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LUNG FORCE Heroes

Tonya R.

My mom told me in December of 2017 that she had been diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer. She had a persistent cough that would not go away which was why she decided to go to the doctor. It was at that time she was diagnosed.

I was in total shock even though she smoked all of my life. It was not something I wanted to hear. I remember at family gatherings we would say to her that she needed to stop smoking. It was at that moment I wished she had stopped smoking. I remember getting on the internet searching for foods for her to eat and other things that I could do to help her. My mom lived with my sister who accompanied her to appointments and kept my other siblings and I updated on her treatments and results. I remember my mom being happy in telling me that her tumors were shrinking and she was going to beat this cancer.

In July of 2017, my mom went on vacation with another sibling and her family to Florida. It was during that time we received text messages that she started to experience the inability to remember how to get back to the room from the car, put on her shoes and walk. She was taken to the hospital in Florida where she was admitted into the Neuro ICU for two weeks. We then learned that the cancer had metastasized to her brain. My mom's health continued to decline and she passed away on October 25, 2017.

I share my story because anyone with lungs can develop lung cancer.

First published: October 30, 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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