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LUNG FORCE Heroes

Karen L.

On February 21, 2019 I was diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma Lung Cancer, Stage IV. I was 48 years old at the time. A seizure was my one and only alarm that something was wrong. I am a healthy, active, non-smoker with no family history or other factors to warrant developing lung cancer. After numerous tests, scans, MRIs, and a couple biopsies which included genetic testing, it was determined I have an EGFR gene mutation.

I’m very fortunate that my cancer is able to be treated with a gene targeted medication. It targets and blocks mutated EGFR found on cancer cells. It is not chemotherapy or immunotherapy. Sounds pretty cool! The reality is it doesn’t correct the gene mutation and eventually the body will eventually develop a resistance to the drug. Given this medication is a 3rd generation drug, let’s hope there is a 4th generation drug and so on, so this will just be a chronic illness.

Due to the seizure, I also had one radiation treatment to treat the lesion on my brain that caused the seizure. Again, I was fortunate to have no side effects and only hair lose in the one spot. While research continues and more treatment options become available, I’m determined to heal myself.

I highly recommend watching the documentary HEAL and reading RADICAL REMISSION. It has helped me gain some sense of power over this disease. I am learning to mediate and practicing yoga more regularly, as well as exercising and eating cleaner. I’m a mother of a 16 year old daughter and 14 year old son, and the wife to a wonderful and loving husband. I’m not about to lose my battle with cancer! I continue to get good reports from my scans and MRIs, my doctors are happy, I feel great, and I’m probably in better shape than I was before.

I’ve learned I don’t want the “I’m sorry.” I want the positivity, the love, and the prayers. I’m still me, but with a lot more appreciation for life and love.

First published: November 13, 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.

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