In late April my husband Ted and I packed up for a trip to explore Myrtle Beach properties; we were looking forward to our soon to be retirement. He showed me a red area on his left arm so we stopped into the local emergency room to have what appeared to be a phlebitis on his arm checked and treated. What a nightmare! He was admitted to the hospital, and several misdiagnoses later (cellulitis, TB) led to the devastating diagnosis of non-small cell lung cancer, Stage 4B.
Other than some fatigue and the red area on his arm he had had no symptoms.
His treatment included intensive chemotherapy with multiple agents. This was difficult for him to tolerate and for his family to watch. Although there was some response, his metastatic tumors increased, and this very vibrant, happy man became weaker and in pain. He lost this battle in December, three days before Christmas.
My family is left with questions: Could Ted's death been prevented? Could earlier diagnosis have made the difference? I am hoping that funding is forthcoming to develop early screening tools for lung cancer just as we have for other cancers. I am hoping that funding is forthcoming for prevention and treatment for this devastating disease.