LUNG FORCE Heroes
Hi, my name is Channel and I'm a wife and mommy of 4 children ages 8, 12, 16 and 25. I was 41 years old when I was diagnosed on 10/18/13 with stage 2B adenocarcinoma lung cancer. I am NOT a smoker, but was exposed to second hand smoke as a child. I was married on 08/13/13 and 2 short months later was handed this diagnosis. At the time I owned and operated a gym, was in the best shape of my life and lung cancer was definitely not on my radar. I was sick for a few months leading up to my diagnosis and was mis-diagnosed by several doctors. No one thought lung cancer was the reason for my weight loss, fatigue and inability to take a good deep breath.
On 11/01/13 I had half of my left lung removed and on 12/10/13 I started 4 months of weekly chemo treatments. The chemo was horrible and there were days I didn't think I would survive it. The scans post chemo showed that I had no active disease in my body. My 3 month check-up also showed no cancer. My 6 month check-up showed that I had a spot close to my heart (inoperable) and 4 brain tumors. 2 days later I was having brain surgery to remove 2 avocado seed size tumors from the front lobe of my brain. The other 2 tumors created more risk with surgery and I underwent cyberknife for the cancer in my chest and brain. I then also started a new regimen of chemo. The spots began to get smaller, but I had a new spot show up in my chest. At that point I was eligible for a trial drug. The first dose of the trial, the tumors began to shrink. The 2nd dose the tumors disappeared and I'm currently showing know evidence of active disease in my body. The trial drug didn't come without side effects. The cyber knife and trial drug damaged my bronchials. I'm currently 100% dependent on oxygen. I have spent more time in the hospital with bronchitis and pneumonia then I care to count.
We take each day for the gift that it is. I'm able to get out and do things, I just do them at a slower pace. I'm incredibly grateful for the love that I get and give my family and community. I was shocked to find out that lung cancer takes more lives than colorectal, breast and prostate cancers combined, but receives the least research funding. I believe it's because lung cancer has a stigma attached to it that smokers get lung cancer and they deserve it. I'm here to tell you I'm not a smoker. I'm young and I was in the best shape of my life prior to being diagnosed. I'm passionate about bringing as much attention to this deadly disease as possible. We must find a cure for this horrible cancer that is taking mommies and daddies away from their families. Let's work together to spread the word that lung cancer attacks smokers and non-smokers. Join me in the fight!!!!! Be blessed and be a blessing!
First published: November 2, 2015
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