LUNG FORCE Heroes
Hello. My name is Julie and I was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer at the age of 44. This came at such a surprise because I am a non-smoker and have had no exposure to second hand smoke, asbestos or anything that may have contributed to getting this.
It all started with a cough that wouldn't go away. For months I was told it was just a cold. Then I was having pain in my lower back which I thought was just a sciatica nerve. Until one evening I began coughing up blood. When I went to the doctor I had to push to get a chest x-ray. That was a Monday. By Thursday evening of that week, I had met with a pulmonary doctor, had a CT scan, lung biopsy and was told I had stage 4 lung cancer that had spread to my pelvic bone and was referred to an oncologist. I was in shock. I was a single mom with two girls, 14 and 15 years old, to take care of. And my only thought was that I was gonna leave them way too soon. After getting radiation for my pelvic bone, I began chemo. That lasted about 6 months until it didnt work anymore. Then we did immunotherapy. That lasted about 6 months also. Then we did targeted therapy. That took all the cancer away. I had a severe reaction to it after the cancer was gone but I recovered and have now been cancer free for 31 months!
I never thought I would live long enough to see my youngest graduate high school, to be married for 4 years to the most wonderful man who wanted to marry me 3 weeks after my diagnosis and to be living a wonderful, healthy life. The statistics of lung cancer has to be changing for the better with all this new medication out.
I know I am a walking miracle according to my doctor!!!
First published: February 26, 2019
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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.