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.
diana m. I am a 51 year old female and this past August I was... Florida diana Florida Lung cancer Stage 2 Diagnosis Symptoms Asthma Inhaler X-ray I am a 51 year old female and this past August I was diagnosed with stage 2 lung cancer. On the 28th of October I had half of my lung removed. I didn't have any symptoms whatsoever. I found out because I needed a refill on my inhaler, and when the doctor did an x-ray and saw it.
Jillian F. I lost my best friend, my mom, almost a year ago. ... Massachusetts Jillian Massachusetts Lung cancer Mother Daughter Love Life Smoker Non-smoker Rhode Island Voice Cigarettes Schools Awareness I lost my best friend, my mom, almost a year ago. On November 19, 2012 my mother Brenda (52 years old) lost her battle to cancer. When I say she was my everything, I kid you not. I could tell her anything and she was the most amazing mom a girl could ask for. Although I only had 20 years to spend with her, I wouldn't trade it for the world. She has made me who I am today and taught me how precious life is. She loved everyone for who they were, never judged and always cared. I am a junior in college but I am beginning my life long mission, and that is to do all I possibly can in the hopes to end smoking. I know I can’t bring my mom back, but I sure can make her proud from heaven. I spoke at a town meeting in Rhode Island and told my story. I am in the middle of recording my story so it can be shared at schools or meetings. I am praying my voice can become a voice of reason if not for all, for one person. One less smoker can ultimately save one person's life. I am young, too young to have lost my mom and I will do anything I can to let the world know that smoking can kill. If I can do anything please let me know! Let's not lose another person from smoking, let's save another person from starting.
Lina J. In January 2006, a broken rib from coughing led to... California Lina California Lung cancer Broken rib Cough Diagnosis Stage 3 Non-smoker Husband Doctors Family Inspiration Fight Pain In January 2006, a broken rib from coughing led to the diagnosis of stage 3b lung cancer. My late husband was not a smoker. He fought with all he had to beat the cancer but in November of 2010 his fight ended. The doctors gave him 2 years, but he hung on for 4. He did not give up the fight, my daughter was 9 when he passed and remembers how hard he tried to beat it. She was his inspiration.
Erin H. My dad was diagnosed with liver cancer in November... Ohio Erin Ohio Lung cancer Dad Liver Stage 4 Chemotherapy Symptoms Relief Pain Back Legs Nausea Veteran Family My dad was diagnosed with liver cancer in November 2011. Not long after my family's world was rocked, we found out his liver cancer came from stage 4 lung cancer and the only option we had was chemo for symptom relief. He was always in severe pain from either his back or legs, and if he wasn't in pain he was so nauseous he couldn't eat. He completed one chemo session before losing his battle two very short months due to complications. My father was a Vietnam veteran and my HERO. Not a day goes by I don't think of him.
Bob A. I had large cell lung cancer and I had one of my... Florida Bob Florida Lung cancer Lobe Lymph nodes Tumor Doctor Radiation Shortness of breath Lung removal Support Survivor Large cell I had large cell lung cancer and I had one of my lobes on my left lung removed. Also, I had 3 lymph nodes removed since one was cancerous. This was done in 1988 therefore I am very lucky to be alive today. My MD at the time thought it would be prudent to have radiation in the area of the cancer. After the operation I was breathing like nothing happened and thought all would be great. I took the advice of my MD to have radiation for 5 weeks and around the 5th week I could feel myself cooking and my breathing getting worse. Within a month or so after radiation, my breathing became so bad any activity was a big chore and I couldn't go to work anymore. My walking became very limited. I never realized that the remainder of your lungs expand to take the place of the partial lung removal and therefore the radiation was hitting my good lung. So think before having radiation as I did.
Donna H. I have nearly 12 years of volunteer experience with... Pennsylvania Donna Pennsylvania Lung cancer Volunteer Mother Death Omaha Nebraska Air Uncle Family Awareness Unemployment Health National Lung Cancer Awareness Month Advocate First National Bank fo Omaha Citizens’ Voice Lung champion Civic minded Participant I have nearly 12 years of volunteer experience with a variety of nonprofit organizations, local community based organizations, and civic minded groups. I have served as a longtime supporter, active participant, volunteer, and donor of the American Lung Association. I've assisted with increasing volunteerism, donations, corporate sponsorships and promoted special events in order to help fight for air locally and nationally. I was awarded with the National Lung Cancer Awareness Month Advocacy Challenge in November from the National Lung Cancer Partnership and received the Spread the Joy Winner in December with First National Bank of Omaha. My accomplishments have been featured in many local newspapers including Lebanon Daily News, Times Leader, and Citizens' Voice respectively and with other placements involving advertisements, promotional venues and commercial. This year I was placed on board as Climb Committee Member with ALA Mid-Atlantic Region of NE PA and in addition was "nominated" for ALA Lung Champion and Volunteer of the Week along with Jefferson Awards for Public Service. I began to participate with American Lung Association after losing my mother in law Trudy, her mother Howell, my uncle Daniel, Coach Joe Paterno (PSU) and just last week my friend Eddie-- all to lung cancer. I now run/walk every year in their memory. My story is unique in that I'm also struggling with unemployment, homelessness, and government assistance. I've been struggling since 2010. Although I lived off credit cards for 2 years awaiting child support for 3 kids including one medically disabled son, I refused to give up helping American Lung Association and not only did I raise the necessary funding for both major events the Fight For Air Climbs in Hershey and Wilkes Barre, but I did so while homeless and without income. It goes to show that if you have the will and determination anything is possible. I love my family and would do anything to have one more day with them. I am their voice and I bring attention to the cause by raising awareness to lung cancer daily through all my efforts mentioned above. Thank you!
Christina M. My mother just passed away on October 1, 2013 from... Texas Christina Texas Lung cancer Mother Bone cancer Diagnosis Stage 4 Shoulder Tests Pain Pulmonologist X-ray Smoker Non-smoker Quit Screenings Family Support Disease My mother just passed away on October 1, 2013 from lung cancer that had metastasized to bone cancer. She was only 67 years old and had not smoked in 15 years. Her diagnosis of cancer only came on August 23, so it was not even six weeks from her diagnosis to her death. It was actually the bone cancer that was causing symptoms that she finally got checked out with a doctor. Her left shoulder had 'popped' at the end of July and it hurt her after that. I convinced her to go see her doctor thinking it was a torn muscle or rotator cuff. After many tests and scans, they said she had bone cancer. They determined that the bone cancer was secondary to the lung cancer. Her bone cancer caused her such pain that, for her sake, I'm glad her suffering did not last long. The lung cancer seemed to not have any symptoms. The lung and bone cancer were both rather advanced before they were even discovered. At the end, her pulmonologist was taking X-rays each day of her lungs and EACH DAY he could see it advancing. She essentially asphyxiated because of the cancer. I have never smoked, but most members of my family have at one time or another. We will all be getting screened regularly now so that the silent killer - lung cancer - cannot surprise any of us like it did my mom. My message for any current smokers is to please quit; for current and past smokers, I would urge you get screenings for your lungs regularly. It was very hard on my family and I to watch my mom deteriorate and to be in so much pain. Now, there is an irreplaceable hole in our hearts and lives. I will miss my mom for the rest of my life. I am now supporting cancer causes and research hoping that, one day, cancer can be eliminated as have other diseases in the past.
Kathleen S. I was diagnosed in 1999. My diagnosis was a HUGE... Florida Kathleen Florida Lung cancer Diagnosis X-ray Flu Tumor Non-smoker CT scan Biopsy Bronchoscopy Radiation Radiologist Lymph nodes Non-small cell lung cancer Surprise Lobe Thoracotomy Chemotherapy Remission Survivor Tests Exercise Treatment Family Husband Career I want people to know that the only statistic that matters is the one you live to create. I was diagnosed in 1999. My diagnosis was a HUGE surprise, and it was not easy to obtain. I had been busy planning my wedding and also had a busy career and small children. I had forgotten to get a flu shot. On my honeymoon, I caught the flu. My husband insisted that I have a chest x-ray. The x-ray showed something in my upper right lung the size of a golf ball. Because I had never smoked and was only 41 years old, the doctors thought I had a fungal growth or round pneumonia. They tried unsuccessfully to get a biopsy via bronchoscopy and CT-assisted needle biopsy. Finally, in May 1999, I traveled to a major cancer center. The radiologists there said that whatever was in my upper right lung was also in my left lung, but much smaller. The surgeon performed a video-assisted, thoracic surgery to remove the lobe of my left lung that contained the smaller tumor. It was non-small cell lung cancer. It did not appear to have spread outside the lungs. Biopsies of my lymph nodes were inconclusive because I did not have lymph nodes in all of the normal places. In June 1999, I had a traditional thoracotomy to remove the upper lobe of my right lung. I was in the hospital for two weeks. The staging of my cancer was difficult because of the lack of lymph nodes. The doctors were split on whether I should have chemotherapy. The only available statistics, based upon meager data, showed that because I had lung cancer in both lungs, I had a zero percent chance of surviving five years. I decided that the statistics were unreliable and that SOMEONE had to live for more than five years. I had 5 or 6 rounds of traditional chemotherapy---tumor typing tests were not common then. Life went on. I went back to exercising. My lung capacity came back to a very great extent, because my remaining lung tissue expanded. They say I am cured. I want people to know that the only statistic that matters is the one that you live to create. Every case is different. Every person is different. If you are not comfortable with your doctor, go to another one. Go to a major cancer center, if possible. Speak up. No one who matters cares whether you smoked, except as it may be necessary to know in order to provide treatment. No one deserves lung cancer. Everyone deserves to have a fighting chance when they are diagnosed.
Roy M. During the summer of 2004, I was coughing up blood. ... North Carolina Roy North Carolina Lung cancer Cough Blood Lung specialist Non-smoker Diagnosis Rex Hospital Raleigh Surgery During the summer of 2004, I was coughing up blood. My primary doctor sent me to see a lung specialist, who performed tests on me. He diagnosed me as having lung cancer. I have never smoked in my life, but I was exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam. During October, I was admitted to Rex Hospital in Raleigh, where a surgeon removed the upper half of my left lung.
Teresa W. My father was diagnosed with lung cancer in December... Texas Teresa Texas Lung cancer Dad Smoker Shortness of breath Surgery Cigarette Quit Doctor Family Specialist Survivor My father was diagnosed with lung cancer in December of 1983. He was 69 years old at the time and had been a heavy smoker for 50 years. He was helping someone unload a piece of furniture from a pick-up and became short of breath. In his words, he "couldn't catch his breath." This episode worried him and my mother, so he soon went to see his doctor. After looking at my dad's x-ray, the doctor told him he needed to see a specialist and not to put it off. He told my dad that if he waited 6 months, it would probably be too late. My dad was one of the lucky ones. He had one of his lungs removed and needed no further treatment. My dad was with us for another 15 years. He never smoked another cigarette and spent the rest of his life trying to convince others to stop smoking. From my experience, what I want everyone to know is that if you feel something isn't right, there's a good chance that you are right. Go see your doctor and DON'T DELAY. Early detection gives you your best possible chance. And PLEASE don't smoke. If you do smoke, please stop.