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LUNG FORCE Heroes

Clarissa M.

My name is Clarissa McAdoo Cannion. I retired from an executive position in August 2016 after 30 years of service. Two months later my home flooded as a result of Hurricane Matthew. We were initially speechless but we bit the bullet and committed to putting our home back together.

Just one month after we had made the substantial repairs to the house, I received a diagnosis of stage 1A non-small cell lung cancer. I was devastated! I began to question God. Why are these bad things happening to me? The flood...the lung cancer! What have I done or did not do to deserve this? I am not a smoker! As a person of faith, I waited for God's response. The response was simply: Why NOT you? I thought about how many times blessings came out of nowhere; just when I needed them most. I began to operate in the thought that if situations worked out for me before, they will work out for me again even as I begin this journey with lung cancer.

I sought treatment options from stem to stern. I decided on surgery of a portion of my right lung. I took my doctors advise to prepare physically, mentally and spiritually for surgery as if I was preparing to run a marathon. I walked, ran, cycled. I did everything I could to strengthen my core and my immune system.

The surgery of a portion of my right lung and the lymph node removal was successful. My recovery took about six months. I was blessed to not have to undergo chemotherapy or radiation. To this end, I was determined to be lung cancer free. Physical therapy was prescribed for lymphedema after my incision was healed.

I am feeling great these days. I am living my best life with more time and good health to be of service to the world.

First published: July 17, 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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