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Helene D.

My friend Gayle was a strong, energetic, in control woman who didn't take nonsense from anyone and was struck by lung cancer and passed three months later. She never smoked and was not a "likely candidate" for lung cancer. She went to her doctor (who was her prior part-time employer) and thought she needed help with anxiety and was sent to the emergency room, tests were run and she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

No one could believe it, as she never smoked and was not around second hand smoke. It was very difficult to see a strong, energetic and headstrong woman go down so fast. She lost weight, had no energy and did not have "control" of the situation, which was very difficult for her. She did what she could and considered trials and experimental drugs but since she was stage 4, she did not have much time and didn't want to "waste" the money.

She decided to try an experimental drug which was very expensive (approximately $220 bill) and not covered by medicare or her supplemental insurance, which was provided by the company she retired from. It was a very good supplement, but didn't make it long enough to see if it worked. It was so sad to see how quickly she succumbed to the cancer and she was told the lung cancer she got was not normally diagnosed until it reached stage 4. She tried her best to stay positive and always thought of others even through her decline. It was devastating to me and her family. She was like a second mother to me and was always there for me and offered tremendous insight. She is truly missed and was a great person and example to live by.

First published: June 7, 2017

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