LUNG FORCE Heroes
I was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma cancer in August of 2014. It was found in my left kidney which was subsequently surgically removed. I was told that it was cancer free and of course I was much relieved. In June of 2016, I was experiencing shortness of breath, so my doctor ordered a chest X-ray, stress test and a breathing test. The chest X-ray identified a suspicious mass in the right lung. A CT scan found a node approximately 2 cm in size. I was told that renal cell cancer can metastasize to other organs in the body including the brain. Results from a PET scan showed only the lung with a growth. A bronchoscopy showed tissue from the nodule in the lung was benign, but a biopsy verified that the renal cell carcinoma had metastasized to my lung and the mass in my lung was lung cancer. After consulting with an oncologist and two surgeons, I decided to have the mass surgically removed. The procedure was performed at the Kansas University Medical Center, in Kansas City, Kansas. My doctor successfully removed the middle lobe of my right lung. Following the successful surgery, I had an additional CT scan and no evidence was present as of October 17, 2016. Because there is a high probability that the cancer will attack some other areas of my body, I now have a vegetarian diet, using only organic foods with hopes that my immune system will ward off any further spread of cancer. I feel very fortunate that my lung cancer was discovered at a stage that allowed surgical removal of the middle lobe and that my entire lung was not removed. I am a strong advocate that money be appropriated for research to rid us of this dreaded disease. We need research funding in order to learn more about causes of lung cancer other than smoking. We need funding to promote early detection. I am the perfect example of someone who had lung cancer because of something other than smoking. We also need additional funding to research more personalized treatments for those who are diagnosed with the disease. We all deserve a fighting chance. I plan to stay at forefront in the fight against lung cancer, and I am proud to be a LUNG FORCE Hero.
First published: November 14, 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.