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LUNG FORCE Heroes

Pam M.

You notice your husband is losing weight and he has a cough and is sometimes hoarse and can hardly talk. Yes, he is a smoker. He refuses, like most men, to go to the doctor. After three weeks of trying to convince him to go to the doctor, he finally gives in. He tells the doctor, "My wife thinks I am sick..."

He was diagnosed with stage three lung and throat cancer. I was a caregiver for ten and one half years. We battled this cancer with chemo and radiation until November 20, 2012. That is the day we lost him.

Trying to live without my husband of more than 30 years was a totally different adjustment. Two and one half years later I was diagnosed with lung cancer. How do you go from a caregiver to patient?

Thanks to being pro-active in my medical care and never miss a yearly physical, which always included a chest x-ray, a mass was discovered in February 2015. The mass was surgically removed in April of 2015.

It is my testimony and goal to encourage all to make sure a chest x-ray is included in your yearly physical exam. If you are a smoker or ex-smoker over the age of 55, CT scans are available. I encourage all to contact their state and federal representative to expand medical treatment for early diagnosis of cancer.

First published: April 5, 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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