Mary M : MO
My lung cancer was discovered, like most, by accident, while being scanned for something totally unrelated. The diagnosis of Stage IV non-small-cell lung cancer was a shock, to say the least, as I am a non-smoker, swimmer, bicyclist, healthy eater and had no symptoms. I was told that Stage IV lung cancer was not curable, only treatable. That was not the news I was wanting to hear, but thankfully no one EVER gave me a prognosis of only a few months to live. I was sent to a wonderful oncologist who started me immediately on chemotherapy. My daughters dubbed it my "Tumor Troll".....and we often chanted "Teeny Tiny Tumor Troll" to wish the tumor away. After 3 rounds, a scan revealed that my tumor "troll" had shrunk 50%, and the "spot" on my liver was completely gone - after the final 6th round, the tumor had shrunk 75%! It was then discovered that that I had the EGFR mutation qualifying me for a new drug. A pill a day instead of monthly infusions. Three months later my tumor had shrunk 95% and it was determined that what reMEd on the scan was scar tissue. I was declared NED (No Evidence of Disease) and have reMEd that way for the past 3 years. I feel so thankful and blessed. I was fortunate to have wonderful, supportive friends and family throughout the treatment phase of this journey, and the Care Pages that my daughter set up for me online, was a life-saver. Friends could "check in" on my progress and leave comforting, encouraging messages for me without the expectation that I would answer each message. I might also add that I got married to my best friend three months after my diagnosis, and he was a wonderful care-taker during my treatment, and continues to support me in every way as we try to live, now, the "New Normal". By nature, I am a positive person, and we go about our daily lives as normally as we can....perhaps enjoying and appreciating life a bit more because cancer is now a part of our lives. When I first got my diagnosis, my sister told me of a friend of hers who was diagnosed TEN YEARS ago, and is now traveling all over the world doing workshops and enjoying life to the fullest. That gave me such hope, and I have since met a woman diagnosed 25 years ago with stage 4 lung cancer. I pray every day for people with cancer, and that FUNDING for Lung Cancer will increase with more public awareness.....perhaps in our lifetime a CURE will be found!
First Published: 10/23/2013 10:29:00 AM