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Diana H

I lost my mom in 2008 of lung cancer then in 2009, I lost my sister to lung cancer at the young age of 45. I took my sister's kids in and had six teenagers at the same time under one roof. I was diagnosed with lung cancer in August 2013. I was stage three. I went to mayo clinic, had a failed surgery and came home to Indiana to receive more chemo and radiation.

I could only think "Why does the first thing someone ask you is if you were a smoker?" every time I told anyone I had lung cancer. I refuse to answer that question because it should not matter - you still deserve a cure, hope, and support without judgement. There is more to lung cancer than just smoking. Everyone in some point in their life has been around second hand smoke, the environment, chemicals, and the list goes on. I just know when someone tells me they have breast cancer the first question I don't ask is if you smoked, which they could also say smoking causes that cancer as well. So please stop asking people who have been diagnosed with lung cancer if they smoked, just say "I'm sorry you have to go through this" just like you would any other cancer.

First published: February 3, 2016

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