My initial symptoms began in 2019 with overwhelming fatigue, back and leg pain. My primary doctor recommended that I do stretching exercises and gave me pain medicine. Since my symptoms did not go away, I made multiple trips to the doctor’s office as well as to the emergency room but was only given pain medication and a diagnosis of sciatica. Around the third visit to the hospital, an X-ray only showed a little swelling and some arthritis. I was referred for an MRI, which was unfortunately denied.
After more numerous trips to the ER and doctor’s office, I was finally diagnosed with lung cancer on December 30, 2019. When I received this diagnosis, I felt like my life was over—I felt as though I had just been given a death sentence. Prior to my diagnosis, my health was pretty good, I was taking a blood pressure pill daily but other than that, I was a pretty healthy, active 43-year-old mother of three.
The treatments I went through early in my diagnosis included chemotherapy, radiation, and blood and plasma transfusions. Thankfully, now I’m on one chemotherapy pill that shrank my tumors significantly. I am blessed that I have minimal side effects from my current treatment, and I am extremely grateful for the makers of my medication.
My diagnosis has made it a bit difficult to work because my energy level is inconsistent, my legs ache and my occupation causes me to use my legs, so currently, I’m unable to work. Each day gets better, though, so I am confident I will be back to work soon! Throughout this journey, my friends and family have been extremely supportive, positive, prayerful, my guiding lights. Not to mention my fantastic healthcare providers, Dr. Feldman and Mary P. from U of I!
God, friends, family and the gift of waking up each day are my inspiration. Going through this lung cancer made me realize how much I have taken for granted. Now I live my life day-by-day and REALLY smile and appreciate the simplest things even more.
I was introduced to the American Lung Association through my healthcare provider, Mary P. and I’m honored to be involved with this organization. I commend the research the Lung Association is doing, the awareness they are getting out to the population and their work to get funding to help people like me. I’m grateful for the opportunity they have given myself and others to tell our stories of hope to others. Our stories may help someone realize they are not alone, and you can survive lung cancer with the right treatment, support, knowledge, and good old FAITH.
Going through my experience was not easy, but for some reason, God chose me so now I embrace it. I met so many spectacular people along my journey and it showed me there are still some wonderful, kind people in this world.