My name is Sharon Lyons. I am a US Navy wife, the mother of two wonderful men and the grandmother of an adorable grandson. I spent 30 years in the retail industry, and I was a heavy smoker until I quit in 2011. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 non-small cell adenocarcinoma in 2015.
In October of 2015 I thought I had bronchitis. I went to my doctor and was given medications and sent home. After a week, I still was not improving so I went to the ER expecting to be told I had pneumonia. I was never expecting a cancer diagnosis from a simple chest X-ray that led to a CT scan. I will never forget the look on the doctor’s face telling me and my husband that I had cancer. I was admitted to the hospital, and the following two weeks are a blur. I had an MRI, PET scan, biopsy and port placement. The meeting with the radiologist was the hardest because I was not a candidate for radiation treatments. I was told to get my affairs in order. I was told that if I did not respond to chemotherapy, I was looking at 14-18 months left to live. I went totally blank.
When I met with my oncologist, I was finally given some hope. He explained all the new treatment options available. We decided on some very aggressive chemotherapy. I had six rounds of chemotherapy, and my cancer responded. After the third round, I decided that I was going to fight and never give up.
There have been some setbacks. My cancer has spread. I had to go back on chemotherapy twice. I was given immunotherapy once, and it didn’t work. Finally, another immunotherapy did work.
It has been over five years since my initial diagnosis, but I’m still here and still fighting. With the help of my family and the American Lung Association Lung Cancer Survivor and Caregiver Support Group, I have the support I need to keep up the fight.