LUNG FORCE Heroes
In late May 1997, my sister and I went to London. When we returned, I had a cough. Being a nonsmoker, I shrugged it off as effects of pollution in the UK. About a week later, I still had a dry cough and thought I better go to the doctor. He said I had bronchitis. I thought this was strange since I never had any flu type symptoms. So I was given antibiotics and went home. Ten days later, I still didn't feel better so I went back.
Now the doctor said I had pneumonia! I thought that was also strange, but he sent me home again with antibiotics. A physician assistant told me if I don't feel better that I should come back. At this point, it's mid July. I went back again and the fluid in my lung was cleared up on the x-ray to reveal I had a tumor the size of a half a dollar high in my right lung! I was sent to a pulmonary specialist who had me have a CT scan. They surgically removed my upper lobe and 1/3 of my lower lobe. I had stage 2 brocchio adenocarinoma. I then had to go through 5 1/2 weeks of daily radiation. It took about 2 years for me to start feeling normal.
Five years after the surgery I had a spontaneous neumo (lung collapse). It took them a week to get lung reinflated. Another five years went by and my lung collapsed again. I had to have the same painful surgery of rib spreading like the cancer surgery to have the blebs removed and attach my lung to my chest wall. I was in the hospital for 26 days! It's been 18 years now since I was diagnosed with lung cancer and I'm happy to say I am healthy and happy!
First published: December 21, 2015
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