norm.

  Share this story:
 
Tell your story View all stories Donate

American Lung Association is solely responsible for content.

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.

Support for Share Your Voice provided by Cancer Treatment Centers of America®

About LUNG FORCE

Donate to LUNG FORCE

Get Involved

LUNG FORCE Heroes

Events Near Me

Lung Health Barometer

Media

Sponsors & Supporters

Shop LUNG FORCE

Sign up for updates

Get the latest news and information on the fight against lung cancer and for lung health.

Ask An Expert

Questions about your lung health? Need help finding healthcare? Call 1-800-LUNGUSA.

Get help
We need your generous support

Make a difference by delivering research, education and advocacy to those impacted by lung disease.

What is LUNG FORCE?

LUNG FORCE unites women and their loved ones across the country to stand together in the fight against lung cancer.

Get involved
Join the fight for healthy lungs and healthy air.
Donate Now.