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Joyce K., NC

I am sharing my lung cancer story because I want to provide hope and inspiration! I was diagnosed with lung cancer twenty five years ago, at age 33. I was sitting at my desk at work when I coughed up a clot of blood. And, yes, I smoked for many years, so I thought I'd get that question out of the way. My primary physician took an x-ray which showed that I had a tumor in my left lung the size of a grapefruit. He told me to go home and relax for the weekend. Ha Ha So Mom and I went to see a pulmonary specialist, who immediately sent me over to Sibley Hospital in WA, DC. As you all know, it is always highly recommended to get a 2nd opinion (and 3rd and so on). I saved my life by taking control over the situation. I was incredibly lucky! At the hospital, they took a series of tests and decided to remove my entire left lung, called a pneumonectomy, since my tumor had not metastasized to other sites in my body. I had non-small squamous cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This type of cancer is usually found centrally in the lung and is responsible for 30 percent of all non-small lung cancers. As you know, we've come such a long way in the last twenty-five years. Today there is so much growth in the areas of research and technology which was pretty much non-existent back then. Now we don't have to rely solely on luck !! I learned to never give up; that angels really do exist; and that by sending positive energy out into the world it really does come back full circle.

First Published: October 29, 2013

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