Kathy L.

photo of Kathy L.

I smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 32 years. My husband was a smoker,too, so I figured why quit when I would just be breathing in his second hand smoke. He died in 2007. It wasn't cancer related.

In October, 2007, I decided to quit smoking and I have been smoke free since then. At my annual physical in November 2017, my primary care doctor asked if I would be willing to have a Lung Cancer Screening. I'm always willing to do health screenings.

My mother died of biliary cancer at 58, my older sister died of uterine cancer at 62 and my younger sister died of adrenal cortical cancer at 57. My father was a colon cancer survivor and my older brother a prostrate cancer survivor. I had the screening done on Dec. 15, 2017. My doctor called me the next day to tell me that something showed up on it. I had a PET scan right before Christmas and met with a pulmonologist in early January 2018.

I underwent a ct guided needle biopsy on Jan. 5. I was diagnosed with an Adenocarcinoma of my right lower lobe. I was really lucky because I was Stage 1. I had thoracic surgery on Jan. 26- it was a VATS procedure. The thoracic surgeon removed by whole lower right lobe and did a wedge resection of the lobe above it. He wanted to make sure he gave me clean margins.

I am cancer free-I didn't need chemo or radiation. I am under the care of an oncologist and a pulmonologist now. At the time of the lung cancer diagnosis, I was also diagnosed with emphysema. Sometimes symptoms just don't appear. The lung cancer screening that my primary care doctor suggested back in November, saved my life. I sometimes feel a little guilty that my cancer was found so early when my mother's and two sisters' were found so late (all were Stage 4). I guess it was just meant to be that way.

I highly recommend getting the screening. The screening itself was a piece of cake. It took less then 10 minutes. Do it for yourself and for your family.

First published: October 2, 2018