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Stacey N.

Today would have been my mother's 65th birthday and retirement celebration after almost 45 years in the workforce. My mother never smoked. I always share this with people to make them aware that anyone can get lung cancer. I'm ashamed that I didn't know this prior to my mother's diagnosis. I also follow-up with a comment about no one deserving this awful disease which is often discovered in the late stages.

My mother passed away less than one month after her diagnosis and less than three months from her first symptom appearing. Her first symptom presented as a cold and she was diagnosed with bronchitis. Less than one month later after a chest x-ray, her doctor called her and told her to go straight to the ER. She never left the hospital. Her doctors only had time to treat her with one round of immunotherapy before she was placed on life support in the ICU.

She was looking forward to today, what should have been her retirement, for years so she could spend more time with family, especially her grandchildren. I deeply regret that I thought I had many more years to spend with my mom. I'll never again hear her infectious laughter, see her kind smile, or get a call or text from her when I need it most. Happy first birthday in heaven, Mom. We will always miss you and love you!

First published: November 20, 2019

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