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Nancy l., ID

To paraphrase Lou Gehrig, “I must be the luckiest woman in the world!” Why? It was because something that could kill me was discovered by accident and treated early.

It began when my primary physician ordered a CT scan to determine why I was having pelvic pain. She called me a few days later with the results and said,

“Your CT scan went high enough to capture a very tiny mass in your right lung. I don’t want you jumping to conclusions, but I am going to refer you an oncologist just to be on the safe side.”

I am proud to call myself an extraordinarily positive person, and since she said it was tiny, I wasn’t worried. I booked an appointment with the oncologist. He wanted another CT scan, a PET scan, and several blood draws. He informed me that the PET scan had picked up a few lymph nodes that could be a problem. He said he will bring my case up to a panel of doctors for their opinion on what the next step should be. Ok, I told myself, I’m still immersed in my positive mind frame.

As it turned out, surgery was the next step. To my disbelief, it would be performed by a robot named Da Vinci, with a live surgeon in charge. On the day of surgery, three slits, each about an inch long were made in my right side for Da Vinci’s arms and another a little larger, below them, for the camera. They made a fifth one, for a drainage tube, which I have to say caused me more grief than all the other ones put together. I was in the operating room for three hours. Da Vinci removed two lobes of my right lung and seventeen lymph nodes. Here's a picture of me when I was taken back to my room post-surgery. I think I was a wee bit high on painkillers.

I spent five days in the hospital and had no problems. I later learned that only two lymph nodes tested positive for cancer which is a very low percentage. The tumor was classified as a stage 2B non-small cell lung cancer. I will have chemo, but only four times, three weeks apart.

At this point in my story, I want to tell you how lucky I feel that God gave me a little pelvic pain that showed up a tumor that was caught early enough so that only a few courses of treatment can give me back my health.

At this point in my story, I want to tell you how lucky I feel that God gave me a little pelvic pain that showed up a tumor that was caught early enough so that only a few courses of treatment can give me back my health.

Considering my life, the cancer is just a small corner to slip around. But in doing so, I feel as though my passport will have been stamped many times and I will be a free woman. Not just free, but the luckiest woman in the world!

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