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Carley F.

I was diagnosed with lung cancer at age 35. I am a nurse with a then 4-year-old son. I came down with a cold that turned into bronchitis and then into what I thought had to be pneumonia. I would get short of breath with my everyday tasks and I had a nagging cough that wouldn't go away.

I had never been a smoker so lung cancer was no where on my radar. We started by having a chest x-ray, followed by another, then a ct-scan and another with biopsy. My biopsy showed atypical cells and it was left up to me whether or not I would have surgery to remove the small tumor or wait it out, have more tests over a few months. I decided to go ahead with the surgery.

I had an open thoracotomy with removal of the tumor and the middle lobe of my right lung. It was adenocarcinoma and it had destroyed my lung tissue and invaded my plural lining. After recovering from the surgery, I had four rounds of chemotherapy with two different drugs. That all started in September of 2016 and ended in December 2016. I have a scan every three months. My life is pretty much back to normal now. I can work, take care of my family, even exercise. It has been an adjustment to say the least, but my "new normal" is growing on me.

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or have had a similar experience.

First published: February 23, 2018

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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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