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.
Valerie H. Just over three weeks ago my brother drove himself... Michigan Valerie Just over three weeks ago my brother drove himself to the emergency room with severe shortness of breath. He thought he was having a heart attack. The hospital took a chest X-Ray and told him that it showed a mass in his left lung and that fluid had built up around his lung and would need to be drained. Over a gallon of fluid was drained from his chest. The biopsy of the fluid revealed that he had non-small cell lung cancer. Stage IV. No words can describe the feeling that hits you at the moment you hear those words. Perhaps like you have been hit in the gut and the heart at the same time and the world stops moving. You are numb, but you are not numb. You can't feel anything, and you are feeling everything. You ask questions but you don't really hear the answers. You can only hear the word, "cancer". You want to know what the odds of beating it are but you are afraid to ask because you don't really want to hear the answer. My brother will begin chemo-therapy in a week. Radiation and surgery are not options. We are told that lung cancer isn't curable, only treatable. Our plan is to continue to treat it with the hope that one day it will become curable and my brother can beat it. We will certainly fight to keep him as healthy as possible for as many years as we can. He is 56 years old and very strong and healthy otherwise. We know that will help him considerably in his fight to come. Reading about the battles that others are fighting with cancer makes you stronger. You realize that you are not alone. My brother continues to share his story with the hope of making more people aware of lung cancer and how to prevent it. He was a smoker that had quit and is now determined that he will help others to quit by making them aware of his story and his feelings and fears. Cancer is not something that happens to "someone else" and prevention and awareness are certainly the best weapons against it. It takes courage and strength both to fight it and to support a loved one who is fighting it. Thank-you for sharing your stories and for allowing me to share mine. Keep the faith and a positive attitude. We are striving to do the same. The photo I am sharing is my brother and I on our journey to the U of M Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Let the battle begin.
Joyce C. I do appreciate the volunteers work. They are the... Alabama Joyce Alabama Lung cancer Volunteers Smoker Quit Non-smoker Health Help Motivation I do appreciate the volunteers work. They are the ones who have helped me quit smoking. It has been hard but I go to one of the sites on the computer when I want a cigarette and read about the harm a cigarette causes my body. The ugly pictures are a great help too. I have been cigarette free for 10 weeks. I still need their help. Thank you to ALL of the volunteers, every site, every commercial, every piece of mail, every time I see or hear anything anti smoking, they put out , is a great plus to motivating us to quit and to continuing to stay smoke free.
Michelle D. My dad found out July 1, 2013 (just a month before... Arizona Michelle Arizona Lung cancer Dad Cough Non-small cell lung cancer Stage 3 Misdiagnosis Surgery Ribs Tumor Christmas Brain Radiation Chemotherapy Liver Pancreas Pneumonia Treatment Non-smoker My dad found out July 1, 2013 (just a month before his 68th Birthday, and less than a year after retiring from a family owned flooring business) that the "clearing of his throat" that he kept doing wasn't allergies...it wasn't valley fever.....it was non-small cell lung cancer, stage III a. We were told it was non-small cell, however, I believe that was a misdiagnosis. My dad went through surgery to remove a portion of his right lung, and a section of 3 ribs that his tumor had attached to. He went through chemo. Upon finishing chemo shorty before Christmas, dad's mobility had declined. We found out he now had 11 lesions/tumors in his brain (did you know that there is a blood brain barrier?....chemo can't protect the brain!....we...did NOT know this prior to chemo). My dad went through whole brain radiation therapy. This was excruciating, and eventually debilitating. Upon finishing, his mouth was covered in sores, he was in extreme pain, and was no longer able to stand without pain. Back into the hospital, dad was there for 3 days. We finally found out that dad's cancer had spread and now it was in his liver, his pancreas, nodes near ribs, another tumor in remaining lung, sepsis throughout, and to top it all off, pneumonia. NOBODY said "hey! You should contact the American Lung Association.” We were never given any resources, we felt alone, and abandoned. My dad spent his last 2 nights in Hospice of the Valley, he closed his eyes on Feb 5, 2014 and he never opened them up again. He left to go to Heaven on Feb 7, 2014. Knowing what I know now,I believe I would forego treatment, and live my last days being happy and functional with my family. Lung Cancer is a horrible disease, and it affected a hard working husband, father, grandfather....a man who was NOT a smoker. I pray for a cure so that another family won't have to lose someone they love!
robert t. I tried and failed several times to quit smoking... California robert California Tobacco Smoker Quit Failure Process Morality I tried and failed several times to quit smoking tobacco. Each time I failed I would beat myself up verbally, labeling my failure as evidence that I was defective and lacking in willpower because I was unable to kick the habit. Once I accepted my failures as PART of the quitting process and not an occasion for moral condemnation, I was successful. Also, flavored toothpicks helped by giving my hands something to do and providing oral sensations. That was thirty years ago.
Timothy J. We learn from observing the examples of the lives... Kentucky Timothy Kentucky Lung cancer Family Smoker Non-smoker Grandmother Snuff Tobacco Cough Difficulty Pain Choke We learn from observing the examples of the lives which came before us. Of my four grandparents, three smoked. The one who did not is still alive at 98 years of age. Next to her was my paternal grandmother who smoked infrequently and dipped snuff. She lived well into her eighties without the horrible coughing that plagued both my grandfathers till they died, each in their early 70's. Both basically choked to death in their sleep, and smoked all of the time I was around them. My parents provided a better example. I love them every one, the ones who showed me what not to do, and the ones who showed me a better way to live. We all must die but shouldn't we first live well and long? One thing that stands out in my mind now is how much time and resources they diverted from living to just making smoke. I wish I could have had more good times with my grandfathers, it’s sad that a dirty ashtray is the fragrance that reminds me of them.
Karl J. When my older son was six, the family was sitting in... Ohio Karl Ohio Lung cancer Family Children Cigarette Smoker Complain Concern Quit History Environment Clean air When my older son was six, the family was sitting in the living room and I was smoking a cigarette. With worry on his face and in his voice, my son said, "...Dad, don't you know that if you smoke you will catch cancer?" I agreed with him and I could not be the kind of father that said, "...do as I tell you not do as I do". I quit. It was 1964. Dr. Joseph Stocklen of Nelsonville, OH was president of ALA of Ohio when I stood up in a meeting and complained that there were people in the room smoking. Joe replied, "The chair is willing to accept your motion." I was caught flat footed, because I has been ready to complain, but I had not thought beyond voicing my concern. Standing in place I hurriedly fashioned a motion that smoking in ALA of Ohio meetings and offices be banned. It passed! When his term on the ALA Board expired, Joe Stocklen nominated me to replace him. I am proud to have been a member of a joint committee of ALA that created the then most effective self-help smoking cessation protocol in history. I served on the ALA Board for 21 years.
Karla H. My mom got lung cancer at age 71. She went through 5... Kansas Karla Kansas Lung cancer Mother Chemotherapy Radiation Diagnosis Sister Smoker Medication COPD Shortness of breath Damage Family Fatigue Struggle Pain Time My mom got lung cancer at age 71. She went through 5 chemos and 22 radiations and died 14 months after diagnosis. My sister got lung cancer at age 45 she went through a lung removal, 14 chemos and 40 radiations. She died 16 months after diagnosis. I moved both of them into my home and took care of them till the day they died myself started smoking at age 14 and now have severe COPD. I am on 3 kinds of meds and as the years go by I find it harder and harder to do normal things like walking up stairs, carrying laundry, yard work the list goes on and on. I’m 57 now. My point is, the meds are helping to prolong the end result of having to have O2. I quit smoking with the help of medication. Yes, it’s hard to quit but it is oh so much harder to go through the pain of lung cancer and the pain of losing your family to this is. No one could tell me that when I was younger. I thought it can’t happen to me. Oh how I’d give anything to go back in time and warn my family what smoking is going to do to us. Eventually all bad comes from smoking. Here are my stats from: six years, three months, one week, three days, 10 hours, 6 minutes and 19 seconds. 80304 cigarettes not smoked, saving $18,068.89. Life saved: 39 weeks, 5 days, 20 hours, 0 minutes. And still I have a hard time breathing and can’t do what I’d like, so the damage is done and can’t be undone.
Sue H. Growing up in the 1950s in a house where my dad and... Illinois Sue Illinois Lung cancer Smoker Dad Respiratory Infections Allergies Heart attack Pollution Environment Health Asthma Medication Denial Family Growing up in the 1950s in a house where my dad and his father smoked unfiltered cigarettes caused me to have yearly bouts with respiratory infections and allergies. My grandfather died of lung cancer in 1976 after smoking for 81 years. My father died of a heart attack in 1971, although he quit smoking cold turkey about 1956. I am sure this history, as well as general levels of pollution, affected my health permanently. I have asthma and am on oxygen all the time from restrictive lung disease. Any kind of chemical air pollution can quickly trigger an asthma attack, for which I am heavily medicated. The worst thing for me is that in general, the average person does not recognize the dangers of second hand smoke to anyone if he is not affected himself. Still lots of denial going on.
Jerilyn T. This isn't my story as much as my mom's story. It is... Colorado Jerilyn Colorado Lung cancer Mother Diagnosis Stage 3 Smoker Quit Non-smoker Treatment Pneumonectomy Surgery Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Family This isn't my story as much as my mom's story. It is short- her life was too short. At 63 she was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. She was a smoker, but not for about 25 years. She quit so this wouldn't happen to her. Both her parents died of lung cancer. Her first course of treatment was a pneumonectomy. After the surgery she seemed fine and the next day she was sitting up and out of bed. She looked great. However, on the 4th day after her surgery she developed Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and passed away a few days later. When a family member gets a diagnosis of cancer you think that you at least have a few more months. It was such a shock that within a few weeks after her diagnosis she had died.
Ruthann B. My husband had cancer in his esophagus and we were... Ohio Ruthann Ohio Lung cancer Husband Esophagus Stomach Overweight Health Dialysis Brother Family Support Pain Loss My husband had cancer in his esophagus and we were told that he also had cancer in his stomach on November 14, 2008. On November 26, 2008 they opened him up and did not find any CANCER in his stomach. They decided to operate on his right lung. He did not have any there and that was not in the procedure. Well we were in the hospital for 2 months and on Jan. 26, 2009 we came back home to Toledo and went to another hospital in there. My husband was overweight and we were told that no one would operate on him because of his weight and health. Anyway he was on dialysis for a long time. He died on Jan. 10, 2012. He is and was and still is a great loss. My brother died 2008 of lung cancer.
stage4survivor H. An Interesting Journey... Started with a focal... New York stage4survivor Seizure Brain MRI Tumor Optic chiasma Lobe CT scan Chest Stereotactic brain surgery Pulmonary embolus Chemotherapy Adenocarcinoma Stage 4 Advocacy Treatment An Interesting Journey... Started with a focal visual seizure which precipitated brain MRI revealing 3 brain tumors measuring 1cm, 1.5cm and 2.5cm over the optic chiasma. Chest CT revealed 1cm tumor in the LUL (left upper lobe). 2 weeks later stereotactic brain surgery to alleviate seizures. 2 weeks post-op, untreated pulmonary embolus (PE). 1 month post-op, 2 doses of chemotherapy. 2 months post-op, R VATS confirms new tumor is a PE. 3 months post-op, LUL wedge resection. Adenocarcinoma confirmed by brain and lung samples from LUL. 1 year post-Dx, large brain tumor regrew. GammaKnife for all 3 brain tumors. Astonishingly, despite starting as stage 4, all treatment completed November, 2000. No further treatment of any kind for the past 13 years, 11/30/13 was my 14th anniversary since Dx. Self-advocacy and aggressive treatment is the key.
Amy Z. I can still remember exactly how it happened. My Dad... Florida Amy Florida Lung cancer Family Dad Diagnosis Stage 4 Surgery Tumor Heart Treatment Chemotherapy Radiation Anxiety Medicine Remission Lymph nodes Prognosis Tube Disease Environment Support I can still remember exactly how it happened. My Dad called my oldest brother over to our house and sat us down together at the kitchen table with my Mother. He explained to us "I'm very sick". I didn't need to hear another word before I was in tears and disbelief. He explained that he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and that he wouldn't be able to get surgery due to the location of the tumor and how close it was to his heart. He described his treatment plan which included aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments. I just didn't know what to think. All I knew was that my heart was breaking for my Dad and I wished I could take it all away. After a year of chemotherapy and radiation (and how sick it made him), my Dad was to go to a follow up appointment with his Doctor. We were all so anxious about what we would find out. By the power of modern medicine (and the glory of God), my Dad was in remission. The tumor was gone. It was such a relief. He bought himself a new set of golf clubs and decided to live his life to the fullest. We enjoyed every moment we had with him and I was able to truly understand and appreciate the love a child has for their parent. Unfortunately, his remission did not last long. Not even one year went by and he was back in the hospital. This time it was much worse and had spread to his lymph nodes. The prognosis was not good. Before we knew it, Dad was bedridden and needing to be tube fed. There were numerous trips to the hospital. I watched the strongest man I know completely succumb to a disease that we never knew could infiltrate our lives in such a devastating way. I always wanted my Dad to know that I never lost hope that he could get better. In an effort to convey that to my Dad, the very last Christmas gift he got from me was the following: Florida Gator pajama pants (for football season) and slippers (for when I hoped he'd be back on his feet). I explained to him that he would need these and be walking around the house before we knew it. We lost Dad the following January of 2004. I always make it a point to let those I love know and to aspire to touch lives while I am here on this earth. Starting in 2011, I have participated in the Fight for Air Climb in Tampa in honor of my Dad. It's such an incredible feeling to know so many people support this cause and still have the hope that got us through my Dad's fight.
Sherry G. My story is a divine intervention about a young... Maine Sherry Maine Lung cancer Family Women Stage 4 Mets Brain Surgery Recovery Life expectancy Shortness of breath Positive My story is a divine intervention about a young woman and mother of three children ages: 22, 17 and 2 and a wife to a wonderful caregiver. I was diagnosed unexpectedly with Stage IV Lung Cancer with Mets to the brain (twice). I used my aggressive surgery and recovery time to write a memoir about my experience - which was just published today. I have also tried to remain hopeful although the life expectancy isn't favorable. I live everyday thankful for another one to breathe, sing and dance with my children. I am hoping to leave footprints behind on the hearts of the people who have cancer - and those who loved people with cancer. I hope my story inspires you in some way in a positive light. God Bless.
Danielle S. We found out that Grandma had lung cancer stage 4 in... North Dakota Danielle North Dakota Lung cancer Grandma Family Stage 4 Smoker We found out that Grandma had lung cancer stage 4 in Feb. 2013. I was devastated and knew she wouldn't have long with us. It was heartbreaking to see her get weak from the cancer treatment. She was 79 years old and sadly passed away on August 12, 2013. Grandma did smoke most of her life. I think of her every day and continue to make others aware of smoking and lung cancer.
violet s. I have been smoking since I was 5 years old. I could... Indiana violet Indiana Lung cancer Smoker Child Survivor Breath I have been smoking since I was 5 years old. I could read the warnings at that age but no one jumped in saving lives then. I know people who have died of cancer and were never around cigarettes or smoke their entire lifetime. Yes I have asthma, but I also worked around flour from bakeries and dust from newspapers and the smells from colognes. I was 53 in October and there is no difference in my breathing other than when I am around someone that smells heavily of perfume.
Robyn C. My husband found out he had lung cancer with a chest... Oklahoma Robyn Oklahoma Lung cancer Chest X-ray Treatment Nausea Drugs Bills Funding PET scan Survivor Remission My husband found out he had lung cancer with a chest x-ray. I want people facing lung cancer to get treatment as soon as possible. My husband's treatment was not as bad as we expected because of the anti-nausea drugs the have now.Our greatest challenge have been paying the medical bills.My husband has finished his treatments is back to work and feeling great. We have to wait until December for him to have a PET scan to see what the treatments have done. Because of how good he feels we believe the cancer is gone.
MaryLee F. When I was in my late twenties, I started coughing... California MaryLee California Lung cancer Twenties Cough Blood Diagnosis Adenocarcinoma Chest X-ray Bronchoscopy Surgery Lobes Weight loss Shingles Faith Remission Survivor Chemotherapy Surgery When I was in my late twenties, I started coughing up blood. I was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma in my right lung after having a chest x-ray, bronchoscopy and surgery. Two lobes of my right lung were removed by the thoracic surgeon. I had lost so much weight and had such low resistance that I got shingles and was very weak, but I kept a positive attitude and relied on prayer as well as modern medicine. Thankfully, I gradually got my weight and my energy up to speed. Highly motivated to survive, I walked and swam to gain lung capacity. Now, here I am at 73 still going strong and enjoying children and grandchildren. So many strides have been made in recent years with new chemo treatments and modern surgery techniques that I wish the best for those now facing a lung cancer diagnosis.
Alvy K. In his efforts to determine why I was experiencing... Texas Alvy Texas Lung cancer Dizzy Neurologist X-rays Blood Blood circulation Physician Lobe Neck Radiologist Non-smoker Adenocarcinoma Surgery Remission Survivor Symptoms In his efforts to determine why I was experiencing "dizzy" spells, my neurologist ordered x-rays of blood circulation through my neck to my head. Soon after, I got a call from my primary physician telling me I needed to see him right away. He wouldn't tell me why on the phone. When he saw me the next day, he said the x-ray of my neck had been low enough that the radiologist saw cancer in an upper lobe of my left lung. At age 79 and never having smoked, I was of course surprised. Fortunately the adenocarcinoma was in its early stages, and a surgeon was able to remove it all. That was November 2011, and now I am checked annually and still cancer-free. I had had no symptoms whatsoever. I have thanked that radiologist personally, and I know how lucky I was.
Julie C. Julia was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer at the... California Julie California Lung cancer Stage 4 Exercise Julia was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer at the age of 26. She passed away just over a year later...
Jessica R. "Don't worry. I'll be fine. See you Friday." ... Pennsylvania Jessica Pennsylvania Lung cancer Dad Daughter Sister Stage 4 Diagnosis Prognosis Chemotherapy Doctor Acid reflux Severe pancreatitis Battle Pain Struggle Awareness Funding Family "Don't worry. I'll be fine. See you Friday." These were the last words my Dad ever said to me. I remember that Sunday phone call and the following week like it was yesterday. That Tuesday morning, my sister told me to make the trip across the state home. Less than 12 hours later, my Dad was gone. In May 2011, my Dad was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. His initial prognosis was bleak: a year left to live. The doctors underestimated my Dad's stubbornness though. He responded well to chemo, and the doctors began to believe he could make it to the five year mark. My Dad had goals he was determined to meet. There was hope in the grim situation. But in July 2012, my Dad was unable to eat. He went to the ER only to have the attending doctor send him home, stating he had acid reflux and should just try different foods. A week later, he was in the ICU with severe pancreatitis. He lost his battle on July 31 because his body was too weak from the cancer to fight the curable pancreatitis. Not a day goes by that I don't think of my Dad. He was only 56 when he died and has since missed so much. I wish I would have appreciated the time I had with him more when he was here, but I will always cherish the memories I do have. With the rest of my family, I will continue to honor his fight by raising money and awareness for lung cancer.
Lyvonne L. My dad had been having some weak spells and the... Tennessee Lyvonne Tennessee Lung cancer Family Dad Gall bladder Surgery Small oat-cell Survivor Agony Healthy Faith Husband My dad had been having some weak spells and the doctors said it was nothing. In October of 2002, he had gall bladder surgery and the doctor told us it was cancer. I researched that type cancer and it was curable if detected early-we thought it was over. The next day the doctor said it was very unusual because it wasn't in his lungs- it was small oat-cell lung cancer. I knew the survival rate for it was not good. My dad put up a mighty fight but passed away in April 2004. He never complained even though he was in agony. He was in good physical shape when he was diagnosed and that helped him to fight for as long as he did. He was a wonderful Christian, husband and dad.
Marybeth H. My husband, Eric, was diagnosed at 43 years old with... South Carolina Marybeth South Carolina Lung cancer Marriage Non-smoker Alk positive Stage 4 Symptom Lump Biopsy Adenocarcinoma PET scan Family Children Lymph nodes Bones Liver Brain Diagnosis Chemotherapy Radiation Portland Denver Charlotte Disease Cure Awareness My husband, Eric, was diagnosed at 43 years old with non-smoking Alk positive stage IV lung cancer in March 2012. We had been married almost 5 years and had a 4 year old son and a six month old son. His only symptom was a lump discovered in his neck that was biopsied to reveal adenocarcinoma. His pet scan revealed it had spread everywhere from lymph nodes to bones to spleen to liver to brain. Since his diagnosis, he has been on chemo which worked for a while and had targeted brain radiation. We have traveled to Denver and Portland to meet with specialists who are on the forefront of battling this disease. In August 2012, scans revealed multiple brain lesions. He underwent WBR in October 2012 and was forced to switch chemos since the other one stopped working. In April 2013, he was lucky enough to qualify for the LDK378 trial here in Charlotte and has had great response except this past August where it was revealed the brain lesions have begun returning. While the rest of his disease seems stable, the brain is what we now watch. His next scans are in a week right before Thanksgiving. We are not sure what the future holds and if this is the last holiday season he will see with his young sons. If there was half the awareness of screening there is for things like breast cancer, my husband and boys' father would have had a fighting chance. Now all we can do is borrow time and live scan to scan. A cure is an unattainable dream that can be reached for so many others with cancer but for people with lung- the stereotype and stigma signs their death certificate. My husband never smoked- he deserves to see his boys grow up. Awareness is the key to saving lives.