My nickname as a child was Ms. Lungs. Why you may ask? My voice roared like a lion when I would yell. I also would try to sing, still do on occasion, like Chaka Khan or Aretha Franklin. Those were the good ol' days. My lungs have always been healthy and got me through basic training when I joined the United State Army. I also kept my students in line from the sound of my voice in the classroom.
As you can tell, I had lungs of steel! The day I heard the doctor mutter, "You have cancer", was the first time I felt my lungs collapse. In 2018, I was diagnosed with Stage 3A Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. The way I grew up, hearing a cancer diagnosis was "doom and gloom". I didn't want to accept it. I wasn't going for another test until my children and former coworker begged me to take this seriously.
I took their advice. Four chemo therapy treatments and 30 days of radiation, I can say that I am a cancer survivor. My support system (my daughter especially) cheered for me throughout every step. Despite being on oxygen full time, I am truly grateful and blessed to "breathe fresh air" in the body of a survivor. The process, very tiresome and scary most days, taught me so much about perseverance and strength. As of today, I continue to live life to the fullest--through the pandemic and all.