My lung cancer journey began on December 8, 2018 with a cough. I went to an urgent care thinking I would get some antibiotics but was sent immediately to the ER where I was admitted into the hospital for a 10-day stay and diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer. Radiation and chemo started almost immediately and was given every three weeks and I was given six weeks to live. I spent one year on chemo and had ten rounds of radiation. I was treated with a new product at the time, Keytruda, and was part of a research study.
My PET scans eventually came back clean, and my doctors said I was in remission. During that time, I moved from Louisiana to South Dakota.
In September 2021, my doctors found that my cancer came back into my lung and into my brain. I began brain radiation and started chemo and in March 2022, I had the tumor removed from my brain. After which I could not use my left side and needed physical therapy. I completed chemotherapy in February 2023, and I am taking things one day at a time. My family and friends have continued to give me strength throughout this process.
Throughout both of my treatments I benefitted from being part of research studies which is why funding for research is so important.
One thing that has been challenging throughout my journey has been the cost of healthcare. Chemotherapy and radiation are very hard on your eyes and teeth and having to pay for additional health care costs and insurance has been expensive, which is why everyone needs affordable and accessible healthcare.
To those who are on their cancer journey-remember to take care of you. We can get so caught up in our treatment and appointments, that we can sometimes forget about ourselves. Remember that you matter and to take care of you.