LUNG FORCE Heroes
In 2002 I was diagnosed with Stage IV NSCLC, METS to my rib. I had half of my left lung removed, my rib resected, my spine dislocated, several different chemo's and radiation. Surprise! I lived.
I went thru all the fears, the illness, the pain, and the life-changing experiences that accompanies being told, "You have CANCER." I firmly believe that surviving hearing those words is the first step in becoming a survivor. In September 2015, it returned. But this time it was Stage O Adenocarcenoma because I took the time to get semi-annual checkups, it was found early. This time I lost the bottom third of my right lung. It hasn't been easy. I hurt every day. I have arthritis, a hip replacement, pain everywhere, but I am alive. I once asked why doesn't lung cancer get the same support as breast cancer? (I also have had DCIS and BRC1 in my right breast). I was told that too many lung cancer people die - we don't have time to have our own lobby. We don't collect enough money. We need all the support and help we can get. The easiest part was losing my hair. The hardest part was all the surgeries and chemo. For a long time I worked as a support "buddy" to people who are newly told they have lung cancer. But, it became too painful for me to lose so many people to the damn disease. Please support the American Lung Association. More people die because of lung cancer than several other cancers combined. This must stop.
First published: November 2, 2016
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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.