LUNG FORCE Heroes
On December 17, 2003, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 NSCLC. I had 2/3 of my RIGHT lung removed and over the next 6 months received radiation and chemo. I had all the side effects and was told I still only had a 5-15% chance of survival. I never had a single symptom of lung cancer. I went to the doctor for a muscle ache in my LEFT upper back! During the recovery, the WORST part was hearing "Oh you are a smoker!" What did that comment mean? Did it mean I deserve to have lung cancer and perhaps die? At first it depressed me to hear this, and then I just got angry. So I was going to beat this just to spite those people. And survive I did!!! On December 17, 2013 me and my family celebrated 10 years of survival for all of us. Then on December 26, 2014 I was AGAIN diagnosed with a different type of NSCLC in the 1/3 of the lung I had left on the right side. I was told it was TOTALLY unrelated to the first. It was caught early because this time I had symptoms and I recognized them because I had read all I could to educate myself. Surgery was not an option because of the risk due to damage from the first time. So I had SBRT Radiation. The side effects were minimal and I was back to work 2 days after the 5 day treatment. I am 1 1/2 years out. Still going to the doctor every 6 months, and again waiting for him to say come back in a year.
And still hearing "Oh did you smoke?" When I am asked that question now I just reply "DOES IT MATTER?"
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®