The hardest part about being diagnosed with lung cancer for Nancy was being surprised by a disease she was unfamiliar with, at a time in her life when exciting things were happening for her family.

"My mom was my life," said Nancy. "My daughter, still my life. I didn't want them to suffer for me. When I first started with my treatment, the prognosis was between three to six months and that was the scary part. My daughter was pregnant at the time and I wanted to see my grandkid."

What shocked Nancy so much was that she developed lung cancer in the first place. But looking back on it, she realized there were signs.

"I had pain all over, everything that you can imagine."

Nancy: My life was just a normal life, just a regular mother, so I pay no attention. I found myself with shortness of breath, couldn't breathe, and when that blood came out, I'm like, oh shoot something is going on in here. In the bathroom, all by myself,feeling pain. My daughter was pregnant at the time and I wanted to see my grandkid, whatever he was. I tried to be strong for them, but in the meantime I'm dying inside. It was hell. It was hell, but I was going to win. My name is Nancy, and I'm here to stay. Don't try me again because I got you. You have no idea who you dealing with.

"I would notice that I would cough and cough and I actually had to suppress my cough because I couldn't stop sometimes. I found myself with shortness of breath especially when I was coughing I couldn't breathe, but I paid no attention because otherwise I was healthy. But the coughing was the thing that when I was diagnosed I looked back and realized it was a sign."

Even after she had surgery, Nancy continued to struggle with the pain from lung cancer. "I had pain all over, everything that you can imagine, I was in pain to the point that anything I would touch would hurt - my hands, my nails, everything."

But through it all Nancy learned something about herself that she will take with her for the rest of her days.

"I learned that I am stronger than I thought. And if I have to fight again I will, even if I have to put on my boxing gloves, I will fight…"

Page last updated: March 11, 2020

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