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Christina M., TX

My mother passed away on October 1, 2013, from lung cancer that had metastasized to bone cancer. She was only 67 years old and had not smoked in 15 years. Her diagnosis of cancer only came on August 23, so it was not even six weeks from her diagnosis to her death. It was actually the bone cancer that was causing symptoms that prompted her to finally get checked out by a doctor. Her left shoulder had 'popped' at the end of July and it hurt her after that. I convinced her to go see her doctor, thinking it was a torn muscle or rotator cuff. After many tests and scans, they said she had bone cancer. They determined that the bone cancer was secondary to the lung cancer. Her bone cancer caused her such pain that, for her sake, I'm glad her suffering did not last long. The lung cancer seemed to not have any symptoms. The lung and bone cancer were both rather advanced before they were even discovered. At the end, her pulmonologist was taking X-rays each day of her lungs and EACH DAY he could see it advancing. She essentially asphyxiated because of the cancer.

I have never smoked, but most members of my family have at one time or another. We will all be getting screened regularly now so that the silent killer - lung cancer - cannot surprise any of us like it did my mom. My message for any current smokers is to please quit. I would urge current and past smokers to get screenings for your lungs regularly.

It was very hard on my family and I to watch my mom deteriorate and to be in so much pain. Now, there is an irreplaceable hole in our hearts and lives. I will miss my mom for the rest of my life. I am now supporting cancer causes and research hoping that, one day, cancer can be eliminated as have other diseases in the past.

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