Corey W. I’m a 23-year-old girl who is beating stage IV lung... California Corey I’m a 23-year-old girl who is beating stage IV lung cancer. Just 2 weeks after graduating from UC Berkeley, I was walking down a street in San Francisco when I received an unexpected phone call. "Corey, you have adenocarcinoma. You need to see the doctor tomorrow." I Googled the foreign word - "The most common form of lung cancer." I’ve never smoked. Accepting the diagnosis was the most difficult part. Here I was in marathoner’s shape, having run a trail half marathon just two weeks before. I had climbed Mount Kilimanjaro on my recent study-abroad trip. Yet, the statistics were stark; a 16 percent survival rate. At the time, I thought chemotherapy was my only option and that a clear PET/CT scan would be nearly impossible to achieve. Then I read about genomic testing and precision medicine, and I realized that this is my chance. Comprehensive genomic profiling and precision medicine together create a personalized treatment approach that targets a patient’s specific genetic cancer mutation. I loved the idea of my medicine seeking out specific cancer cells and zapping them. My first needle biopsy had been submitted for genomic testing, but only for the two most common genomic mutations. It was another huge blow when my oncologist told me I tested negative for both. Yet, he was confident we could still find something to save me from relying on chemotherapy, so we made the decision to have surgery to remove a nodule and submit it for a comprehensive genomic profiling. When the results came back, I felt like I had hit the genomic lottery. I am ROS-1 positive, a genomic alteration that qualifies me for a targeted therapy in the form of a pill. I take my precision medicine twice a day with few side effects and it keeps my cancer in remission. I am happily, and proudly, NED, “No Evidence of Disease.” Precision medicine has put my cancer on pause. It is the future of cancer treatment. Sadly, most patients still do not know these breakthrough tests and therapies exist, nor is it routine for doctors to offer this lifesaving test to all patients. The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF), collaborated with 16 advocacy groups to launch the “Don’t Guess. Test” campaign to educate patients and physicians about comprehensive genomic testing, helping to identify mutations and connect patients with breakthrough treatment options. For more information about “Don’t Guess. Test.” please visit www.dontguesstestlungcancer.com
Max M. My mom had been having a persistent cough for... Colorado Max My mom had been having a persistent cough for several weeks. My sister insisted that she go see her doctor. A chest x-ray revealed fluid outside the lungs and a spot on the upper lobe of her left lung. Tests revealed stage 4 lung cancer. While waiting for further test results to come back in order to prescribe a treatment for her, she became weaker and more tired each day. By the time the results came back she was fighting pneumonia with three antibiotics. The tumor in her lung was blocking oxygen from getting in and the infection from getting out. My mom didn't want radiation treatment on the tumor to try to shrink it down in size. She knew the prognosis and fought a brave battle. In just 23 days from when she visited her doctor, she passed away. I can only hope to get the message out that if someone you know has a persistent cough for more than a couple of days, have them see their doctor about a chest x-ray. Also, everyone should have a radon test done on their houses, as radon gas exposure is a likely culprit of lung cancer.
meliss h. My husband started coughing in his sleep in... Pennsylvania meliss My husband started coughing in his sleep in September. By the end of December after a test we found out he has stage 4 lung cancer. He started chemo January 5th. He gets it every 21 days. I pray every day to not take him from me. In two weeks we do a CT to see if the chemo is working. I’m trying to stay strong.
Dawn W. My story is very short, we didn't even have time. I... Texas Dawn My story is very short, we didn't even have time. I knew something was wrong when I hadn't heard from my mom in a while. I contacted others and found out my mom was in the hospital. We thought it was pneumonia in both lungs. The doctors found a growth and did a biopsy. It was lung cancer. The day after the diagnosis she died. There was no time, it happened so fast. She was living in Costa Rica, so I was not able to get there. Guilt on my part is huge. I am an only child.
Cathy P. We found out today that my dad has stage IV... Pennsylvania Cathy We found out today that my dad has stage IV non-small cell lung cancer. He was a perfectly healthy 79 year old man who started coughing in Nov. 2014. Doctors treated him for bronchitis but the antibiotics didn't help. In late January, after finding a lesion/mass on his lower right lung lobe, they found fluid surrounding his lung. One liter was drained on a Wednesday. The following Monday he went back to have a biopsy of the lesion. They found three more liters built up in just a few days. He was in the hospital for 12 days trying to get the fluid under control. He came home on Friday and was very weak. He went to the oncologist today (Monday) for his first consult. Still very weak, he asked to be admitted. They plan to do chemo when he gains his strength. My family cannot wrap our heads around this. He was the picture of health just a few short months ago. I am looking for any signs of hope and help. He promised us he will fight it. Prayers to all suffering.
billy B. My husband, a smoker for 50 years, was diagnosed in... South Carolina billy My husband, a smoker for 50 years, was diagnosed in September 2014 with stage 4 lung cancer. The cancer involves lymph nodes and has advanced to his liver. He had a history of COPD for several years and cancer was found on routine x-ray. He was started on chemotherapy and after 1 cycle was too weak to continue so now we are in a month rest taking no meds and no treatment. I am his only support. It seems like friends and family have disappeared one at a time. I don't know what to expect or what comes next. The doctor doesn't say much except wait and see.
laurie c. My husband, John, was recently diagnosed with lung... North Carolina laurie My husband, John, was recently diagnosed with lung cancer following a visit to the hospital. He already knew he had COPD and when the Dr. told him he had pneumonia, a liter & a half of fluid was drained out of his lungs. Which has left him so weak that he cannot return to work. We will soon know what stage he's in and other options. I stay strong for us but sometimes I need support too.
Bernard B. Hi All - I am 58 and was diagnosed in January 2014... Virginia Bernard Hi All - I am 58 and was diagnosed in January 2014 with lung cancer stage 3b NSCLC after coughing phlegm with streaks of blood since mid-2013. Asked the normal question and heard survival was roughly 12 - 18 months maybe longer if treatment worked. They had survivors over 4 years. I did the 30 days of radiation and 2 courses of chemotherapy of 5 doses each. During the radiation I was sick as expected I could see my business was nose diving. CT scan in late May showed significant reduction in the tumor size which was localized to the right lung -no spread at all. I was very happy but had lost 25kgs weight and half the person I was 12 months ago. I had started getting my affairs in order so my wife and son were well taken care of when the time came. They are now in order but it took longer than I thought. Something made move up my next CT scan to mid-August the tumor had got 1cm bigger. It was now 8 months. I went back onto chemo 1 dose every 3 weeks, right from the 1st dose I went down and really could not work. My factory went on strike over an unrelated issue so I closed it there and then and sold off everything. We were in a good financial situation. I bought my wife a new house in Umhlanga Rocks, the Pearl of suburbs. After all she had been there for me over 35 years and allowed me total freedom to get on with the business. I sold the old one we stayed in for 20 years. My son, I had bought a beautiful home in Umhlanga in 2009 as a Christmas present. He is a helicopter pilot out of Durban and loves life like all pilots, married just over a year. I have invested well and neither need to work. He will of course-- pilots love their jobs. Expensive to train but love what they do. I have everything just not a future life. I still cry myself to sleep and ask why but life is life. I’m very scared of the future. Hoping to make it to December 25th which is the 1st time I’m really looking forward to having Christmas with my son and his family. I am treated fairly by my wife who stands by me not as a wife but a friend- I could not expect any more. I have stopped the chemo on Tuesday after 4 sessions. I should do 6 but all agreed chemo was hammering me and I am now wheel chair bound the last 2 months. This happened practically over one week. I am happy stay at home. Tried cannabis but made me sick but must work for some. So far so good or a lot better than I expected. Praying for a break through cure but we all are. I wish I had committed more to family life than business - memories work both ways. Yours and theirs. I hope they remember me well.
David B. My Mom Was Diagnosed With Stage 4 Lung Cancer In... Florida David My Mom Was Diagnosed With Stage 4 Lung Cancer In 2009. She Passed away in 2012. I Miss Her Very Much. I Was There For Her Through Her Battle.She Is My Guardian Angel. Love Her And Miss Her Very Much.
Michele H. I was diagnosed with SCLC last May and have... Alabama Michele I was diagnosed with SCLC last May and have concluded chemotherapy and radiation (right lung) and Prophylactic Brain Irradiation. At this point there is no evidence of cancer where they have scanned me. This is great. Unfortunately, I have extremely low BP 86/63 and a fast pulse 100 and experience a debilitating amount of dizziness and weakness. I also have shortness of breath, cough, headaches, lower back aches and peripheral neuropathy in my feet and hands. I went to my oncologist's team and the upshot is that "if there is no active cancer, there is not anything they can do for me". "We do follow up blood tests and scans and take care of cancer." I've made an appointment with my old Internal Medicine doc and a pulmonologist. When I saw the pulmonologist he asked if an adrenal panel had been run for the low BP/dizziness. I said no and he ordered a morning cortisol test which was low. Then he suggested I go back to my oncologist to get taken care since they had more of my history. I am feeling like there is a really important of post-chemoradiation care component missing from the "system" (let's hope it’s just me). This would be some kind of Internal Medicine doctor who is knowledgeable about chemo and radiation side effects and can help you go "Live life" as my oncologist told me when they said my tumor had shrunk enough that they could do PCI. This also makes me wonder about what kind of care I will find if/when the cancer comes back and I choose not to do any more treatment. Will the cancer center show me the door? A funny anecdote: Yoga is encouraged, so I took a one on one gentle yoga class from a teacher who is also an RN. I had to slide down the wall from dizziness after stretching one arm up. She took my pulse and we did the rest of session lying down because my pulse was too fast. I have some appointments set up and do wish there was a discipline for post chemoradiation side effects. My trust with my oncologist is pretty much broken at this point. To use a boxing analogy: She is a top notch cut man, but for now I am out of the cancer fighting ring and I need a trainer.
Mary B. In Jan. 2013 I had a CT prior to an endo/colonoscopy... Virginia Mary In Jan. 2013 I had a CT prior to an endo/colonoscopy to determine the reason for abdominal pain. I found our I had gallstones and needed surgery. In addition to that news I heard I also had a 1x1.3 cm. speculated nodule in my left lower lobe. Talk about terror. After a barrage of tests surgery for a lobectomy was done in Feb. and 3 mo. later gallbladder removal. I am so thankful for gallstones. I do know that early detection is the key to long term survival and as a celebration I got a tattoo. I showed it to my surgeon and told him to make a chart notation that I had ENOUGH of this disease, scare, tests, etc.
Shirley H. I was diagnosed with lung cancer with mets to the... Virginia Shirley I was diagnosed with lung cancer with mets to the bone, Stage 4 on October 7, 2013. I have worked as a Registered Nurse for 25 years. I had been complaining about back and leg pain, seeing doctors, and getting epidural injections. I had a clean MRI in January of 2013. I was trying everything to find relief. Visited Physical Therapy, doing what they asked. Pain after visits. Back pain increased and I was hammered with back spasms. Emergency room visit and insisting on a MRI in October 2013 revealed a fractured back from lesions. I am just finished One Year of oral chemo for targeted therapy. My family and friends have been an exceptional part of my survival. My attitude is fighting. I am calmer now and don't let my illness keep me from laughter. There is no cure for lung cancer. Prior to my diagnosis I knew one in eight women got breast cancer. Working with women I saw those odds. But I didn't realize that lung cancer was the #1 cancer killer of women. I'm sad that by the time I was diagnosed I didn't have a chance. I am hoping that more money goes into finding a lung cancer Cure.
Angela K. This is the beginning of our journey. My mom was... New York Angela This is the beginning of our journey. My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer metastatic to the brain on Oct 12, 2014. This diagnosis crushed me as we are very close, and she's only 50 years old. Right away I researched stage 4 lung cancer and instantly read the statistics, making the disease a death sentence. They told her she had a mass in her brain and one in her lung, both a decent size although I don't know the exact measurements. They did surgery in the hospital and removed the tumor from her brain which is what initially was causing symptoms. The surgeon said it was about the size of a grape but was luckily in a reachable spot. She was then referred to a thoracic surgeon who ordered a CT scan of her other organs to determine how widespread the cancer was. When the results came back, he stated that there was no sign of the disease in her other organs. He said she may be a very rare case of stage 4 where when only 2 single tumors exist, and both are operable. He ordered a pet scan to see if other cancer could be detected on there. Once again the pet scan showed no further sign of the disease. He said her chances of 5 year survival went from 1% to around 25%. She needed an oncologist. I researched our area to find the best doctors and made an appointment at Roswell. He agreed with the thoracic surgeon’s treatment approach and surgery has been scheduled for Nov 24th. The tumor in her lung is contained to the upper right lobe which will be removed entirely. We're scared. However we are trusting the doctors and going forward. Thank you for reading our story.
bob b. On Sept 3, 2013 I came home from work feeling good.... Ohio bob On Sept 3, 2013 I came home from work feeling good. Had to go to bathroom and when I went- nothing but blood. Long story short, I ended up in hospital. I had a tumor on my left kidney the size of grapefruit. I had it removed and during surgery the urologist found nodules on my left kidney. A biopsy found it to be stage 4 lung cancer. I am now on cancer pill daily. I am on it two weeks and then off one. It has worked. CAT scan showed it is shrinking. In October tumors started growing again. I am back on the pill -this time for two months then CAT scan again. What I really want say is, all of us with cancer will fight. We make peace with our life and live it as best we can. I cherish my days and take it as it comes. I know the whole treatment plan could change anytime but we will deal with it. I pray daily for all my brothers and sisters who are fighting for their life. Be strong and share your story, it helps.
Dawn H. In May 2013 I noticed a cough that wouldn't go away.... Washington Dawn In May 2013 I noticed a cough that wouldn't go away. After many visits to my primary care provider, two chest x-rays, and trying several allergy medicines and inhalers, I finally sought a second opinion. In August, 2014 I had a chest CT scan which revealed a tumor in my lung. From there, my PET scan confirmed that it has spread to my rib, spine and hip. I am 51 years old, a non-smoker and live a very healthy lifestyle. The shock that came with this diagnosis was unbelievable since both of my parents have had lung cancer. My father had the same as I do, Adenocarcinoma. My mother had squamous cell carcinoma, and my Mother has lost both a brother and sister to lung cancer. When my parents were diagnosed I did not know that the funding for lung cancer was so low due to a "stigma" that is associated with this disease. I believe that everyone deserves a chance at life, smoker or non-smoker. My goal in all of this is to raise awareness so that we can help fund research! So far, I have undergone 3 treatments and am going strong. I continue to work and exercise on a regular basis and will do so as long as I am able. I believe that a positive attitude will help me get through this and that it is important to share my story so that others out there will share theirs. Write your congressman and state senators, let's spread the word!
Helen M. In the last 4 years I have had 4 brothers and... North Carolina Helen In the last 4 years I have had 4 brothers and sisters diagnosed with lung cancer. One Stage 1, one Stage 2, One Stage 3 and One Stage 4. Sadly we lost our brother 5 weeks after his diagnosis. What surprised me the most is how some people think they brought it on themselves for smoking. There are other things that cause lung cancer. My sister who had Stage 3 still struggles with infections and coughing. I just wish as much emphasis and funding was given to lung cancer as it is breast cancer.
lisa f. My name is Lisa F. I am 52 years old. I was a smoker... Pennsylvania lisa My name is Lisa F. I am 52 years old. I was a smoker who quit about 6 years ago. Last winter I got sick several times, running fevers coughing a lot with a lot of mucus. I saw my doctor several times and he didn't seem worried about it. About a month later I got what I thought was another cold and I developed severe pain around my ribs. After a trip to the ER it was discovered that I had a nodule in my right lung. I was told not to worry it was probably nothing. After a pet scan I was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma in both lungs. I was in the first stage. They did a lobectomy on my right lung and took a segment from my left lung. Turns out that I had 2 primary cancers not related to each other. Has anyone else had two primary cancers? Right now I am NED and I have decided not to have chemo.
Dona G. My husband, Gary, was diagnosed with lung cancer... Wisconsin Dona My husband, Gary, was diagnosed with lung cancer last December, virtually no symptoms. He was having knee surgery and in the course of preparing for that, the spots on his lungs were found. He was diagnosed with Large Cell Neuro Endocrine lung cancer, stage 4. Of course after the initial shock of finding this out and facing your own mortality, we searched for any and all options to save his life. His Doctor was hopeful with a strong chemo regimen he could live up to a year and half. This was unimaginable to hear, as we were the couple that everyone always said was so in love and on an eternal honeymoon. Gary smoked for 30 years and quit smoking in 1995 when we met, I would not date a smoker and he quit on the spot. Gary powered through 6 strong regimens of chemo, as well as the many other trips to the hospital for transfusions and pneumonia. The knee no longer was the issue. Gary became ill with pneumonia in late June and on July 5th went into the hospital to try and knock that out of him. He was accepted into a clinical trial on July 2nd. The trial was showing significant results and we were thrilled. We needed to get him through this bout of pneumonia so we could get him going on the clinical trial. The lung cancer won, Gary lost his battle with lung cancer on July 11th, 2014. He did not want to die, he had so much to live for. The photo is a note to his grandson Sean who lives in Atlanta. I was surprised to hear that imaging of the lungs is not a normal part of healthcare; seems like if you crack a rib...you get scanned. And with lung cancer being a cancer with such a high mortality rate, you would think we can work to make a chest scan searching for this a regular part of our healthcare; similar to a mammogram, etc. I want others to make this a part of their health regimen, even if it means paying for the scan. Especially if you have anyone in your life that was or is a smoker-- protect yourself. Challenges along the way were trying to figure out how to get Gary the care he needed--from rides to chemo and doctor’s appointments, to the mental health care that is required for not only him but for me as well. Friends and family play an important role in this journey. Living without the love of my life is unspeakable. I pray often that lung cancer is someday something that no one has to live through. Stop smoking, encourage ones you love to stop smoking!!!
Matt R. My uncle was diagnosed with stage IV small cell lung... Louisiana Matt Louisiana Lung cancer Stage 4 Small cell Smoker Diagnosis Dizziness Slurring Hospice Palliative care Family Professional Death Chemotherapy Surgery Pain My uncle was diagnosed with stage IV small cell lung cancer on Monday, July 5, 2014 and died on Saturday, July 23, 2014. Having smoked for over 50 years, his diagnosis at age 69 was shocking, but not surprising. We were, however, very surprised at how quickly everything moved. His diagnosis came on a Monday when my Dad took him in to see the doctor after some noticeable dizziness and slurred speech. From that moment forward, he declined very rapidly. He entered the hospital immediately and was never again completely lucid. The cancer had already metastasized to his brain and was clearly affecting his memory and speech. A week later, the doctors told us there was nothing they could do because his kidney function was not strong enough to support chemotherapy. He went home with hospice on a Monday and died the following Saturday. Just one month earlier, he drove himself and my aunt to dinner with my Dad and friends. We were all in a state of shock how quickly this happened and are still trying to accept the finality of it all. My uncle was the CEO of a large, national business in his professional life and in his personal life, was dealing with my aunt, who was battling throat cancer. I think that he knew for a while that something was not right, but he didn't go to the doctor for whatever reason. An earlier diagnosis may have greatly changed things for him, but I am not really sure that he would have wanted that. It's hard to understand what other people are thinking, but maybe he didn't want to go through all of the treatment after watching the pain and suffering that it caused his wife. He lived life right up the very end and then went quickly, in a peaceful and painless manner. I guess there is something to be said for that.
Margee' M. In Dec. 2006, I received a call that my Mom's... Washington Margee' Washington Lung cancer Mother Family Sister Infusions Treatment Pancreatic cancer Brain cancer Palliative care Hospice In Dec. 2006, I received a call that my Mom's youngest brother had died from lung cancer. Then just 10 months later her younger sister died from lung cancer. In June 2014, my Mom was diagnosed with lung cancer. She's 82 and is now receiving Infusions treatments every 3 weeks. I had already lost my Dad to pancreatic cancer in 1992, then lost my late husband of 40+ years to GBM-4 Brain Cancer after a 21 month long battle in Dec. 2011. Now I'm my Mom's caregiver, didn't think I'd be going through this so soon, but here we are.
elizabeth B. When I was 4 my father would put something in his... Alabama elizabeth Alabama Lung cancer Cigarette Tobacco Quit Smoker Pain Struggle Children Liver cancer Stomach cancer Brain Bone When I was 4 my father would put something in his mouth, I thought blow on it, and put it in the ash tray. When he put me in the car, he’d light one up, at first it smelled kind of sweet. Not long after, I felt sick to my stomach. He would be just driving away, and I am trying to puke quietly so he wouldn't spank me. Every time he put me in the car, he spanked me, because I puked everywhere. I was little girl. When my father asked me what I wanted for my birthday present, I would always say "daddy stop smoke". He giggled and continued to do it. It was about that time when violent abuse started. He would drink out of his mind, and think we did not brush our teeth. However, to get to the end of this, we were placed in the fine system of foster care. Away from my dad, I did not know that men did not smoke that smelly thing. So, I asked my foster father where his smelly thing is, and he told me that it is not allowed in the house. I never asked again. We lived in the home for the rest of our lives, as we waited for our father to pick us up. We were told at the age of 12 that my father died. So, we went to the funeral, and it was my sister’s birthday. I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, and she told me our daddy. I felt hopeless, and sad. He never stopped, but his body killed him at the age of 52. He had liver cancer, and stomach cancer, brain cancer, and bone cancer. From November 1981, until Feb. 1982 he never saw us again. He went to the hospital on the Army base, and died there. In 1990 I had my daughter, I promised her that I would never subject her to anything to end my life and shorten hers by allowing smokers around her. However, that was not easy because my husband at that time would not stop smoking. So, it caused another reason for me to take her and keep her away from the smoke. Eventually I raised her on my own. She promised not to smoke around her little baby. This is what gave me hope. That my wish finally did come true and that I was able to stop the smoking chain from ripping families apart.
Sandra A. Five years ago, my mother looked me straight in the... Texas Sandra Texas Lung cancer Mother Smoker Heart attack Diagnosis Bones Family Death Suffering Pain Five years ago, my mother looked me straight in the eyes and told me that she did not believe smoking caused cancer. Three years ago she had a heart attack and quit smoking. Just under three months ago my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. It had metastasized to every organ in her body. It was in her bones and in the lining of everything. Three weeks ago, we buried my 64 year old mother. Her children and husband are the ones who watched her life quickly fade away. We are the ones that had to watch her go blind one eye, lose her mind, and lose her ability to communicate at all. News Flash People- smoking causes cancer and your not the only victim if you get it! Your family is left with the memory of your suffering. Your family is left with the sound of your death rattle breathing. It's your family that watches you breathe your last breath!
Sherrie B. I am an active working mom of two young adults, two... North Carolina Sherrie North Carolina Lung cancer Family Mother Diagnosis Treatment Allergies Sinusitis Antibiotics Cough Exercise Blood Clots Infections Upper Respiratory Tract Infection X-ray Greenville Chemotherapy Radiation Lobectomy Lymph node Faith Community Remission Survivor I am an active working mom of two young adults, two huge dogs, and several other pets, living in a log home near the ICWW in NC. I have NEVER smoked and detest the smell of it. Several years ago I started having a nagging cough, and went to the doctor over the course of two years, about 4-5 times. Each visit I would receive the same diagnosis and treatment: allergies/URTI/sinusitis and would go on a course of antibiotics. I'd start to feel better, then the cough would return. I also started to "slow down" a little, having coughing spells when I walked and feeling a bit run down. I chalked it up to getting older. Well, everything stopped June 2nd, 2013. I had been on a trip with my dad several days earlier. We had dinner, and that night I had a terrible coughing spell, which ended up with me in the bathroom, throwing up and coughing so hard I coughed up a little blood. I knew I had to get an answer, so that Saturday my folks and I went to the nearby MEDAC; again, I was given the same diagnosis: Upper Resp Tract Infection. I persisted, and finally got my X-ray. The doctor came back in to the room, flushed and embarrassed, and told me that she was sorry, that I had a huge growth in my right lung, a bronchocarcinoma. I don't remember much after that. The cancer was the size of a large fist, and it had spread to lymph nodes, we found out, after 3 different biopsies at Greenville Vidant Medical Center. I moved my stuff to the HOPE Lodge in Greenville, a WONDERFUL place set aside for cancer patients and their caregivers. I underwent 8 rounds of chemotherapy, 35 radiation visits, and in December underwent a lower right lobectomy and lymph node removal. I plan on writing more about my experience to help others undergoing this very scary time, to fight and not succumb to the beast inside you. It is awful. No doubt about it, but you can win, and with that attitude, I never owned or gave in to it. During the treatment time I was so blessed with an awesome peace from God, a peace of mind and heart that only He could give. I don't remember asking for it, it just came with prayer. I am so thankful for all the love, support, prayers, financial support, cards, dinners, food runs and gifts that friends, neighbors, coworkers and family provided...it is overwhelming. After my first checkup, I am happy to say that I am "cancer free" or to be politically correct, in remission. Thank you for this opportunity to tell my story.
John C. I am a Vietnam vet. In the summer of 2009, I was... Washington John Washington American Lung Association Veteran Diagnosis Gall bladder stones Lobe CT Scan Surgery Stage 3 Non-small cell Adenocarcinoma Tumor Asymptomatic Pneumonectomy Chemotherapy Radiation Seattle Side effects Symptoms Treatment Smoker Quit Clean air I am a Vietnam vet. In the summer of 2009, I was being diagnosed for gall bladder stones when an alert radiologist noticed a "suspicious area" in the lower lobe of my right lung while reading a CT scan that was focused on my gall bladder. Following gall bladder removal surgery, I was advised to follow up on the suspicious area. It turned out to be stage III-A non-small cell adenocarcinoma, five tumors spread across my right lung. I was completely asymptomatic. My only surgical option was pneumonectomy - removal - of my right lung, which just was not an option as far as I was concerned. I survived 2-1/2 years in Vietnam and I was determined to beat the beast. No way was the big C going to get the best of me! The VA had linked this cell-type/condition to exposure to agent orange. I left Vietnam in 1969, so 40 years later it had come back to try again. I began chemo/radiation treatments at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle in late September 2009. Fortunately, I did not experience many of the vile reactions and side effects associated with chemo/radiation treatment and my doctors were able to get quite aggressive with dosage levels. All the infusion nurses started calling me "Superman". I still have all the Superman stuff I collected during treatment. Tumors were gone by mid-December 2009. I completed treatment January 26, 2010, and started the long road to recovering from treatment. I climbed Diamond Head in November 2010 and have continued to recover my pulmonary function to the point that it is now back in the normal range. My oncologist released me in 2012, but I continue to see my pulmonologist annually. There is still a mass of scar tissue from radiation in the upper lobe of my right lung, and that will always be there, but that's pretty insignificant, all things considered. I'm looking forward to celebrating my 5th anniversary in January 2015. It's all about attitude, fight and support, and my wife, family and friends have been right with me all the way. Lung cancer carries a stigma - caused by smoking (I quit back in the early 80's). It can be caused by the air we breathe. That's the scary part! And it's also beatable!
Dan P. Ten months to the day, after they married, the... South Carolina Dan South Carolina Lung cancer Diagnosis Stage 4 Shock Distress Weight loss Fatigue Air pollution Carcinogen Coal plant Survivor Remission Ten months to the day, after they married, the unthinkable happened. On January 23rd of 2014, Dan received news that rocked their entire world, which had only begun to feel normal again after Becca’s accident. I logged into my voice mail and heard, “Kellie, its Dan. I was recently diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and would really like to talk to you if you can call me back.” “What?! Are you kidding me?” I was in complete shock. I immediately dialed back and Rebecca answered his phone. She’d been crying and I heard the distress in her voice as she said hello. “Becca, its Kellie. I just heard a shocking message from Dan. Can you tell me what’s happening?” Rebecca’s voice was shaking as she began to share how Dan had been very tired for over a month and how he had been losing weight rapidly. She wanted him to go in to see the doctor but he kept putting it off. When he finally did go, the test results came back saying he had stage 4 lung cancer and given a short time to live. Last October, the World Health Organization declared air pollution to be a carcinogen. Lung cancer seems inevitable for those living near areas that give off more pollution than normal, such as coal fired power plant like the one Dan lived near as a kid. It was hard to believe that Dan Powell, the air quality champion, now had lung cancer. http://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/local/2014/05/13/air-quality-advocate-wages-war-cancer/9066941/
squeeky w. Yep, its back. The 16mm lump is growing. We thought... Minnesota squeeky Minnesota Lung cancer Lump Remission Battle Yep, its back. The 16mm lump is growing. We thought we beat two stage four cancers 5 years ago, but it has reared it's ugly head. I work on startups and tech and charity work so it's not convenient, but will forge on! :)
Richard H. It is with much pride that I introduce my... Connecticut Richard Connecticut Lung cancer Documentary “Richard’s Ray of Hope” Awareness Stigma Diagnosis Inspiration Survivors It is with much pride that I introduce my documentary, “Richard’s Rays of Hope.” The documentary shares my ten year lung cancer journey, and that of my family and loved ones, to create greater awareness and hope for people impacted by lung cancer. My wish is to turn a negative diagnosis into a positive way of life. I know there is someone out there that just received a lung cancer diagnosis and experienced their world stopping moment. Please like and share the documentary with your friends and family (and ask them to do the same) so my message of hope can bring inspiration to that person, and all lung cancer patients and their families around the world. I have faith that someday someone will find something that will put a stop to the unbelievable number of lung cancer deaths each year so that my fellow lung cancer survivors and I may look forward to celebrating many more birthdays and anniversaries. I know lung cancer is not curable (yet) but it is treatable and wonderfully livable. Ten years later, my life goes on….thankfully. Richard
Shelly H. Today I had a fine needle and core biopsy on lymph... South Carolina Shelly South Carolina Biopsy Lymph node Collarbone Pathology X-ray URI Smoker Non-Smoker CT Scan Ultrasound Radiologist Healthcare professional Disease Today I had a fine needle and core biopsy on lymph nodes above my collarbone. I'll be waiting for the pathology results, probably 4 to 5 days, but what's the rush? I asked for the x-ray because I wasn't bouncing back from a URI about a month a go like I usually do. If lung cancer screening guidelines were being followed, I certainly met the criteria as an ex-smoker for a screening CT, but haven't even had an x-ray for over 10 years, but the pap smears and mammograms. Yee haw! During the biopsy, the pathologist, as she was holding the syringe to pull the samples from the ultrasound guided FNB being performed by the radiologist asked me, "Do you smoke?" Trying not to move, I said shamefully, "I did." Next time a health care professional asks me this question, I think I will say, "Why yes, since you are so concerned in the cause of my disease, I did smoke; but I really think it was my bestiality practices with puppies, kittens and goldfish that make me feel like I and my loved ones really deserve this disease, don't you agree?" Please don't hold it against me and give me good care anyway." I'll come up with something kinder to say in response, but today is the last time I'll say quietly and shamefully, "I did." when someone who is supposed to be providing my health care asks me if I smoke. My PET scan doesn't look good, radiologist said findings "compatible with at least Stage 3B disease". Guess I won't have to worry about retirement.
JoAnn B. I was urged by my husband to go back to my doctor... North Carolina JoAnn North Carolina Lung cancer Husband Family Cough Bronchitis X-ray Chest Testing Treatment Stage 4 Non-small cell Chemotherapy Lymph node Drugs Surgery Radiation I was urged by my husband to go back to my doctor with a lingering cough for two months after having bronchitis. My chest xray looked suspicious. This led to seemingly endless tests and doctors. On August 2, 2013 I was diagnosed with stage iv non small cell lung cancer of my left lung. It had already spread to my chest wall and 1 lymph node. I have had 4 different chemotherapy drugs in different combinations. I am about to start my 5th one next week and my oncologist tells me this is my last option. I'm not a candidate for surgery or radiation. The cancer has now spread to my right lung and another lymph node. I really don't feel as sick as they tell me I am. What a blessing from God! I pray for a new drug option but God is still in control of my life however long or short that may be.