I was diagnosed with stage 4 Adenocarcinoma of the lung on 2/21/2011 after a bout with pneumonia. The diagnosis came as quite a shock to me as a non-smoker. I did, however, grow up in a smoking household. Fortunately, my oncologist had the foresight to have my tumor tested for genetic mutations. This was fairly uncommon 2 1/2 years ago and I will love her forever for her diligence.
After 13 grueling months of chemotherapy, surgery, and more chemo, I began taking a drug designed to address my ALK genetic mutation. I have been cancer free since March of 2012. Remember, my cancer was a stage 4.
My very best advice to anyone facing this dread illness is be sure the genetic studies are done. Research has brought us amazing therapies and continues to allow successful treatment. Lung cancer is no longer the "death sentence" it once was.