My grandfather was diagnosed with Stage 3C lung cancer in 2010 and sadly lost his battle on September 27, 2012. He was 76 years old when he was diagnosed and in pretty decent health. That winter, he and my grandmother went to their winter home in Florida and my brother went to visit them. He noticed that my grandpa couldn't even walk to the mailbox without becoming winded and we all knew that something was terribly wrong. He was diagnosed that spring and was treated at the Zangmeister Center in Columbus, OH. Our entire family was devastated but we were determined to help him through this diagnosis. He was rarely sick his entire life, and though he had both smoked and chewed tobacco, it had been many years since he had done either.
His first round of chemo went well, but the tumor did not shrink very much and at his next PET scan, a spot was found on his brain. They tried a chemo pill next and then radiation on the inoperable spot on his brain (his lung cancer was also inoperable), but he was not getting better. His body and mind really started to dwindle and by early September 2012, the doctor suggested that they stop his treatment and hospice was called in. In the midst of everything, my dad had lost his job and I was about to get married. He was put into hospice at home and passed away just three weeks later.
Watching his disease destroy him completely was so heartbreaking and has made me an advocate for lung cancer. I would love to get everyone I know who smokes to quit, but none of them seem to be able to see what those cigarettes might do to them one day. My grandpa was an amazing man who worked hard and raised three amazing sons and to watch him wither away was so incredibly difficult. He was unable to come to my wedding but I carried a picture of him in my bouquet that day and we said a special prayer for him at the church. I miss him every single day and want to do whatever I can to make sure that this doesn't happen to someone else that I love.