LUNG FORCE Heroes
My name is Patty and three years ago I was diagnosed with lung cancer. This was the scariest time in my life. Whenever I have heard of lung cancer, it seemed to always be fatal. Plus, I have had several friends, and relatives who have died as a result of lung cancer.
My lung cancer was found incidentally and, without my persistence with my family doctor, I would not be here today. Early detection is the best medicine for any type of disease or cancer. If I had not had a chest X-ray, my cancer would have continued to quickly grow and spread. I was always afraid of lung cancer because I have smoked for all of my adult life. I knew the dangers but I thought it would never happen to me. Cancer can happen to anyone at any time. And, cancer does not have to be a death sentence.
I have not smoked a cigarette since October 27, 2013 and I am alive today thanks to early detection. My particular type of lung cancer was a direct result of smoking; however, many people with lung cancer have never smoked a day in their life. I am grateful to have a second chance in life and my wish is for everyone to be smoke-free, and to keep trying to beat this horrible life-threatening addiction. My wish is also to raise awareness so that we can be our own advocates and to not wait for doctors or anyone to take charge of our physical health-- we have to do it ourselves. And, if you doctor doesn't want to give you a test that could be lifesaving, particularly if you are at high risk (such as myself, being a smoker), then find another doctor who is willing to respond promptly as cancer waits for no person. I am very grateful to be alive and am forever grateful to Lung Force-- you are truly making a difference in this world!
First published: November 4, 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.