Joan Y

Joan Y., CT

My story starts as a young adult (I'm 64 right now). I was spray painter for 25 years and was exposed to many carcinogens. I also smoked cigarettes but quit after I had my only child. 

Fast forward to 2017. I was an avid walker. it was about then that I became Short of breath while walking. I went to my PCP, and he did a chest x-ray. After other tests I found out I had lung cancer. My son and I went to two surgeons I pick the doctor who would do surgery immediately. The surgeon took the middle and lower lobes of my right lung. I spent a month in the hospital with two chest tubes in me. 

When I discharged, I went through four rounds of chemo, and I don't know how much radiation. At that point I was cancer free. I unfortunately developed Radiation Pneumonitis which all but destroyed what was left of my right lung. I couldn't walk without severe shortness of breath.

As I am right now, I have learned to live with the handicap of having one lung and a very disabled right 1/3 of my lung that I'm left with. I'm also on a new inhaler which help my breathing quite a bit.

The takeaway is I am, and have been CANCER FREE for over four years. I thank God every day. 

First Published: January 20, 2022

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