In January 2020, I went to the ER in my hometown complaining of chest pain and a persistent dry cough. The ER Dept. performed an X-ray and CT scan, which showed a 5mm (size was actually 7- 8mm) nodule. The ER doctor diagnosed me with an upper respiratory infection and I was sent home with a prescription for cough medicine and no instruction for a repeat scan. A little background on me: I was 54 years old at the time, non-smoker, and very active. I never imagined anything was seriously wrong.
Following my CT Scan at the ER on January 2020, I continued to experience the same dry cough, as previously. I assumed it was just allergies, possibly a cold. COVID wasn’t a consideration until March of 2020.
Fast forward to February 2023. I developed a large lump in my neck/lymph node. I mentioned to my new primary doctor that I wanted to get my neck checked out, and also, if she could investigate my persistent cough, which had originated back in late 2019. My primary doctor immediately scheduled an ultrasound of my neck, and an X-ray, and CT scan of my chest. The test results confirmed I had Stage IV lung cancer and the primary was my right lung (same area as the nodule found in 2020).
In March 2023, I had a biopsy in Boston, MA, which confirmed stage IV Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC).
I truly believe that if my cancer was detected back in 2020, I would have been given a better prognosis. I am advocating for early detection with annual lung screening for people over 50 (non-smokers included).
I want to thank everyone on this site for sharing their stories. I am grateful for the American Lung Association and this platform to share my story, as well! My heart goes out to everyone afflicted by this horrible disease.