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LUNG FORCE Heroes

Ashley S.

In July 2017, I went to see a pulmonologist for shortness of breath, thinking it was probably only asthma. After an x-ray revealed a spot on my left lung my mind began racing. I was confident that since I was only 34 years old and never a smoker that everything would be fine. However, on August 7, 2017 the results of my biopsy confirmed that I had adenocarcinoma. My world was completely rocked with fear of the future and not being around to raise my two young children.

Waiting to learn the results of the CT scan, MRI and PET scans involved many prayers from friends, family and co-workers. It was definitely a time of fear, reflection, sadness, and trying to be patient among many other emotions. Ultimately, and praise God alone, my cancer had not spread and was classified at Stage I-A, pending the testing of lymph nodes. My only treatment option was a lobectomy of the upper lobe of my left lung. I had surgery on August 23, 2017. The lymph nodes also came back negative, another praise to God.

The surgery went well and I was able to go home nine days later, after a small air leak healed. No chemotherapy or radiation was recommended since it was Stage I-A. Within four weeks of surgery I was back at work. I just had my first three-month check up on December 5 and had no signs of cancer!

I am continuing to have hope for the future and thank God for every day I'm here. Having cancer has certainly changed my life. It has been a painful emotional journey but I have learned to not sweat the small stuff, be positive and cherish every moment I have with the ones I love. Early detection is key!! I encourage everyone to trust your gut instincts and go to the doctor when you think something isn't right. My cancer was found by a complete accident, but my intuition saved my life. Don't ever lose hope. God Bless!!

First published: December 11, 2017

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Hero stories are the point of view of the Hero and not necessarily the American Lung Association. The Lung Association does not endorse any specific provider, facility or treatment.

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