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LUNG FORCE Heroes

Joyce E

My name is Joyce and I am a lung cancer survivor. I was diagnosed four year after I had quit smoking. Here is my story.

Oddly enough, I was working in the operating room and was having a dry hacky cough when I was talking to the anesthesiologist. He suggested that I get a chest x-ray to rule out cancer even though I had quit smoking four years prior. Sure enough, I was diagnosed with non-stage 3 lung cancer. My primary doctor sent me to an oncologist and hematologist for evaluation and treatment. I had a portacath inserted for ease of chemotherapy infusion which I received several times a week for four months. I received support from friends and family. They provided me with inspirational books. They took me to the treatment center and assisted me in choosing wigs when my hair fell out. Last but not least, support and prayers helped me through this time. Last year, I had four jobs, all of which I had to resign due to memory difficulty. As a nurse for many years, I pride myself on doing excellent work, provided excellent care and good relationships with co-workers and patients. I reached a point where I needed to stop working for fear that I might make a mistake and or harm a patient. Not being a home body, I became restless and bored. I refrained myself from spending money unless necessary. From advice of friends, they suggested that I do some volunteer work. What better place to volunteer that the American Lung Association. Maybe in some way my story will help others. One last thing. If you smoke, stop, and if you don't smoke, don't start. Life is too short to waste; not to mention the cost of cigarettes and medical care. I am honored to share my story in hopes of giving others inspiration.

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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.

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