Nellie S

Nellie S., ID

In July, when I was 27 years old, my 67-year-old dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. I was living in Alaska and my sister lived in Boston. She and her husband drove to Northern Kentucky, packed his things and moved him into their converted barn apartment in their backyard. I flew to Boston and "slept" at the foot of his bed for 4 months as he rapidly declined. At a very young age I spent every waking moment caring for him. At first it was just making sure he had enough to eat and make it to the bathroom safely. Quickly he declined and I was taught how to help him eat, change his clothes and bedding while he was incapacitated. There are some things a child that young should not have to do for a parent who is so young. My father passed away mere weeks after his 68th birthday, surrounded by his children. I have always felt this was so, so preventable.

I feel passionate about all things lung cancer: research, early detection, treatment options. There is no reason another young woman should lose their parent too soon.

Some advice I would  give to someone who is newly diagnosed with lung cancer is to advocate for your health, gain the knowledge you need to help make the right decisions for you.

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, | May 07, 2024
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