It was Halloween 2019, I had a biopsy a couple weeks ago and wasn’t worried about the results until my doctor called and said the sentence that is tattooed in my brain, “This is the worst part about my job, I know you’re young and have a young family but the biopsy showed that the nodule was cancerous."
I was immediately lost. I had run 44 full marathons. I had never smoked. I was the picture of health—until I had lung cancer.
I decided to hop on it. I chose a medical oncologist. I chose a radiologist. I chose a surgeon. In the following discussions, I found that my tumor was small and slow growing. My surgeon and I discussed it and we decided based on my pictures, collectively, that a lobectomy was the way to move forward. My surgery was scheduled for November 11th. I ran my 45th marathon on November 9th. I celebrated my 18th wedding anniversary on November 10th and, at 4:30am on November 11th I walked across the bonus room to kiss my sleeping daughters. That was the one instance that I was scared. If something went wrong in surgery, this was the last time I was going to get to kiss them.
Flash forward three years. Everything went as expected in surgery. I recovered quickly. I am back to full strength. I have since run 6 more marathons and I currently have two more on the calendar.
What I learned was the following: don’t wait—hit it head on, be patient— things won’t happen as quickly as you want them to, trust your doctors—they know what they are doing, there is no ‘typical’ lung cancer patient—I was a healthy 47 year old, non-smoking marathon runner. . . with lung cancer.