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Billie Jane H.

In May of 2014 I was having preoperative workup done (lab work, etc) before having knee replacement. A chest X-ray was part of the testing. The next day I was called and told doctor wouldn't do the surgery because my X-ray showed I had pneumonia and I should follow up with my primary care physician - which I did.

At the office I told my doctor I didn't have pneumonia and she examined me and said I had no symptoms but the X-ray did show something so, she ordered a CT scan.

From that, I saw a pulmonologist and had a breathing test. He said he was pretty sure it was cancer and ordered a biopsy. Then the roller coaster ride began.

A PET scan was ordered, as well as biopsies and pathology genetic testing. The next two months were a nightmare waiting on test results and to be given a treatment plan. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 non-small cell adenocarcinoma.

he cancer is the gene mutation type. No chemo. No radiation. I would take an oral pill every day. My oncologist was willing to wait for pathology because I had never smoked and she felt certain that the cancer was going to be the gene mutation type. It has been over a year now and my scans have shown significant reduction to the tumor.

Even though you don't smoke or never have smoked you are not immune to non-small cell lung cancer. My brother died at the age of 46 of lung cancer but this was back in the 1970's. A lot has been learned since then.

First published: October 26, 2016

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