LUNG FORCE Heroes
In the summer of 2011 a lesion was discovered in my right lung. A CT scan had been performed as I was experiencing shortness of breath and had crackles of sound in my lower lungs. My pulmonologist and I decided to watch it for a little while as it was small and diffuse, referred to as 'ground glass opacity.' In November, a follow up CT scan showed that this lesion had now formed a more solid center component. The radiologist report stated, 'Mixed solid and ground glass lesions are concerning for bronchogenic carcinoma.' There it was, that word: 'carcinoma.'
After much waiting, watching, going off 90% of my rheumatoid arthritis medications, attempting to biopsy, having my case presented to a multi-disciplinary medical group, PET scan, colonoscopy to look at a suspicious spot in my colon, etc., a decision was made to remove the lesion surgically. In early May 2012, I had this surgery. All went well and the small lesion was removed through a VATS procedure. A wedge of my upper right lung was cut out through three small incisions. After a few days of recovery, I was sent home and then two weeks later during a follow up appointment, my primary physician informed me that the lesion was an adenocarcinoma.
I was very lucky as this cancer was graded as a stage 1A. I followed up with an oncologist who told me that this was not one of those after 5 years you get the all clear cancers' but that I would have to follow up on this for the rest of my life. At first it was CTs and appointments every three months, then that moved to every six months, and now I am up to appointments once a year. It has been almost four years since my surgery and I am still cancer free.
I am so lucky that this lesion was found early - an incidental finding. I do not dwell on the fact that the cancer might return, but instead I keep on top of all of my cancer screening appointments and I try to live each day to the fullest. Thus organizations like the American Lung Association and events such as this Lung Force Walk are very important to me.
Personal story submission updated 10-27-16
My lung cancer was found during a routine CT-scan to look for the cause of shortness of breath. It was staged as 1a so it was caught super early and surgically removed.
I was very lucky and consider myself blessed.
Four years ago I had a small adenocarcinoma removed from my right lung.
This lesion was staged as a 1A so it really was caught through early detection. In the summer of 2011, I had a CT-scan performed to help look into causes or reasons for shortness of breath. The lesion was discovered and monitored and then removed using VATS and a wedge resection when the center of the lesion changed.
I have followed up with oncology and have now have yearly CT screening. I am very thankful for early detection!
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