Deborah S

Deborah S., GA

I thought I was healthy.

Then I started to cough. I made an appointment with my primary care doctor. I almost cancelled it because I had stopped coughing. She listened to my lungs, sent me to get an x-ray, ordered a Cat Scan with contrast and referred me to a pulmonologist.

 The Cat Scan showed that I had Bronchiectasis tree-in bud pattern with nodules. I never knew because I was asymptomatic.  One of the nodules was suspicious and warranted further scans every three months. At first there was no change – until one of the nodules had started to grow.

This started my lifesaving journey. A needle biopsy confirmed a high probability of lung cancer. I directly went to a Thoracic surgeon who outlined needed tests before the surgery. One of those tests was a PET Scan.

According to the oncologist who reviewed my PET Scan the cancerous nodule was low metabolic and had not started to move. Without access to healthcare and insurance, there’s a strong chance that my lung cancer wouldn’t have been detected until it was stage 4.

When I woke up from the surgery, I made a commitment to inspire people and to advocate for early detection of lung cancer, better access to treatments and cures, and accessible healthcare to everyone.

First Published: January 20, 2022

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