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Sherrie B., NC

I am an active working mom of two young adults, two huge dogs, and several other pets, living in a log home near the ICWW in NC. I have NEVER smoked and detest the smell of it. Several years ago I started having a nagging cough, and went to the doctor over the course of two years, about 4-5 times. Each visit I would receive the same diagnosis and treatment: allergies/URTI/sinusitis and would go on a course of antibiotics. I'd start to feel better, then the cough would return. I also started to "slow down" a little, having coughing spells when I walked and feeling a bit run down. I chalked it up to getting older. Well, everything stopped June 2nd, 2013. I had been on a trip with my dad several days earlier. We had dinner, and that night I had a terrible coughing spell, which ended up with me in the bathroom, throwing up and coughing so hard I coughed up a little blood. I knew I had to get an answer, so that Saturday my folks and I went to the nearby MEDAC; again, I was given the same diagnosis: Upper Resp Tract Infection. I persisted, and finally got my X-ray. The doctor came back in to the room, flushed and embarrassed, and told me that she was sorry, that I had a huge growth in my right lung, a bronchocarcinoma. I don't remember much after that. The cancer was the size of a large fist, and it had spread to lymph nodes, we found out, after 3 different biopsies at Greenville Vidant Medical Center. I moved my stuff to the HOPE Lodge in Greenville, a WONDERFUL place set aside for cancer patients and their caregivers. I underwent 8 rounds of chemotherapy, 35 radiation visits, and in December underwent a lower right lobectomy and lymph node removal. I plan on writing more about my experience to help others undergoing this very scary time, to fight and not succumb to the beast inside you. It is awful. No doubt about it, but you can win, and with that attitude, I never owned or gave in to it. During the treatment time I was so blessed with an awesome peace from God, a peace of mind and heart that only He could give. I don't remember asking for it, it just came with prayer. I am so thankful for all the love, support, prayers, financial support, cards, dinners, food runs and gifts that friends, neighbors, coworkers and family is overwhelming. After my first checkup, I am happy to say that I am "cancer free" or to be politically correct, in remission. Thank you for this opportunity to tell my story.

First Published: June 30, 2014

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