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.
Cindy B. I lost my precious Mama, Hazel, who was also my... Alabama Cindy Alabama Friend Family Surgery Uterine cancer Metastases Radiologist Pulmonologist Scar tissue Non-smoker Arthritis Shoulder pain Cough Bronchitis I lost my precious Mama, Hazel, who was also my friend. She looked much younger than her years. She was diagnosed with lung cancer after 25 years of being uterine cancer free. On 5/18/2010 she had surgery for metastases to the brain. On 11/19/2010 the radiologist thought they spotted something more. The pulmonologist said it was scar tissue. January 1, 2011, the day she died, was the worst day of my life. Mama never smoked a day in her life. She worked in shirt factories for years. Know the signs. Knobby fingers-we thought was arthritis. Shoulder pain-thought because she was so active. Treated for bronchitis for a year for a slight cough. Had I known this, Mama may still be alive.
Elizabeth P. My Grandmother was diagnosed with small cell lung... Massachusetts Elizabeth Massachusetts Lung cancer Grandmother Small cell Symptoms Chemotherapy Exhaustion Fatigue Eulogy Smoker Quit Family Non-smoker Mother Symptoms Condition My Grandmother was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer in September 2012. She was gone six weeks later. She passed away two days before Thanksgiving. Losing her was horrible enough, but losing her near a holiday was unbearable. We didn't even know she was sick, as her symptoms mirrored that of previous condition she already had. She only made it through one chemotherapy appointment. It made her so tired, but all I can remember is that she still made herself get up and cook dinner for us. At first, I tried to do everything for her, but then she told me to just treat her as I always have. I sang at her funeral and gave the eulogy. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. My biggest challenge to face was the uncertainty of what chemo for her would be like. Up until she was diagnosed, I fortunately had no experience with other close family members and cancer. Sometimes I also felt angry that she couldn't quit smoking. Then I felt guilty for feeling angry. What gives me hope after all my family went through, is that my mom quit smoking after my Grandma passed away. I miss her all the time, but I know she would be so proud of my mom for quitting, even if it took her death to help her daughter realize that it can kill you and take loved ones left behind hostage.
Donna G. Robert was a good man! A husband, father,... Maryland Donna Maryland Lung cancer Husband Father Family Non-smoker Survival Diagnosis Stage 4 Disease Liver Brain Spinal cord EGFR marker Trials Drug Therapy Hospice Lower back pain Pneumonia Migraines Cough Shortness of breath Robert was a good man! A husband, father, co-worker, neighbor and he was only 51 years old when he died. He never smoked. He battled bravely for 15 months. But he knew his odds for survival were small when he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. By the time the disease was discovered it had spread from his lungs to his liver, brain, and spinal cord. At diagnosis we were told to prepare for death in six months. Then, it was determined he had the EGFR marker and he was treated with a targeted therapy drug, which helped extend his life. What made Bob finally go see a doctor was lower back pain. He thought he had pneumonia. A chest x-ray revealed something much worse. Of course the six months leading up to the doctor visit he had a nagging cough, ocular migraines, and increasing shortness of breath. He blamed it on turning 50. The world was robbed of one really good man the day he died.
Joan L. I started with some back pain between my shoulder... New Jersey Joan New Jersey Lung cancer Back pain Pain Shoulders Bronchitis Emergency room Cardiac catheter X-ray Lymph nodes CAT scan PET scan Bronchoscopy Biopsy Lobectomy Septic Chemotherapy Remission Survivor Shortness of breath I started with some back pain between my shoulder blades and I was getting bronchitis almost every month. One day I had some chest pain and went to the emergency room where I was admitted and had a cardiac catheter, which was normal. The hospital had also taken a chest X-ray that showed an area suspicious for malignancy. From there it went CAT scan, PET scan, bronchoscopy and needle biopsy. I had a lobectomy done with follow up chemo. I have to say the chemo was the worst part- it took me to the brink of death. I ended up being septic after the chemo and was in ICU for 4 days. Today I'm 4 years and 10 months cancer free. I have shortness of breath occasionally but I'm just glad to still be here. Never give up, take one day at a time and always think positive!
Leya T. My dad has Stage IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. He... Texas Leya Texas Lung cancer Stage 4 Non-small cell Diagnosis Family Dad Defeat Tracheostemy Tubes Chemotherapy Dosages Clinical trials Laugh Fight Encouragement My dad has Stage IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. He was diagnosed earlier this year and it has changed our family forever. He is the one who fills our lives with laughter daily; and he alone can make you smile on your worst day with his unique sense of humor. He sat me down the day he told me he had lung cancer, of course being the youngest and only daughter, I was the last to know. I'll remember that day for the rest of my life. I remember my first response was "What's the next step?" He looked at me with his relaxed usual care-free smile and simply said "We'll see..." That's how amazing my dad is. He doesn't take this diagnosis as defeat! He takes it like any other battle or obstacle; he smiles and keeps going. That's what I want other people battling alongside someone fighting lung cancer should know: Keep going, keep fighting! Don't give up and fight together... I could tell you how many roadblocks we've hit; from his tracheostomy tubes, ER trips or his 12 Rounds of the strongest chemo dosages. But I'm not going to concentrate on that! I'm going to tell you how he is one of the only people joking and laughing at his chemo sessions! The way he makes his doctors and nurses laugh, or the funny bandanas he wears for jokes to cover the side effects of his chemo. I'm going to share the fact that my dad continues to smile and make people laugh even though he faces the biggest challenge he's ever faced. So again, please keep fighting, and never ever give up! Fight for your family and fight together. I’m sharing this picture of my dad during one of his chemo treatments. I hope his smile encourages and brightens another person's day like he does mine.
JoAnne J. My husband Larry was officially diagnosed with stage... New Jersey JoAnne New Jersey Lung cancer Husband Diagnosis Stage 4 Itch Foot Blood clot Groin X-ray Arterial Disease Smoker Lymph node Clinical trial Radiation Hospice Palliative care Family Support Faith Brain Surgery My husband Larry was officially diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer at the age of 44 on August 12, 2003. Larry’s ordeal started in June when he thought he broke his little toe. Then I discovered the bottom of his foot around the toe was almost black and cold. He never felt a thing, just that it was itchy. Finally he went to the doctor and was sent to hospital. They did some kind of emergency test and found a blood clot near his groin area so a stent was put in. They never did a chest x-ray. It was determined he had an arterial disease related to smoking. Finally after 2 more hospital trips they did a chest x-ray and found a "peculiar looking spot on his left lung”. We hoped for the best on the day of surgery. It was determined he had non-small cell lung cancer, stage IV. Larry had a few treatment options and we opted for a clinical trial. Larry said "If it doesn't help me maybe I can help someone else". Our team of doctors were great as well as the clinical trial nurse. The second week of November he was having severe headaches. Cancer was spreading at the base of his brain. Radiation was suggested but not recommended. Two days after final treatment we went to doctor who said "I am SO SORRY to have to tell you this but I think we should consider hospice". Hospice was set up the next day at home. Larry said from the beginning if things didn't go "our" way he wanted to be at home surrounded by family and friends in the house that Larry built. Phone calls were made and visitors came. Our Methodist pastor came by with communion. By 2am Saturday he said he was tired and ready for bed. He was getting agitated and he took himself off the oxygen. He looked at me and said "Just be happy and take care of our kids. I am sorry." It was 5:55am. Larry was in and out of it. I told him it was time to go. I loved him. I thanked him for the 15 years we had and the beautiful house we designed and built together. The kids and I will be alright. I put my hand over his heart. He fluttered his eyes. I said “I love you honey.” He said "For always". A golden heart stopped beating. Three days after our 15th anniversary it was over. Larry never really had a second chance. Services were held the day before Thanksgiving 2003. This November 19th would've been our 25th wedding anniversary. This November 22nd is the 10th anniversary of his passing. Our daughter is now 21 years old and our son, named after his daddy, is 17 years old and so much like his daddy!
Juanita B. What a journey. I found lumps around my collar bone... Wisconsin Juanita Wisconsin Lung cancer Lump CT scan Husband Collar bone Biopsy Lymph nodes Rib cage Stage 4 Stage 3 Hospice Support Palliative care Diagnosis Positive Treatment Healthy Death Non-smoker Struggle What a journey. I found lumps around my collar bone in 2009. The doctor wasn't too concerned, but still took a CT scan to keep an eye on it. In March 2010 I lost my husband to a lifestyle death. I sold about everything, and was going to sell my home but I did everything I could so I could keep my home, only to lose it to cancer. In November 2011, I found more lumps and bigger ones around the collar bone. The doctor took another CT and found that the lumps had gotten bigger. I underwent biopsies and sure enough, it was stage 4 b lung cancer- lots of cancerous lymph nodes between my lungs and rib cage. Now I knew what lung cancer does to people because I took care of my best friend and a mother in-law who had lung cancer and passed away. It's a horrible death. I was scared big time. My son was more scared but strong. My son was in medical school doing his internship in psychology and did some research on my situation. He said I could beat it and to get more opinions, so I did. My first opinion was stage 4, my second was stage 3b. My sister works as a hospice CNA and asked her nurses who is the best doctor by her and they told her who and I went to see them. They gave me the best odds, stage 3b, but they felt with a good attitude and staying healthy they could keep it managed and give me a few more years. So my sister called my son and asked if she could take care of me and help me through my journey (my son was going to come home to stay with me and I wouldn’t have that). So I moved up near my sister 3 hours away and I gave my home back to the bank (I would have lost it anyway because of bills). In the meantime, one of my other sisters was diagnosed with cancer also, so my brother helped her and I moved up north and fought like hell. I was loved big time and encouraged big time to keep a positive attitude. My son and his girlfriend would send me songs that would keep me strong (I love music). I did 3 weeks of chemo and 10 weeks of radiation, it was hell, but I did it. My nephew and sister and brothers all helped keep me positive. My other sister was getting worse and her treatment wasn’t helping. I beat my cancer in March of 2012. My sister Colleen wasn't as lucky as me. I miss her and have felt guilty since. I'm staying strong and trying to stay healthy. My son is doing his residency now and all is good in life. So never give up never.....
Michelle L. I have lost 5 family members to lung cancer,... New Hampshire Michelle New Hampshire Lung cancer Family Non-smoker Smoker Symptoms Diagnosis Pain Suffering Shoulders Treatment X-ray Advocacy Risk Health I have lost 5 family members to lung cancer, including both parents. My father was the most recent, losing his battle in 2012. He had not smoked for 15 years. It was a total shock. For me, the most enlightening part of the diagnosis was learning about the lack of symptoms. My father had been suffering with pain in his shoulder blade. After months of superficial treatment he was sent for an x-ray. It was at that point they detected the anomaly. From that moment on I realized I would tell everyone I could to be your own advocate. Know your body and if you have risk factors get screened. Don't wait until you don't feel well. It may be too late. Don't take no for an answer. Fight now so you won't have to fight for your life.
nicole r. It has been about a year since that life changing... Nevada nicole Nevada Lung cancer Stage 3 Small cell Chest pain Back pain Pain Heart burn Shortness of breath Cough Cold Reflux Tests Scans Community Charity Service It has been about a year since that life changing day I got my diagnosis of stage 3b small cell lung cancer. I had spent about 2 years prior to this back and forth to various doctors with chest pain, back pain, heart burn, shortness of breath and a cough that just lingered, and being told it was just a cold or heartburn. Or reflux. It was very frustrating. I knew it had to be something more causing my pain but no one believed me. I think I finally got the doctors mad and they ran more test and did a scan that showed everything. The cancer has progressed a lot. I spent a month feeling bad for myself. Then I decided, enough! I will make a difference in the lives of others, in the time I have left. I organize donations of clothes, socks, shoes, blankets and basic life supplies to distribute to the homeless in my town. I go drive into the areas where the homeless are, park and open my trunk and start to distribute to those that need it most. Lung cancer changed my life. But it got me into my community to make a difference.
Yolanda B. My mother Eartha "Mae", went to the hospital for... New York Yolanda New York Lung cancer Mother Pneumonia Tests Disease Multiple myeloma Survivor Non-smoker Family Daughter Awareness Breast cancer Breathe Shortness of breath My mother Eartha "Mae", went to the hospital for what we thought was pneumonia, but after return visits to the emergency room and many more tests, it was confirmed lung cancer. My mother called me at work and she knew how I take things to heart and the news of my beloved with this dreaded disease would send me over. I know she was stunned and scared but she dealt with the inevitable with dignity and relayed the news as calm as anyone could possibly achieve, considering the situation. I too face cancer as a 5 year cancer survivor of multiple myeloma; I know very well how dire those words you have cancer sound and feel. Despite my battle I will always hold this particular disease to heart- first it took someone very important in my life, and the fact that lung wellness is not properly embraced is a huge concern, due to the stigmas attached. Based on my mother's experience I wasn't fond of the doctors explanation of lung cancer and the two types. I feel those who are put in place for the ill, were not fully there, but that's the exception of so many others (nurses, specialist) that did have my mom's wellbeing at heart. I lost someone from this disease and now spend my life pushing tirelessly in making a stir in the words lung cancer awareness and wellness. I started a foundation called Mae's Breath Foundation in memory of my beloved, and have made some ripples in pushing the importance of this disease, as this is not only a smoker's disease as the stigma has suggested. I hope that the development of this disease is one day provided the seriousness as a breast cancer- for to breathe is a necessity - To breathe should not be discriminatory....
Rose w. In January 2013, at the age of 52, I was diagnosed... Kentucky Rose Kentucky Lung cancer Stage 2 Mother Lobe Chemotherapy Remission Survivor In January 2013, at the age of 52, I was diagnosed with stage 2b lung cancer. I was terrified. My mother was diagnosed in January with lung cancer and passed away 10 months later so you can imagine how scared I was. I had the bottom left lobe removed and eight chemo treatments, which I thought would kill me. In September I was told I’m in remission. Yay!
Charlie J. I had melanoma in 2002. A follow-up x-ray for skin... Georgia Charlie Georgia Melanoma Lung cancer X-ray Skin cancer Lobectomy Pneumonectomy Physicians Smoker Non-smoker Doctor I had melanoma in 2002. A follow-up x-ray for skin cancer found spot on lung. I had a lobectomy in 2005. The cancer resurfaced in 2008 and resulted in pneumonectomy. Life with one lung is difficult but it is life and I thank God and good physicians for my continued existence. I haven't smoked since August 2005. If you "can't quit", at least see doctor regularly.
Ashley B. Victoria, 49, found out in mid-July of this year... Texas Ashley Texas Lung cancer Family Stage 4 Daughter Sister Mother Victoria, 49, found out in mid-July of this year that she had stage four lung cancer. She fought hard to the end. Victoria lost her battle with lung cancer just 10 weeks later. She passed away peacefully in her sleep during the early morning hours of September 28th, 2013. Victoria would make friends in an instant and keep them for a lifetime. She led a beautiful life. Intuitive may be the best word to describe this soul. Victoria knew how to live life, how to love others, and did this with ease and grace. She didn't have to figure it out-her soul simply guided her to a wisdom and freedom few achieve. This made her a fun and loving friend, companion, sister, daughter and most of all a Mother. Many had the fortune of knowing this beautiful women. She is loved and will be missed by many.
Leslie E. I was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2010. I had a... Connecticut Leslie Connecticut Lung cancer Lobectomy Arthroscopic Early detection Asthma Pulmonary CT scan Lymph nodule Lobe Chemotherapy Radiation Technology I was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2010. I had a lobectomy done by an arthroscopic procedure performed by a brilliant doctor. I was back to work in 3 months and have been feeling great ever since. Early detection was the key. When my breathing issues seemed to be a little more than my asthma, my pulmonary doctor had a CT scan done and there was the nodule. The doctor took the middle lobe of my right lung to be sure it was all gone. No chemo, no radiation, just a miracle performed by a very good doctor. So having cancer is not always the end of the world with today's technology.
Cara M. I'm an avid cyclist. Last autumn, my husband and I... Ohio Cara Ohio Cycle Shortness of breath Exercise Symptoms Sore Ultrasound Blood Clot CT Scan Bronchial tube Infection Antibiotics Oncologist Non-smoker ALK-positive Adenocarcinoma Screenings Support Family Friends I'm an avid cyclist. Last autumn, my husband and I moved to a place that was at the top of a small hill. I rode my bike through most of the fall and winter months, and soon it got easier and easier to bike up the hill. I was getting stronger. In April, I started having some shortness of breath. It was consistent, but worse when I was exercising. Before long, it became very difficult to bike up the hill I had only recently been able to scale with ease. Since I did not have a primary doctor, I went to an urgent care. Within minutes of me describing my symptoms and when they started, the doctor said that I had asthma. I kept riding my bike, as of August I had well over 1000 miles logged for the season. A week or so later, I finally had a visit with a primary care physician. I told the doctor about my breathing issues. She asked if I had any other issues at the time. I wasn't going to mention it initially, but I ended up telling her that my leg was sore. I told her of the long bike ride I'd completed not two weeks prior, and that I assumed it was just a tight muscle. The doctor sent me for an ultrasound to rule out a blood clot. They found one, so I was sent to the ER. In the ER I had a CT scan. Shortly after the scan I was told that not only did I have the clot in my leg, but that there were several clots in BOTH lungs, as well as an unknown mass in my bronchial tube in my right lung. It was determined that most of my right lung was also collapsed and likely full of infection. As a result I was started on blood thinners and antibiotics immediately. I had several scans and tests while in the hospital. Before long, it was determined that I had lung cancer. The cancer was causing the blood clots they'd found. I was told I'd meet with an oncologist in a week or so. The oncologist said that due to my age and non-smoker status, she wanted to send samples of the tumor for genetic testing. I'm currently undergoing treatment for ALK-positive adenocarcinoma. Being as active as I was, I didn't think that I'd ever have to worry about lung cancer - especially because I don't smoke. I waited so long to get a primary care physician because I never get sick. Please...See your doctor for regular health screenings and be sure to discuss any concerns you have - no matter how insignificant you think they may be. Stay positive, but be realistic. Yes, you will probably have bad days and that's okay. It's okay to rely on people for help, and it's okay to cry or get angry.
Fancy T. My experience with lung cancer is a sad one. My... California Fancy California Lung cancer Smoker Asthma Emphysema Mother Shortness of breath Tests Hospital Arizona Nevada Coma Treatment Healthcare worker Dignity Suffering Respiratory Disease Stress My experience with lung cancer is a sad one. My mother died almost 4 years ago on January 3, 2010. She was only 56 years old. She had been a smoker since she was a teen. She had also had asthma since she was a young child and was diagnosed with emphysema when she was 36. My mother's fight was seemingly short. Within 7 months she went from feeling a little short of breath (more than her usual emphysematous self) to her death. It was a slow and agonizing spiral through multiple tests and examinations that eventually lead to a cancer diagnosis in November of 2009. Mom was in and out of the hospital after that. She ended up requiring home oxygen. On Christmas Eve 2009 we admitted mom to the hospital for her final admission. She didn't see her home again after that. Mom lived in and was hospitalized in Arizona and the rest of the family lived in neighboring states (California and Nevada). We did our best to stay in contact with mom during her last couple of weeks. She called me often scared and/or concerned about her treatment. I was called in the middle of the night by Mom and various healthcare workers during these days. I received one final call from my Auntie who had traveled from Nevada to be with mom after one of those concerning late night calls. My Auntie told me that my mother had slipped into a coma and the doctors did not feel that she would not live much longer. My family and I traveled 6 hours from California to Arizona- all the while not knowing if mom would still be with us when we arrived. We reached her around 5 in the evening on January 2nd. My husband and I stayed with Mom all night- trying to keep her comfortable and assuring that she had adequate pain medication. We didn't leave her side until the next afternoon. She died 1 hour after I left her side. Being a healthcare worker there was nothing so relieving as to see my mother no longer suffering- peaceful. Through this experience I gained a greater respect for the suffering and dignity of my patients. I deal with people with all types of lung ailments every day. Generally the patients I see are having some kind of respiratory distress or difficulty breathing. I have vowed to assure that I and the medical staff around me pay the utmost attention to the needs of our patients. Here is my advice: Take care of yourself. Don't ignore the signs. If there is something out of the ordinary going on in your body- have it checked out. Don't let yourself become a needless statistic.
Lisa S. My story is about my Aunt Nancy. She was diagnosed... Ohio Lisa Ohio Lung cancer Diagnosis Cigarette Smoker Non-smoker Hair Chemotherapy Experimental drugs Clinical trials Single parent Family Support Disease Weak Pain My story is about my Aunt Nancy. She was diagnosed in March of 2008 at the age of 46. She had never smoked a cigarette a day in her life. Her biggest fear that she voiced was that she would lose her hair. Little did we know at that time that should have been the least of our worries. She never liked to tell the family how bad her cancer was, but I soon realized from the immediate need for chemo, that it must be bad. She did multiple rounds of chemo and experimental drugs but ultimately it was not enough. She was a woman who was a single parent, worked 2 jobs her whole life, and did everything in her power to make everyone happy. Throughout the 2 years of battling this awful disease she never once complained or said why me. I am honored to call her my aunt and I will be grateful if I become even half the person she was. She was called to heaven on July 1, 2010 where this awful disease can no longer haunt her. Although she is gone she is forever in my heart.
Kathleen C. I was diagnosed with stage 4 Adenocarcinoma of the... Texas Kathleen Texas Lung cancer Stage 4 Adenocarcinoma Pneumonia Diagnosis Oncologist Non-smoker Smoker Tumor Mutations Chemotherapy Surgery Family Survivor Remission I was diagnosed with stage 4 Adenocarcinoma of the lung on 2/21/2011 after a bout with pneumonia. The diagnosis came as quite a shock to me as a non-smoker. I did, however, grow up in a smoking household. Fortunately, my oncologist had the foresight to have my tumor tested for genetic mutations. This was fairly uncommon 2 1/2 years ago and I will love her forever for her diligence. After 13 grueling months of chemotherapy, surgery, and more chemo, I began taking a drug designed to address my ALK genetic mutation. I have been cancer free since March of 2012. Remember, my cancer was a stage 4. My very best advice to anyone facing this dread illness is be sure the genetic studies are done. Research has brought us amazing therapies and continues to allow successful treatment. Lung cancer is no longer the "death sentence" it once was.
Kate K. I was blessed my cancer was found early while it was... New York Kate New York Lung cancer Early Diagnosis Stage 2 Surgery CT Scan PET Scan Tumor Infection Bladder Radiologist Treatment Chemotherapy Infections Lymph nodes I was blessed my cancer was found early while it was still in my lung only. I was diagnosed at stage 2. In May 2013 I was scheduled for a non-related surgery, but a pre- surgery x-ray showed a spot on my lung that was not there last November. That lead to a CT scan, visit to a thoracic surgeon and a PET scan. By the time I had the lung surgery July 8th, there was a second tumor. Both were removed, and all lymph nodes that were tested were negative. What surprised me was that the thoracic surgeon gave me no real information, only that is was a very aggressive, fast growing cancer and he had to remove the top lobe of my left lung. He did send me to a radiologist for his opinion about any need for further treatment. Of course he told me I was in the 60th percentile (no explanation) and sent me on my way. It was not until I wound up in the hospital a few weeks later with a severe bladder infection that the Nurse Practitioner taking care of me suggested I go to for a second opinion. What gave me hope was going to this new cancer center. I had a lot of questions and had most answered before I even saw the doctor. So now I am doing chemo as a preventative measure, and just trying to get through it with no more infections getting in the way.
Kathleen R. My Mother, Alexis, was diagnosed with lung cancer in... Indiana Kathleen Lung cancer Mother Diagnosis Family Support Care Palliative care Daughter Medicine Research Information Love Doctors My Mother, Alexis, was diagnosed with lung cancer in December 2003. She died one day after her 62nd birthday. In the beginning our family researched everything we could on the subject. Asked the doctors a lot of questions, which I suggest highly! Before appointments, write down questions. Have someone in the room with your loved one to take notes. Your loved one is nervous, scared, but has a brave face on. I found a lot of great information here on the American Lung Cancer Society's website and their support groups. People were my support without me leaving my Mother. I suggest you research, ask questions, explore conventional and unconventional routes--anything and everything to give your loved one another day and chance to be pain free! I miss her every single day and will until I die. I am so thankful that medications and research have come a long way since 2003. That is why donations help! A Loving Daughter :)
Donald B. My wife went in hospital to be treated for pneumonia... Florida Donald Florida Hospital Pneumonia Stage 4 Lung cancer Fluids Smoker Smoking Family My wife went in hospital to be treated for pneumonia and found out it was stage 4 lung cancer. She had a tube put in her chest for drainage and was sent home. A nurse drained the fluid every other day. Two weeks later she passed away. She had COPD and said it was caused by smoking.
Craig L. I found out I had lung cancer in September, 2006... Florida Craig Florida Lung cancer X-ray Pneumonia Infection Lymph nodes Doctors Treatment Fight Family Chemotherapy Survivor I found out I had lung cancer in September, 2006 after having a chest X-ray to rule out pneumonia when I couldn't shake an upper respiratory infection. 5 weeks later I had surgery to remove my upper left lobe. 3 out of 5 lymph nodes were positive so I had to undergo chemotherapy. My first suggestion is NOT to believe what you see and read on the Internet. I had a phenomenal group of doctors treating me and that was one of the keys to my recovery. My family support was also vital because they gave me the will and the strength to fight. Although I have experienced rather serious neuropathy as a consequence of the chemo, that is a small price to pay for my life. I just celebrated 7 years since my surgery, thus 7 years cancer free. To have the oncologists tell me we beat lung cancer was one of the highlights of my life. My favorite quote is: "Don't give up, don't ever give up!" Jimmy V
Nancy M. August 2010 I went to my primary physician after... Massachusetts Nancy Massachusetts Lung cancer Pain Elbow Arm Rib cage MRI Brain Tumor Surgery Pathology Stage 4 Radiation Chemotherapy Radiation Miracle Lymph node Clinical trials Surgery PET scan Spine Reconstruction Mutation Cure August 2010 I went to my primary physician after experiencing tremors/painful tingling sensation in my left arm above my elbow. These would literally jump to my rib cage under my left breast. One of these episodes happened while in the doctor's office and he immediately ordered an EKG and a MRI of the brain. The MRI showed I had a brain tumor and had surgery on 8/19/10. The pathology report came back and it showed it had metastasized from my lower right lung. Therefore, I was immediately classified as stage IV. Once the healing from the surgery was complete, I had focal radiation to the brain. In addition to lung cancer, I had breast cancer back in 2004 which required multiple rounds of chemotherapy so I knew what to expect when the doctors strongly recommended that I have chemo prior to removing my lower lobe. I fought it, but finally agreed to two rounds. Results showed the chemo did not shrink the tumors in lung (but did do havoc on my body). My lower right lobe was removed in January 2011. In February 2012, scans showed that new spots had appeared in my middle right lobe. This time I refused chemo, but agreed to start a clinical trial that was specific for the two mutated genes that I carried. I was scheduled to start the trial on April 19, 2012. First let me tell you that I am a very spiritual person and continued to pray for a miracle....well one happened. When I went for scans on April 18, 2012, the lesions in my lung were GONE!! Doctors could not explain how this happened. My story does not end there.... In July of 2013, I started having pains like a needle going into my left breast. I ignored them thinking this must be from working out since my left breast was removed in 2012 and I had reconstructive surgery. After going back in and seeing my surgeon who performed the reconstruction and seeing my primary doctor, it was decided that I should have a CT scan. Well you guessed it—a spot in my pelvic area and following a PET scan, a spot near my spine close to T4 showed up. Both were so small, nearly unnoticeable in 2012, but now have grown and have to be addressed. Both had metastasized from my lung. I will start a 5 day focal radiation protocol on November 7, 2013. I continue to pray for a cure for all cancers. Another one of my prayers has been answered though....NO CHEMOTHERAPY!!!!!!!
Linda R. My story of how I figured out I had lung... Minnesota Linda Minnesota Lung cancer Anxiety Panic attacks Hospital Heart attack X-rays Tumor Non-smoker CT scan Biopsy Non-small cell Trachea Bronchi Lymph nodes Stage 3 Stage 1 Faith Survivor Remission Chemotherapy Radiation My story of how I figured out I had lung cancer: Early February of 2004 I was having extreme anxiety and panic attacks. I ended up in ER twice because of it. The second time the anxiety was so severe, I thought I was having a heart attack. The doctor said that my heart was fine but the x-ray revealed a small spot on my right lung. She asked me if I was a smoker and I told her I had never smoked. She told me that anyone can get spots on x-rays, especially in Minnesota because of the melting and freezing temperatures. She suggested I follow up with my primary doctor, although she didn't seem too concerned about the spot. After seeing my doctor, I was set up for a CT scan. The scan revealed that the spot had gotten bigger since my trip to the ER. I was quickly scheduled for a biopsy, and sadly, the results revealed I had non-small cell lung cancer. Later I learned that the pathology report showed the cancer had spread to my trachea and bronchi lymph nodes. This result changed my stage 1A diagnosis to 3A. I underwent surgery to remove the middle lobe of my right lung followed by five months of chemotherapy, and finally radiation. Those were scary, difficult days but I fought hard and won. I am happy to say, I will be ten years cancer free this coming St. Patrick's Day. I thank God every day for the gift of health and life. My cancer journey, although difficult, taught me how precious every day is and not to sweat the small stuff.
Margaret B. Here's a photo and an email message from my mother,... Massachusetts Margaret Massachusetts Lung cancer Mother Family Smoker Chemotherapy Hair Addiction Quitting Body Support Here's a photo and an email message from my mother, who died of lung cancer 7 years ago, after a lifetime of smoking. She's wearing the hat because her hair had started falling out, due to the chemo. Interesting to hear, in her own words, when she gave up smoking, how an addiction can become a love-hate relationship: "It's hard to explain in a brief email, but my body was really telling me that smoking was hurting me. But I've learned that smoking, for me at least, was more important than any one person in my life. It was like an infant in my care; I had to think about it all the time, tend to its needs constantly, be sure there was enough to feed it. With a good friend, or spouse or child, I think of things to tell them or show them or do for them--but not ALL the time! With smoking it is ALL THE TIME, except for showers and sleeping. So, now I am bereft."
Misty W. I lost my mother, Rita, to lung cancer on December... Arkansas Misty Arkansas Lung cancer Mother Family Fluid Tubes Sick Doctors Complications Symptoms Detection X-ray Non-smoker I lost my mother, Rita, to lung cancer on December 10, 2012 at 3:05 PM. We found out she had lung cancer after a drain tube was put into her lung to drain some fluid off on November 7, 2012. She was a fighter to the very end. She did not want to give up on life but she was just too sick. If I can tell one person with lung cancer if you have any complications go to the doctor immediately and let them check you out. Although I lost her at age 65, she would want the world to know that if you get sick go, to the doctors. Early detection is the key to any illness. If we had only known she was showing other symptoms of lung cancer maybe they could have saved her.
Robin D. I was diagnosed with lung cancer on Nov. 16, 2012... Iowa Robin I was diagnosed with lung cancer on Nov. 16, 2012 and I was devastated as I was a healthy 55 year old health teacher and basketball coach who exercised all the time. I have applied my coaching experience to coping with my cancer –dealing with frustration, adversity, emotions, staying positive no matter what and getting support from friends, family and former players. I just finished a book that I wrote called Coaching or Cancer "it’s all about the team". I have spoken to Relay for Life and Coaches vs. Cancer. I want to be healthy again, but have accepted what I have and I think I am a better person because of it. My faith is stronger than ever and I know God has my back no matter what.