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Patricia W., KY

Hello! My name is Pati, and this is my lung cancer story. First of all, I am a mom, a grandma, an art teacher, an artist, a dancer, a runner, a lover of life. In July of 2020, I had a CT colonography otherwise known as a virtual colonoscopy. It all went well, but a few months went by when I realized I never got the results! So I called my gastroenterologist for answers. I was told my colon was in great shape, but I had a pulmonary nodule on my lower right lung. Okay. Not what I needed to hear. It looked "suspicious". However, I never had any symptoms at all. Nothing. 

I had a CT scan of my lung, PET scan and needle biopsy. It was a 3 cm. tumor, and it was cancerous. I had an MRI to check for brain mets, but thank goodness, it was clear. Two days before Thanksgiving, I had a lobectomy on my lower right lung, and had a chest tube put in. Alone in the hospital during COVID-19 was no fun. As I was getting ready to be discharged on that Saturday, my surgeon presented me with more news I did not expect. It was determined that I had NSCLC, stage 2B, because one out of 12 lymph nodes was positive for cancer cells. It was then I learned I would need adjuvant therapy. That meant the dreaded chemotherapy. 

So, a week before Christmas, I had a port put in my chest, then two days after that I had my first of four rounds of Cisplatin and Alimta. No fun. Not at all. Well, at least my hair didn't fall out. The reason for my chemo was like an insurance policy for me. Both my surgeon and oncologist agreed that this was to make sure there were no more creepy cancer cells hiding anywhere. On February 19th, I rang the bell and got my "Certificate of Completion" for chemo at Norton Cancer Institute! My prognosis is that I have a 90% chance of never having it occurring again!

So now, I am getting back to being a mom, a grandma, a teacher, an artist, a runner, a dancer and a lover of life. I started running again, and hope to train enough to run this virtual 5K in June. June 4th is also my birthday! I guess what people need to know is that if you have lungs, you can get lung cancer. You don't have to be a smoker. You don't have to have symptoms. You don't have to be out of shape. I am alive and well now, because my cancer was found early, and I had an excellent treatment plan. 

First Published: March 24, 2021

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