clare m.'s Story

Alabama – I am 70 years old and woke in the night with pain under my right shoulder blade. I thought it was a heart attack so woke my husband to go to the emergency room. Once there it was found my heart was fine. So a chest x-ray was taken and revealed a shadow in the right upper lobe. Several biopsies later and the defining PET scan showed it to be cancer. I learned that only 1 out of 4 will have any symptoms before they are in stage 4. Cancer that has a 15% 5 year survival rate is usually found early stage 1. I have a 50% chance of a 5 year survival rate but with chemo that rate goes up to 60%...which is not very much. I read that most people have few if any symptoms and that is the way I am. If it was not for family I would not go through the side effects I am expecting with the chemo. I am booked for next Friday. I will have a pick line put in so Chemo is easier to administer. I will have weekly blood tests, weekly doctor visits and weekly chemo for 2 months. As long as I can tolerate the side effects that will be the way my treatment will go. Right now I am in excellent health. We walk daily, go ballroom dancing at least monthly, I do all the gardening on a quarter acre lot and enjoy the activities. I am in the beginning of this fight. I know I am very lucky, a great husband and family. I worry about deafness that may come from the drugs, possible kidney damage, loss of feeling in my fingers and toes...they say I won’t lose my hair...and I am glad about that.


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