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Learn about the American Lung Association's comprehensive lung cancer support resource, Facing Lung Cancer. (1:38) Welcome Welcome Video, Lung Cancer, Support, Palliative Care, Chemotherapy, Radiation, Diagnosis, Family, Faith, Surgery , Information, Research, Time, Death, Fear
Watch news anchor and lung cancer survivor Greta Kreuz introduce you to lung cancer patients and health professionals who share their personal lung cancer support stories. (17:08) Navigating Lung Cancer: Stories of Support (Highlights) Navigating Lung Cancer: Stories of Support (Highlights) Lung cancer Video Support Oncology Stories of support Stages Palliative Care Survivor Education Professional Healthcare Terms Diagnosis Family Husband Wife Friends Information Diagnosis Anxiety Grandmother Body Doctor Community Outreach
In this extended version, lung cancer patients and health care professionals share their stories and tips for support in greater detail. (33:29) Navigating Lung Cancer: Stories of Support Navigating Lung Cancer: Stories of Support Lung cancer Video Support Oncology Stories of support Stages Palliative Care Survivor Education Professional Healthcare Terms Diagnosis Family Husband Wife Friends Information Diagnosis Anxiety Grandmother Body Doctor Community Outreach
Watch Dr. Edward Kim discuss the what you need to know about lung cancer targeted therapies and personalized medicine. (4:11) Ask the Expert: Personalized Care - What You Need to Know (Highlights) Ask the Expert: Personalized Care - What You Need to Know (Highlights) personal, personalized, chemotherapy, side effect, biomarker(s), molecular biomarker(s), target, targeted, genetic, genes, testing, tumor testing, egfr, alk, clinical trials
In this extended version, Dr. Edward Kim discusses what patients need to know about targeted therapy and personalized medicine in more detail. (11:26) Ask the Expert: Personalized Care - What You Need to Know Ask the Expert: Personalized Care - What You Need to Know lung cancer, molecular, cancer cells, personalized medicine, side effects, targeted therapies, target, chemotherapy, personalized, care, normal cells, individual, grow, tumor, tumors, treatment, discovery, unique, test, testing, trials, clinical trials, genetic, genes, kim, personal, personalized, chemotherapy, side effect, biomarker, biomarkers, molecular biomarkers, molecular biomarker, target, targeted, genetic, genes, testing, tumor testing, egfr, alk, clinical trials
Watch Rev. Dr. Paula Teague discuss strategies for coping with lung cancer and moving forward with a lung cancer diagnosis. (4:22) Ask the Expert: Making Meaning of Your Diagnosis (Highlights) Ask the Expert: Making Meaning of Your Diagnosis (Highlights) support, faith, spirituality, grief, loss, coping, peace,comfort, religion, death, fear
In this extended version, Rev. Dr. Paula Teague discusses strategies for coping and moving forward with a lung cancer diagnosis in greater detail. (14:33) Ask the Expert: Making Meaning of Your Diagnosis (Full Video) Ask the Expert: Making Meaning of Your Diagnosis (Full Video) lung cancer, diagnosis, teague, meaning, care, spirituality, support, anxiety, family, families, caregivers, cope, feel, help, helping, helpful, writing, ask, talk, relationship(s), group(s), faith, death, die, dying, fear(s), scared, afraid, grieve, grieving, community, social, religious, religion, pastor, pastoral, visualization, touch, talk, talking, struggle(s), stage(s), smoke, smoked, ritual, ritualization, pleasure, need(s), music, musical, live, living, friend(s), feel, feelings, emotional, emotionally, worry, synagogues, stress, shock, scripture, nature, prayer(s), peace, peaceful, meditation, journal, journaling, guilt, drawing, church, comfort, comforting
Watch Dr. William Hicks discuss and debunk common lung cancer myths and misperceptions. (3:29) Ask the Expert: Clearing the Air (Highlights) Ask the Expert: Clearing the Air (Highlights) lung cancer, dr hicks, clinical trial, myth, best, treatment, smoking, smoke, smokers, exposure, diagnose, stigma, tobacco, misperception, misconception, surgery, chemicals, causes, stigma, spread, stage, stages, staging, treatable, death, die, radon, toxic, quit, survival
In this extended version, Dr. William Hicks goes into more detail about common lung cancer myths and misperceptions. (22:06) Ask the Expert: Clearing the Air (Full Video) Ask the Expert: Clearing the Air (Full Video) lung cancer, dr hicks, clinical trial, myth, best, treatment, smoking, smoke, smokers, exposure, diagnose, stigma, tobacco, misperception, misconception, surgery, chemicals, causes, stigma, spread, stage, stages, staging, treatable, death, die, radon, toxic, quit, survival, cost, travel, cancer center, quality of life, air pollution, pollution, radiation, chemotherapy, palliative
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....
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.
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.
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.
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.
Summer D. "Did she smoke?" When people found out my mom had... California Summer California Smoking Diagnosis Lung cancer Stage four Donations Time Money Death Profession Grandchildren Compassion Struggles Life Difference "Did she smoke?" When people found out my mom had lung cancer that was the first question they asked. As if finding out that she did would make it better. As if knowing the answer would prove that she in some way deserved a share of blame for her diagnosis. As if, when the answer was yes, they were protected from worrying about getting lung cancer, because they didn't smoke. My mom was amazing. She was smart, stubborn, strong, and fearless. She fought every step of the way, but by the time they found her cancer it was too late. She was stage four, and really there was nothing they could do. She was a single mom, she raised both my sister and me all by herself, and when she was diagnosed she worried not really for herself, but for us. Even though I was 37, and my sister 34, she talked endlessly about how important it was to her that we remain strong after she was gone. She worried so much about her grandchildren, and the toll watching her struggle was taking on all of us. She would gather us together and tell us that this time together was a gift. That she was blessed to have the knowledge of what was coming, so that she had a chance to say goodbye, and the chance to know that she had touched so many people during her lifetime. The flowers, the phone calls, the donations of time and money that people gathered together during her four months from diagnosis to the time she passed away.... she viewed it all as a gift. She was a housekeeper, and told me that in her struggles to provide for us over the years she sometimes felt like a failure. That a housekeeper wasn't a noble profession, that we couldn't be proud of her. As she got more and more sick, and as she fought with everything she had to stay with us, her clients rallied around her. She had worked for some of them for over 20 years. She was a part of their lives, a part of their families, and each and every one of them considered her their friend. She talked about what a gift it was to finally realize that her life did make a difference, and how without the cancer she never would have known. She died January 3, 2009. She was 57 years old. She never saw my daughter graduate from high school, she never saw my niece, who was born in 2010. We named her after my mom. Coming up will be five years since she passed. Whenever I tell people that my mom passed away from lung cancer I get the same question. "Did she smoke?"
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.
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.
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! :)
Shirley H. I was diagnosed with lung cancer with mets to the... Virginia Shirley I was diagnosed with lung cancer with mets to the bone, Stage 4 on October 7, 2013. I have worked as a Registered Nurse for 25 years. I had been complaining about back and leg pain, seeing doctors, and getting epidural injections. I had a clean MRI in January of 2013. I was trying everything to find relief. Visited Physical Therapy, doing what they asked. Pain after visits. Back pain increased and I was hammered with back spasms. Emergency room visit and insisting on a MRI in October 2013 revealed a fractured back from lesions. I am just finished One Year of oral chemo for targeted therapy. My family and friends have been an exceptional part of my survival. My attitude is fighting. I am calmer now and don't let my illness keep me from laughter. There is no cure for lung cancer. Prior to my diagnosis I knew one in eight women got breast cancer. Working with women I saw those odds. But I didn't realize that lung cancer was the #1 cancer killer of women. I'm sad that by the time I was diagnosed I didn't have a chance. I am hoping that more money goes into finding a lung cancer Cure.
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.
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.
sherri s. My dad passed away from lung cancer on Sept 15,... Nebraska sherri Nebraska Lung cancer Dad Death Hospital Smoker Family My dad passed away from lung cancer on Sept 15, 2009. He was the one who helped me and I was still in high school so when he didn't feel good. I came home and did my school work. I still got a diploma and my dad was proud of me. He didn't go to the hospital to die, stayed at home with his family. It was the hardest day in my life. I cried a lot that day but I was glad that he didn't have to suffer anymore. Lung cancer is one of the deadliest cancers there is. My dad couldn't stop smoking. Thank you for all you do for people’s family.
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.
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!
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.
ruby h. My husband was diagnosed with kidney cancer, and... Pennsylvania ruby Pennsylvania Diagnosis Kidney cancer Lobe Node Lung cancer Oncologist Radiation Mutation Chemotherapy Drugs Thorancentesis Fluid Palliative care Heart issues Tumor Stamina Support Family My husband was diagnosed with kidney cancer, and when we went to see the surgeon, he informed us that there was a spot on the lung. Fast forward to the thoracic surgeon, who removed his upper left lobe, and staged it 1 B because the node was on the lining of the pleura. I didn't know how important that would be until 4.5 years later. He had a partial left nephrectomy 6 weeks later, and no chemo treatment because of timing, and the fact the he was 1 B - he recovered well, and was being followed by a lung oncologist. He had scans every 3 months, the first year - moved to every 6 months the following years, with good scans, until Barry had a double bypass surgery in July 2011. The surgeon noticed a suspicious looking node on the pleura, biopsied it and told us it was malignant. He had 35 days of proton radiation, along with his first line chemo treatment. The next scan showed no improvement, and we also found out at that time that my husband had the Kras gene, and that there were no effective chemo drugs for this particular mutation. He developed a pleural effusion, and in April of 2012, had a thoracentesis, and the fluid was found malignant, which moved him to Stage IV. At the time, I thought my life would change quickly, but I am thrilled to say, that my husband is alive and kicking, 18 more months later. Once he was moved to Stage IV, the oncologist suggested palliative care/chemo, which made him very ill (heart issues, A-Fib, high fevers and visits to the E.R.) Switched to a different drug with the same results and his scans remained the same - Stable, until this last one, 8/29, where there shows some progression in the size of the tumors. Barry has small nodes lining his pleura, but he has had no other metastases and we consider him to be our miracle, since a year and a half ago, we didn't know if he would be alive. He's really never gained back his stamina, and is extremely tired, but takes his 2 hour nap most days, and continues to look healthy. The oncologist is on our side when it comes to further treatment. We feel that at this point, it’s most important for Barry to "feel" good, and other than some backaches and fatigue, he is doing really, really well. We will walk our 3rd year in the FTB walk in November, in the meantime, we remain optimistic. I think that attitude has a lot to do with fighting the beast. We have a supportive group of family and friends, and enjoy our "new normal".
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.
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!
Ronda D. I was diagnosed two years ago with stage 3B lung... Illinois Ronda Illinois Lung cancer Diagnosis Horner’s Syndrome Tumor Stage 4 Strong Family Chemotherapy Drugs I was diagnosed two years ago with stage 3B lung cancer, my bonus was Horner’s Syndrome due to the location of my tumor (Pancoast). I have since been upgraded to stage IV. I am happy to say that I am still going strong and not much has changed in my life. I still work full time and enjoy my grandchildren as much as possible. I am still in treatment but have been lucky to tolerate chemo very well. I was not able to have surgery and do not qualify for any of the newer targeted drugs. There is hope!
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.
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.
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.
Robert A. In the fall of 2011 I wrestled with a cough for a... Missouri Robert Missouri Lung cancer Cough Dizzy Heartburn Knees Bronchitis Diagnosis Tumor Surgery Radiation Chemotherapy Remission Doctors Nurses Shortness of breath Clinical tests Lymph nodes In the fall of 2011 I wrestled with a cough for a week or two. One day I got dizzy along with severe heart burn and went to my knees. I managed to dial 911, but then got better. I told the ambulance driver that I would drive myself to the hospital. I was diagnosed with bronchitis and a spot on my Lung. I went through two months of tests so they could determine what it was and if it could be operated on. It was lung cancer that showed a 50% chance that it could be removed. I lost my right lung and a trace of cancer was left in a lymph node. I then went through radiation and chemo treatment. The odds were against me, but it's been in remission ever since. So far, so good. I can walk about a half mile without stopping to catch my breath. Doctors, nurses, and all kept telling me how lucky I was. PS Ice Pops/Popsicles tasted ok while on chemo. They can be home made for nutrients.
Rita E. My husband, Kelly, is a lung cancer survivor - yes,... Idaho Rita Idaho Lung cancer Survivor Husband Diagnosis Chemotherapy Surgery Support Family Coma Ventilator Adult Respiratory Disease Syndrome Hope My husband, Kelly, is a lung cancer survivor - yes, you read correctly - stage 3.5 small cell in his right lung. It would take a long while and too much space to tell you exactly what happened - but I will shorten it and tell the key points. In Jan. 2012 Kelly was diagnosed. We had a decision to make - chemo vs. surgery. We needed no time to decide - we looked at each other and said surgery, "Just get it out". He had 2/3 of his lung removed, followed up by chemo which made him seriously ill - sepsis. And then he had ARDS - Adult Respiratory Disease Syndrome. That is when your lungs fill up with fluid and there is no air to breathe - his x-rays looked like he had no lungs...all white-out. This was by far the scariest time in my life. I had help, the hospital staff, ICU members and my family and religion. I have learned through this to never give up hope. Our future looked dim, he was in the ICU and in a coma now for 6 weeks on a ventilator. Every day I would go and talk to him, read and watch the TV, put on football games and ESPN. One day I was reading the new schedule for his favorite team, the Packers, and he was raising his eyebrows and smirked with every team I mentioned. He was still there! Still with me!! My husband was taken off the ventilator some 10 weeks later and he opened his eyes and looked around. I said “Hi yourself ... have a good sleep?” He went through weeks of rehab learning to walk, talk, eat and just stand up, but most all breathe. I want everyone to know who has lung cancer or ARDS, there is help and there is always hope. And help along the way, the American Lung Association, Cancer Society and your hospital rehab can get you in touch with someone or something you need. I want everyone to know that each case is different, but you must always believe - and never give up hope.
Richard W. I grew up in a family where everybody smoked. We... Pennsylvania Richard Pennsylvania Family Smoker Unhealthy Cigarettes Lung cancer Quit I grew up in a family where everybody smoked. We never even talked about it. I knew the habit was unhealthy, so limited my use to five cigarettes a day or less. But here I am, about to die from lung cancer. I quit eight years ago, having smoked for thirty years.
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
Rebecca V. I lost my father to lung cancer almost three years... Georgia Rebecca Georgia Father Daughter Lung cancer Family Love I lost my father to lung cancer almost three years ago. What I really want others to know is that people with lung cancer, your friends, your family, your loved ones, are not statistics. Lung cancer is not a good experience and no one deserves it. My dad was kind and funny and smart and gave me my sense of humor. He taught me to be nice to people. He was the best dad ever and he was my best friend.
peter r. I have a good outcome story. On April 27, 1994, I... Connecticut peter Connecticut 6 months Lung cancer Car accident Chest pain Growth Scan Surgery Hospital Smoker Healthy I have a good outcome story. On April 27, 1994, I had a car accident. I complained about chest pain caused by the seat belt. A CAT scan was taken and several nodules were spotted. I was told to have another CAT scan in six months. I disregarded that advice but did have another 2 years late. That scan showed only one node and no growth and was told to have a scan in 6 months. Again I ignored the advice but did have another 2 years later, and it showed no growth, but was told again to have a scan in 6 months. Yet again it was 2 years later and the scan showed no growth. I had a PET scan which also showed nothing and was told by the PET scan Doc that I can forget about that nodule. My Doc now in 2002 asked me to have another scan and I called him nuts. I had 3 scans and a PET scan over 6 years and nothing, I was also not a smoker. He begged me to have just one more and I did. In 2002 and it showed nodule was growing I had surgery, a wedge resection rt. lower lobe at Mass General Hospital. I have had excellent health ever since. The lung cancer was called BAC. I am now 80 and am still having scans yearly.
Peter W. Theresa moved to Sturgeon Bay, WI from Seoul, South... Iowa Peter Iowa Seoul Korea Wisconsin Cough Doctor Biopsy Lung cancer Chicago Chemotherapy Asian Drug Family Suffering Oncologist Strength Pulmonologist Small cell lung cancer Theresa moved to Sturgeon Bay, WI from Seoul, South Korea in 1980 at the age of 14, and we first dated in 1984. Eighteen years later, in the fall of 2002, we were reunited. I was starting Grad school at the time, so we all (Theresa and her two boys) moved Middleton, WI in August of 2005. That fall I proposed to her and we were married on July 1, 2006. In late July, Theresa made the comment, "I think my body is trying to tell me something," as she developed a wispy cough that would not go away. This went on through August until we decided to see a doctor who promptly sent us to a pulmonologist for biopsy. Theresa was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer on 18 September 2006, just 2 months and 18 days after our wedding day. Theresa used to tell people "we cried for a week, and then I got to work." She was very determined to beat LC. Luckily, we were referred to a fantastic oncologist in Chicago. She recommended an oral chemo, which was found to work among Asian women....and it did for two years! We were thrilled...tumors were shrinking, we went on vacations, raised our family, and she worked full-time at the Wisconsin Counties Association. Life was good! After two years, the cancer evolved and the drug failed to work. This began our 2.5 year odyssey with standard chemos and drug trials, which was harsh on her little 105 lb body. She was always tough, but chemo was steadily chiseling away at her physical reserves. Her spirit never wavered, however. Theresa's health began a steep descent in the winter of 2011, which was the most trying time for all of us. But, through it all she was graceful, grateful for family, courageous, and even humorous. In 2006 she said "I just want to live long enough to see Justin graduate." On the 18th of June 2011, Justin (youngest son) graduated from high school. Theresa was very weak and could not attend the ceremony, but I was able to Skype it to her...so she and her friend, Becky, watched the whole thing! Approximately, two weeks later on the 30th of June, 2011, at 7:33 P.M. Theresa's suffering peacefully ended. She refused all morphine on the last day because she "wanted to experience the crossing over with a clear mind," which she did. Near the end she kept asking "what time is it?"...as our 5-year wedding anniversary was just 5 hours away. I have never witnessed such strength, character, and spirit before. Theresa was a force and a remarkable woman!
Pat P. My dad died from lung cancer in January 2003. He was... Mississippi Pat Mississippi Lung cancer Dad Diagnosis Radiation Sore throat CT scan Tumor Bronchoscopy Biopsy Surgery Lymph nodes Non-smoker Shortness of breath Mold Health issues Disease Asthma Breathe Work Survival My dad died from lung cancer in January 2003. He was diagnosed less than 30 days earlier. He had been exposed to radiation at his job. Fast forward to 2011 when I had a recurrent sore throat and went to my ENT. He suggested a CT scan of my neck which includes part of your lungs. When the results came back I was told there was nothing wrong with my throat, but there was a lesion at the apex of my left lung. It was very small. A bronchoscopy was unsuccessful at obtaining a biopsy because they were unable to reach the lesion with the scope. I went on a watch and wait protocol with serial follow up CT scans until finally almost a year and multiple CT'S and 2 PET scans later the lesion showed changes. It was at that time I had a CT guided needle biopsy and I was told I had bronchioalveolar adenocarcinoma. I was scheduled for surgery on March 27, 2012, where my left upper lobe was removed. Thankfully 17 out of 17 lymph nodes were negative for cancer, but were black. I did not smoke. I recovered from surgery with the help of very gifted and kind medical staff and went home with oxygen, but only at night and only for a week. I have been followed by the most wonderful doctors to include my thoracic surgeon, pulmonologist, ENT (I also have thyroid nodules), oncologist and primary care. Right now I am considered to be in remission. I was one of the lucky ones who was accidentally diagnosed early and I have a good chance of 5 year (or more) survival! I will say that I did have symptoms of difficulty breathing, especially at work. I worked in a building that had suffered severe water damage during Katrina and previous to our group moving into the building it had officially been condemned for asbestos and black mold. It was painted and carpeted and called "fixed" and we were moved into the building. Several people suffered various health issues following our occupancy and some were moved out of the building. Some of us were made to stay and one person died from lung disease and I was diagnosed with cancer. The entire time we were in the building I complained that I couldn't breathe when I was inside the building, but it fell on deaf ears. I was diagnosed with emphysema, asthma and COPD. I did not smoke. My point is, please don't ignore your body. If you can't breathe in a certain environment, do everything you can to avoid that environment. Fight for your lungs. Live a long 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.
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!!!!!!!
Nancy M. The Hugs I missed. When I was one, I couldn't... New York Nancy New York Smoke Death Surgery Smoking Wedding Doctor Cigarettes Lung cancer Chemotherapy Radiation Quit Forever The Hugs I missed. When I was one, I couldn't tell you not to smoke while you were holding me, so I fussed. When I was five, I would wave your cigarette smoke out of my face as I ate dinner. When I was ten, I would protest and cough when you lit up in the car. When I was fifteen, the smell of smoke was so strong on your clothes that I didn't want to hug you. When I was twenty-two, you insisted on smoking in my limousine on my wedding day. You smelled of smoke when you walked me down the aisle, and so did I. When I was twenty-five, you had open-heart surgery and the doctor told you to quit. You would sneak cigarettes and thought no one knew it. You were so addicted to nicotine you said you would rather die than quit. You got your wish. You developed lung cancer when I was twenty-six, then decided you wanted to live. You needed chemotherapy and radiation treatments. The prognosis was poor. Then, reluctantly, you quit smoking. When I was twenty-seven you closed your eyes forever. I hugged you and you didn't smell like smoke anymore. First rights, N.S.M ©1999
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.
Mike T. I blame it on the cigarette companies - they knew... Virginia Mike Virginia Lung cancer Cigarette Smoking Quit Throat cancer X-ray Cough Tumor Biopsies Chemotherapy Radiation Family Treatment Survivor Lymph node Non-smoker Thyroid Shortness of breath I blame it on the cigarette companies - they knew smoking was dangerous yet denied it and still advertised it as OK, even implying that "light" cigarettes were an acceptable alternative. Some people are able to fight the narcotic effects better than others - I'm one of those who struggled and who was unable to finally quit until it was, it seems, too late. I was diagnosed with both lung cancer and throat cancer at the same time, five years after I finally quit smoking (thanks to all those who prayed for me and for "the patch"). My cancers were found only after a) my wife insisted on getting a chest x-ray to find the cause of my constant coughing, and b) I noticed a strange growth at the back of my mouth around the same time. Biopsies indicated the throat growth was cancer, but the lung growth appeared to be benign. Surgery followed to remove my throat tumor and parts of my lung; the lung growth turned out to be cancer after all. So chemo and radiation followed. Clean for about 4.5 years, only to have more cancer discovered in my lymph system. Surgery and chemo followed but that was only partially successful. And now there is more to come with potential other cancers showing up. But that's not all! Due to cigarette smoking, I've experienced a pulmonary embolism and a host of other smoking related problems (thyroid, breathing challenges - not to mention the chemo side effects). The only surprise with my treatment was that the radiation did not hurt. My challenges are to remain upbeat and confident that I will continue to get the best treatment available, and that it will be successful. I know the statistics - and I pray every day that I will beat the odds. This doesn't affect just me - it affects my family and our friends. It is a constant dark cloud over our lives - we are constantly wondering if we can make any plans for the future, or if we do whether we will be able to enjoy them. If you smoke, for God's sake, your sake and especially your loved ones sakes, stop! If someone you love smokes, please don't hesitate to work hard to get them to quit. If I can do it, I'm confident that ANYONE can do it. Just do it!
Michelle M. Well my father is a really active 70 year old man... Florida Michelle Florida Sister-in-law April Lung cancer Lymph node Brain Lung Fighter Smoking Diagnosis Well my father is a really active 70 year old man who smoked his pretty much entire life. Other than that he has a healthy lifestyle, decent weight, still working as an attorney, lover of his family with multiple dreams and projects to accomplish. On June 2013 he started to experience shortness of breath while going upstairs to his office, which he would always do. He was not so old to take the elevator to go up 3 floors. He noticed that if he wanted to do 2 steps at a time it was too much. So he went to the pulmonologist, had x-rays, a CT scan, an MRI and all. In around 3 weeks it all was said and done and we were facing stage IV non-small cell lung cancer. The big "dino tumor” from the right lung is, 3 months later, 6 centimeters and there are 3 little mets, 2 cm and 1 cm, which are being battled with radiation. Chemo is now on round 2 and cancer has not given as many symptoms as chemo. Let’s leave it like that, but, without chemo you die so that is the way I talk to him so he just puts up with it. I keep him brave by loving him but not treating him like a baby. He is a strong man and I have to keep him strong. He knows I love him but I want him to be who he is and he is not cancer. He is my dad so I think that is going to make him better. My mother has been physically taking care of him because I live far from him, she deals with a lot, the lack of appetite gets him moody and sometimes I have to remind him of what a lovely wife God gave him and how thankful he should be of her love and support. So far I think that has been a big old great challenge for: us appetite and chemo… big problem. I want other people to know that I faced this process initially with great pain but then I just got up and walked on it and ever since then I feel like I can help because I mentally decided that being sad was no help for no one. Other than that I guess and hope we are just starting on this fight. I offer this story hoping it will inspire someone out there going through the same problem. Me and my sister have cried a lot but managed to get ourselves together to fight the cancer and the pain that hits you when the statistics are shown to you. I actually get hope from other people’s stories, and out of seeing him still doing what he likes. I get hope from god and from science (I work on that one… myself as a science person).
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.
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!
Michele F. My sister in-law passed away in April after a 9 year... Florida Michele Florida Lung cancer Active Father Smoker Healthy Attorney Family Shortness of breath Cough Pulmonologist X-rays CT scan MRI Stage 4 Non-small cell Radiation Chemotherapy Brave Appetite Sad Strength Inspiration Science My sister in-law passed away in April after a 9 year battle with lung cancer. It was a long journey and the last 4 years were very difficult as the cancer reappeared in her lymph nodes and then her brain and eventually her lung again. She was a fighter who had quit smoking almost 10 years before her diagnosis.
Michael H. On Friday, May 7, 2004, I received a call from my... North Carolina Michael North Carolina Lung cancer Bronchitis Chest x-rays Doctor Stage 4 Small cell Smoker Pills Nicotine patches Fighting Doctors Research Diet Palliative care Spine Brain Struggle Diagnosis Prognosis Suffering On Friday, May 7, 2004, I received a call from my sister. Meg had come from a doctor’s visit because of nagging bronchitis. She was headed to the hospital for chest X-rays. I told her to call after she talked to her doctor. When she called, it was not the news I was expecting. She was being admitted to the hospital for further testing. The hospital ran more tests over the weekend. On Monday, her doctor came to discuss the test results. He sat down on the edge of Meg’s hospital bed and reviewed the test results with us. Bottom line – Meg had Stage 4, small cell lung cancer and the prognosis wasn't good. In an instant, my sister became one of the more than 219,000 people diagnosed with lung cancer every year. My sister started smoking in high school because her friends were smoking and she wanted to “fit in,” to be accepted, to be cool. As she got older, she tried quitting. I can’t tell you how many times she tried over a period of 35 years. She just couldn’t beat the addiction. She tried nicotine patches, gum, pills, hypnosis, and acupuncture. Nothing worked. Sometimes she would go for a few months without smoking but she always was pulled back by nicotine’s addictive grip. She was finally able to quit smoking when she was told she had lung cancer. My sister was a fighter. She put together a battle plan as if she were a general preparing for battle. She met with her doctors, did research on the internet, she talked to other cancer patients and survivors, she spoke to dietitians, holistic practitioners, and anyone remotely connected to fighting terminal diseases. I guess it was like going into battle. A battle that she and too many others were fighting. We watched as her cancer went into remission and then came back several times. We watched as it spread to her spine and her brain. During the entire time she never once asked “why me?”. We were also with her on August 23, 2005, 18 months after her initial diagnosis, the day she died, just three days after her 50th birthday. No one should ever have to go through what she went through. I made a promise to her that day to do whatever I could to prevent others from suffering the way she did. I would take up the fight that she so bravely fought and lost. I began volunteering at the American Lung Association not long after my sister’s death. It was my way of doing something to help others with lung cancer and their caregivers, families and friends.
Matt R. My uncle was diagnosed with stage IV small cell lung... Louisiana Matt Louisiana Lung cancer Stage 4 Small cell Smoker Diagnosis Dizziness Slurring Hospice Palliative care Family Professional Death Chemotherapy Surgery Pain My uncle was diagnosed with stage IV small cell lung cancer on Monday, July 5, 2014 and died on Saturday, July 23, 2014. Having smoked for over 50 years, his diagnosis at age 69 was shocking, but not surprising. We were, however, very surprised at how quickly everything moved. His diagnosis came on a Monday when my Dad took him in to see the doctor after some noticeable dizziness and slurred speech. From that moment forward, he declined very rapidly. He entered the hospital immediately and was never again completely lucid. The cancer had already metastasized to his brain and was clearly affecting his memory and speech. A week later, the doctors told us there was nothing they could do because his kidney function was not strong enough to support chemotherapy. He went home with hospice on a Monday and died the following Saturday. Just one month earlier, he drove himself and my aunt to dinner with my Dad and friends. We were all in a state of shock how quickly this happened and are still trying to accept the finality of it all. My uncle was the CEO of a large, national business in his professional life and in his personal life, was dealing with my aunt, who was battling throat cancer. I think that he knew for a while that something was not right, but he didn't go to the doctor for whatever reason. An earlier diagnosis may have greatly changed things for him, but I am not really sure that he would have wanted that. It's hard to understand what other people are thinking, but maybe he didn't want to go through all of the treatment after watching the pain and suffering that it caused his wife. He lived life right up the very end and then went quickly, in a peaceful and painless manner. I guess there is something to be said for that.
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.
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.
Mary B. In Jan. 2013 I had a CT prior to an endo/colonoscopy... Virginia Mary In Jan. 2013 I had a CT prior to an endo/colonoscopy to determine the reason for abdominal pain. I found our I had gallstones and needed surgery. In addition to that news I heard I also had a 1x1.3 cm. speculated nodule in my left lower lobe. Talk about terror. After a barrage of tests surgery for a lobectomy was done in Feb. and 3 mo. later gallbladder removal. I am so thankful for gallstones. I do know that early detection is the key to long term survival and as a celebration I got a tattoo. I showed it to my surgeon and told him to make a chart notation that I had ENOUGH of this disease, scare, tests, etc.
Mary M. My lung cancer was discovered, like most, by... Missouri Mary Lung cancer Diagnosis Missouri Survivor Tumor Small-cell lung cancer Healthy Non-smoker Treatable Scan Mutation Drug Family Supportive care Palliative care Friends Hope Cure My lung cancer was discovered, like most, by accident, while being scanned for something totally unrelated. The diagnosis of Stage IV non-small-cell lung cancer was a shock, to say the least, as I am a non-smoker, swimmer, bicyclist, healthy eater and had no symptoms. I was told that Stage IV lung cancer was not curable, only treatable. That was not the news I was wanting to hear, but thankfully no one EVER gave me a prognosis of only a few months to live. I was sent to a wonderful oncologist who started me immediately on chemotherapy. My daughters dubbed it my "Tumor Troll".....and we often chanted "Teeny Tiny Tumor Troll" to wish the tumor away. After 3 rounds, a scan revealed that my tumor "troll" had shrunk 50%, and the "spot" on my liver was completely gone - after the final 6th round, the tumor had shrunk 75%! It was then discovered that that I had the EGFR mutation qualifying me for a new drug. A pill a day instead of monthly infusions. Three months later my tumor had shrunk 95% and it was determined that what remained on the scan was scar tissue. I was declared NED (No Evidence of Disease) and have remained that way for the past 3 years. I feel so thankful and blessed. I was fortunate to have wonderful, supportive friends and family throughout the treatment phase of this journey, and the Care Pages that my daughter set up for me online, was a life-saver. Friends could "check in" on my progress and leave comforting, encouraging messages for me without the expectation that I would answer each message. I might also add that I got married to my best friend three months after my diagnosis, and he was a wonderful care-taker during my treatment, and continues to support me in every way as we try to live, now, the "New Normal". By nature, I am a positive person, and we go about our daily lives as normally as we can....perhaps enjoying and appreciating life a bit more because cancer is now a part of our lives. When I first got my diagnosis, my sister told me of a friend of hers who was diagnosed TEN YEARS ago, and is now traveling all over the world doing workshops and enjoying life to the fullest. That gave me such hope, and I have since met a woman diagnosed 25 years ago with stage 4 lung cancer. I pray every day for people with cancer, and that FUNDING for Lung Cancer will increase with more public awareness.....perhaps in our lifetime a CURE will be found!
Marlene M. My late husband, Bob (48 yrs old), was diagnosed... Oregon Marlene Oregon Husband Diagnosis Lung Cancer Smoker Radon Lump Lymph node Neck Chemotherapy Radiation Brain Hospital Family Friends Advocacy My late husband, Bob (48 yrs old), was diagnosed July, 2003 with stage 4 lung cancer as a non-smoker due to high radon levels in our home in Lake Oswego, OR. The only symptom he had was a small lump on his neck that was causing stiffness. It turned out to be a lymph node. That was the beginning of 14 months of chemo and radiation. In those 14 months the cancer found its way to his brain and widely metastasized. What kept Bob going was hope, which treatment gave him, and the love and support of our family and friends. He lost his battle on November 3, 2004. A big part of our journey was the patient and family support groups offered by our local hospital's Cancer Services. The patient group allowed Bob to talk openly about his struggles and fears. The family group allowed me to do the same. The support we received from the group members and facilitators was invaluable. We didn't feel so alone. Advocacy is another important part. If the patient can't advocate for themselves, a spouse or other should advocate for them. Ask questions, get details, explore options, and talk about concerns with your doctor. I kept a record of all Bob's appointments, procedures and treatments so I could refer to it as needed. I was by his side from diagnosis through his death. Bob was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle and friend. We all love and miss him every day.
Margee' M. In Dec. 2006, I received a call that my Mom's... Washington Margee' Washington Lung cancer Mother Family Sister Infusions Treatment Pancreatic cancer Brain cancer Palliative care Hospice In Dec. 2006, I received a call that my Mom's youngest brother had died from lung cancer. Then just 10 months later her younger sister died from lung cancer. In June 2014, my Mom was diagnosed with lung cancer. She's 82 and is now receiving Infusions treatments every 3 weeks. I had already lost my Dad to pancreatic cancer in 1992, then lost my late husband of 40+ years to GBM-4 Brain Cancer after a 21 month long battle in Dec. 2011. Now I'm my Mom's caregiver, didn't think I'd be going through this so soon, but here we are.
Marge C. In July 2011 getting ready for my yearly physical... Georgia Marge Georgia Diagnosed Adenocarcinoma Smoking Family Hope Chemotherapy Scans Lung cancer Funding Research Surgeon In July 2011 getting ready for my yearly physical and feeling better than I had in a long time, my chest x-ray revealed a spot on my right lung. My doctor quickly followed it up with a CT then more tests, an appointment with a surgeon and on Aug 17, 2011 I was dx (diagnosed) with stage 4 Adenocarcinoma. Here I was 51 years old being told now it was me. Cancer has been in my life since I was a teen, my daddy passed in 1980 of LC then followed my father in law in 2003, my mother in law in (BC) 2007, my brother in 2007 and my Mom in 2010 (She was dx in 1998). I have had many friends fight this battle a few are still fighting. I never thought it would happen to me. Yes, I was a smoker I picked up the habit at 14 when it was the cool thing to do. I had quit over 2 years before dx. It really hurts and angers me to have people assume that I deserve to have this because of smoking. I am sure many things have contributed to my cancer besides smoking. There is always hope. I have been one of the fortunate ones that responds well to chemo. In Jan 2012 my cancer became stable and after completing 18 months of chemo I am presently NED (no evidence of disease). Yay!! A positive attitude is one of the best weapons in this fight. My life has changed. Cancer robbed me and my family of a normal life, stole my energy, emptied our bank account, stripped away those rose colored glasses and in an odd way gave me a better life. Yes, I said gave me a better life. Knowing I have cancer and my time here could end, made me take a long hard look at my life. I have started living and appreciating everyday not just existing. I have made friends with my dust bunnies and found out it is ok to leave the house work. The important things are my family and friends and making as many wonderful and fun memories as we can, because when we are gone that is what we leave behind is memories. I would love to see LUNG CANCER funding and research get more exposure. Most of all I wish ALL CANCERS could be cured and no one ever has to hear…”You have cancer.”
Margaret C. My brother passed away from lung cancer on July 20,... New York Margaret New York Lung cancer Death Treatment CT screening Doctors Smoker Medications Therapy Family Tobacco Breathe My brother passed away from lung cancer on July 20, 2013 - he had learned he had lung cancer on June 23, 2013 - too late to receive any treatment or hope for a longer life. He was a perfect candidate to have had a CT screening for lung cancer, but neither he nor his doctors knew that. My brother had smoked for approximately 60 years and had tried to quit using group programs, nicotine replacement therapy, medications and even e-cigarettes, but was not able to quit until he received his lung cancer diagnosis and was at the point where he could barely breathe - which speaks to the terrible addictive nature of tobacco use. His 4 children and their spouses, 9 grandchildren, 3 sisters and countless friends miss him terribly! We need to do better for the victims of the tobacco industry - we need to make sure that primary care providers and the public know what the lung cancer screening guidelines are, and promote best practices for all lung cancer screening programs.
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."
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.
Lysa B. I had back pain for several months that just got... Nevada Lysa Nevada Back pain Biopsy Lung cancer Healthy Smoking Mutation Diagnosis Toxic Expiration Strength Family Support Doctor I had back pain for several months that just got worse. After finally going to the ER and having an x-ray, EKG, MRI and a CT I was told I had lung cancer that had spread to my spine. A biopsy later confirmed this. I was devastated. I had just turned 40, never smoked, and had always been healthy. I want people to know that anyone can get lung cancer: all you need is lungs. You do not have to be a long term smoker or be over 60 years old. Many younger people have been diagnosed in recent years. Do what you can to limit your exposure to cigarette smoke and other toxic fumes. The one thing I wish I knew more about in the beginning is mutation testing. Many patients with lung cancer test positive for certain gene mutations that can be treated with targeted therapy instead of IV chemo. These drugs attack only the cancer cells and have far less side effects. Please insist on these tests being done. It only requires a biopsy and can make a huge difference in your treatment options. Another suggestion is to always get a second opinion. Do not worry about hurting your doctor's feelings, it is your life you are fighting for. Do not read statistics on the internet. They are old and everyone responds differently. Never accept an expiration date. No one should tell you "you only have 6 months to live." I have met several stage IV LC survivors that were diagnosed years ago. One has been fighting for 9 years. That could be you. My greatest challenge is staying positive. I am 90% of the time, but when I think about future plans, it's difficult. We are planning on moving to Florida in 5 years when my daughter graduates high school. Will I be here in 5 years? Will I get to see my daughter graduate? Of course only God knows when my time is up and I choose to believe I still have work to do here. My family gives me the love and hope I need to keep fighting and God gives me the strength to do it.
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.
lisa f. My name is Lisa F. I am 52 years old. I was a smoker... Pennsylvania lisa My name is Lisa F. I am 52 years old. I was a smoker who quit about 6 years ago. Last winter I got sick several times, running fevers coughing a lot with a lot of mucus. I saw my doctor several times and he didn't seem worried about it. About a month later I got what I thought was another cold and I developed severe pain around my ribs. After a trip to the ER it was discovered that I had a nodule in my right lung. I was told not to worry it was probably nothing. After a pet scan I was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma in both lungs. I was in the first stage. They did a lobectomy on my right lung and took a segment from my left lung. Turns out that I had 2 primary cancers not related to each other. Has anyone else had two primary cancers? Right now I am NED and I have decided not to have chemo.
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.
Linda A. About 7 months ago I went in for a physical -... Minnesota Linda Minnesota Lung cancer Physical Blood Kidney stone Ultrasound Liver CT scan Biopsy Stage 4 Chemotherapy CT scan Colonoscopy Mammograms Non-smoker About 7 months ago I went in for a physical - everything was just "fine". Blood work everything is okay. For about 3 weeks I had has this stitch in my right side. It kind of felt like a kidney stone, which I have had before. In July, 2013 I went to the doctor to have him check it out. The next day I was having an ultrasound. That day the doctor’s office called - he wants to see me that afternoon. He says my kidneys are fine - I have a mass on my liver that he would like to get checked and has me leave there and get a CT scan. He calls me later that afternoon that there are 2 small masses in my lung and a small/and large mass in my liver. Everything went fast from then on, I was sent in for a biopsy and got word - it was lung cancer stage 4. The cancer had spread to my liver. I am now getting chemo treatment, last word I received was the masses have shrunk, but I still don't understand why this was not found at my physical - oh, I think one problem is a physical only includes blood tests now - no x-rays, no urine tests etc.? Why is that anyway? I read an article about after 50 a CT should be done - this was the first time I had ever had one. They do mammograms and prostrate exams and colonoscopy. Why not CT scans? They would show any abnormality in the body??
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.
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.
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.
Laurie S. My mom had lung cancer. We did not find out she had... New York Laurie New York Mother Dana Farber Center Tickle Drug Chemotherapy Burial Treatment My mom had lung cancer. We did not find out she had it until it was 4th stage. She was diagnosed in 09/15/2010 and passed 09/21/2013. She did two rounds of chemotherapy then did radiation. We thought that took care of it. Almost a month to the day she felt the "tickle" we went back and it was back. She decided to try another chemotherapy drug that came out but it continued to grow while she was on the treatment. I took her to the Dana Farber Center. There was nothing for her. Never once during any of the treatments did she complain. The last year and half of her life she did no treatment. She had enough. My mom was very very strong and didn't move in with our family until 10 days before her passing. I still miss her and have her burial on her 69th birthday. I don't believe there will ever be a cure but another drug or something to mask the symptoms and pain. God Bless the people that have beat it but I can't believe that we still even have it.
Kristin G. My sister was diagnosed with lung cancer on April 1,... California Kristin California Lung cancer Symptoms Joint pains Swollen feet Swollen fingers Ache Treatment X-ray Lump Rheumatoid arthritis Biopsy Chemotherapy Radiation Lymph nodes PET scan Stage 3 Family Survivor Remission Mutation Trial Battle My sister was diagnosed with lung cancer on April 1, 2013. She had no symptoms except for joint pains and swollen finger tips and feet. Her body ached and doctors were going to treat her for rheumatoid arthritis. When she met with a rheumatoid arthritis doctor, he sent her for a chest x-ray. This is when a mass was discovered on her right lung. A biopsy was ordered and confirmed her lung cancer. She had numerous scans completed prior to her initial chemo/radiation treatment. This included a brain MRI, and a PET scan. A surgeon also completed a mediastinoscopy and took some swollen lymph nodes which came back benign. There was no indication that her cancer spread to any other parts of her body; therefore, diagnosed as a stage 3b lung cancer patient. In July, my sister had a 10.5 cm tumor on her right upper lobe that was successfully removed. Her tumor was 90% dead and 10% active but her surgery was successful. At this time, she was cancer free. Unfortunately, 3 months later, her lung cancer metastasized to her brain with 5 tumors. Again, one month later, it was discovered that her lung cancer is now on her left lung. Because of a Kras mutation, doctors are saying there is nothing they can do except for chemo. My family is looking for a clinical trial and understand she has to be eligible. My sister is Stage IV lung cancer patient now. My family knows she can beat this. She is incredibly positive and will fight this battle even though she has her good days and her bad days. She has taught me a lot. My sister's attitude, positive outlook with life has set such an example for all of us.
Kerry L. I am a trained medical professional (RN/Respiratory... New York Kerry New York Medical professional Respiratory Lung cancer Hospice Smoking Doctors Chemotherapy Radiation Ear infections Children Asthma Narcotics Surgery Preventable Mental health Depression Anxiety I am a trained medical professional (RN/Respiratory Therapist) who has lost both parents to lung cancer. Professionally I have taken care of patients who have/had lung cancer. I have also taken care of both my parents on hospice as they died from lung cancer. It is an awful thing to live with and ultimately die from. My mom smoked 2 packs/day for many years and quit 9 years before she passed away from lung cancer. The doctors found the spot, March 1999, behind her aorta and she went through chemo and radiation before she passed away in April 2001. My dad smoked about 1 pack/day for many years but also worked in a factory which could have added to the problem also. He quit smoking in 1980 (21 years) while I was in college studying Respiratory Therapy. The doctors found the lung cancer in dad in Feb 2001 and he passed away May 2001, 4 1/2 weeks after my mom. They both lived their last weeks on earth tethered to an Oxygen concentrator, weak, and in extreme pain controlled only by narcotics. I do not smoke, although I did for a short period of time as a teenager and young adult. But I finally got "smart" and gave it up so I could become a mom. I suffer from bronchitis whenever I get a cold or sinus infection due to having been exposed to many years of second-hand smoke as a child. I literally become ill smelling smoke or smelling smoke on people's clothes. I cringe whenever I see people smoke with young kids around and know what damage they are doing to their children's health (frequent ear infections, asthma and down the road maybe even getting cancer from second-hand smoke!) When I drive around and see attractive men and women only to become disgusted when I see them lighting up a cigarette! I have seen people so addicted to smoking that they light up a cigarette while on Oxygen and burn their face so severely they have to be fed by tubes instead of eating normally. I have taken care of a 32 year old man after surgery to remove part of his tongue and having a tracheostomy to breathe with! Smelly ashtrays, littered sidewalks and parking lots, burn holes in clothes, homes burned down with the body of the smoker still inside. This is so tragic and PREVENTABLE!!! Sad to think that people are paying $7 a pack for cigarettes and many of these people are not in the best of health to begin with. I have read research that many smokers are self-treating themselves for mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. So very sad.....
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.
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.
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 :)
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.
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.
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.
K (Karen) L. After several months of unintended weight loss and... Hawaii K (Karen) Hawaii Weight loss Joint inflammation Pain Cough Acid reflux Lung cancer Diagnosis Chemotherapy Radiation Treatment Nonsmoker Support Busy Treatment Surgery Scans Community Support Survivor After several months of unintended weight loss and increasing joint inflammation and pain, I developed a cough. Just hours after being told my cough was caused by acid reflux, I began coughing up blood. At age 46, I was diagnosed with stage 3A lung cancer. My husband was somewhere between Afghanistan and Kuwait when I got the diagnosis. Joyful homecoming became heartbreak when he heard the news. In the days after his return, we had the horrible task of telling our 5 adult children that I had the same disease that took the life of their grandfather a month after his diagnosis. “I will beat this,” I promised them. When I said it, I didn't realize the odds of beating lung cancer were not very good. There was no check in the “curative” box on my treatment plan. The intent of my chemotherapy was “symptom control”. The thoracic surgeon deemed my cancer inoperable. We sought a second opinion from a surgeon who agreed to reevaluate me as a surgical candidate after I completed radiation and chemo. My treatment was over a month of daily radiation with two rounds of 6 day chemo. My employer was very supportive and accommodating. My laptop was my chemo buddy. If I hadn't continued to work, I probably would have stayed in bed each day. Staying busy was part of my treatment too! Weeks after finishing chemo/rad, the surgeon agreed to perform surgery. He was very honest in his evaluation. He might open me up, see the cancer, and close me up again, or take my entire right lung. I awoke from surgery to the glorious news that the cancer had retreated so much, he was able to remove just my upper lobe. After another 2 rounds of chemo, I was pronounced NED (No Evidence of Disease), and I've enjoyed clean scans for 3 years now. When I told my children “I will beat this”, I didn't realize that “beating” lung cancer would continue long after NED. After realizing how little support there is for the lung cancer patient, I vowed to help in any way I can. So, I seek out other people in my community affected by lung cancer. While it warms my heart to help another survivor cope with their disease, it is also full of heartbreak. Statistically, only 2 out of 10 survivors I meet will be alive 5 years after their diagnosis. One of the organizations I work with is ALA Hawaii. I serve as a Better Breathers Club facilitator, I share my story at ALA events, and I serve on the Leadership Council. It’s in this way that I continue doing my part to “beat” lung cancer.
June A. My mom was a healthy 40 years plus nonsmoker who one... Louisiana June Louisiana Healthy Smoking Nonsmoker Lung cancer Laryngitis Antibiotics X-ray Stage 4 Death Hope My mom was a healthy 40 years plus nonsmoker who one day developed laryngitis and was on antibiotics for it. After 2 weeks of seeing the doctor for this condition and antibiotics the doctor ordered a chest X-ray to see what was going on. She was then diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer. A month later she passed. I then became involved with The American Lung Association. I have started a Fight for Air Walk in my home town. I have wrote letters to Congress to voice my opinion on what should be done to early detect Lung Cancer. I feel if we can diagnosis Lung Cancer sooner we would have a lower death rate!!! We need to SAY IT, FIGHT IT,CURE IT!! We can't give up HOPE!!!
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...
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.....
Joyce K. I am sharing my lung cancer story because I want to... North Carolina Joyce North Carolina Lung cancer Hope Diagnosis Cough Clots Blood Physician X-ray Tumor Pulmonary specialist Washington, DC Tests Pneumonectomy Tumor Growth Research Non-small lung cancer Positive I am sharing my lung cancer story because I want to provide hope and inspiration! I was diagnosed with lung cancer twenty five years ago, at age 33. I was sitting at my desk at work when I coughed up a clot of blood. And, yes, I smoked for many years, so I thought I’d get that question out of the way. My primary physician took an x-ray which showed that I had a tumor in my left lung the size of a grapefruit. He told me to go home and relax for the weekend. Ha Ha So Mom and I went to see a pulmonary specialist, who immediately sent me over to Sibley Hospital in Washington, DC. As you all know, it is always highly recommended to get a 2nd opinion (and 3rd and so on). I saved my life by taking control over the situation. I was incredibly lucky! At the hospital, they took a series of tests and decided to remove my entire left lung, called a pneumonectomy, since my tumor had not metastasized to other sites in my body. I had non-small squamous cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This type of cancer is usually found centrally in the lung and is responsible for 30 percent of all non-small lung cancers. As you know, we've come such a long way in the last twenty-five years. Today there is so much growth in the areas of research and technology which was pretty much non-existent back then. Now we don’t have to rely solely on luck !! I learned to never give up; that angels really do exist; and that by sending positive energy out into the world it really does come back full circle.
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.
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!
John B. I don't have cancer, but I hope I never will. I have... New Hampshire John New Hampshire Painful Family Lung cancer Children Suffering Smoking Doctor Smoker Non-smoker Selfish I don't have cancer, but I hope I never will. I have seen firsthand how painful and devastating cancer is not just for the person dying, but on family members, children, parents, siblings, friends and other relatives. It is not just one person suffering and dying, it is a whole family. The damage is unimaginable. I still have my parents, thank God, but I have lost so many relatives. Uncles, Aunts, cousins, friends, neighbors, customers, all to cancer, but more specifically; SMOKING! I have heard too many times that;" oh, it's my, life”, " we're all going to die sometime", or "it'll never affect me”. But it happens fast, it is ugly, and it is painful. And it affects everyone around. Not just the dying person. To smoke, to disregard warnings, is the most selfish, and irresponsible thing you can do to your family. I am sorry to say, but to me, it is worse than suicide, murder, war, child abuse, and everything else. I find it more than offensive, I consider it criminal. I do not comprehend how someone can do that to themselves and others I love the 12 family members I have lost to smoking, but I wish they were still here. I miss them. If you care about yourself and your family, Don't Smoke! Don't abuse your body, get checkups, visit your doctor, don't give up on life.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
Jes W. I was nine years old when I was affected by lung... Ohio Jes Ohio Lung cancer Dad Disease Battle Resilience Doctors Hospice Comfort Diagnosis Medicine Treatments Healthy Cancer-free Death Family I was nine years old when I was affected by lung cancer. My dad passed away from lung cancer after a three year battle with the disease. It taught me as a young girl about resilience and staying strong in the face of such a hard life lesson. While my dad passed away from cancer I saw how much the doctors, nurses, and hospice tried to cure the disease and later make him comfortable. Trained staff dealing with people and that diagnosis sometimes made the difference in how my father, the family, and I dealt with the situation. I want others to know that medicine has progressed so far in the nineteen years since my dad passed away that they should feel confident in the medical treatments these days and that the trained professionals involved will work with you and your family as much as they can, because they want what you want, for the person diagnosed to live and live healthy and cancer free.
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.
JaVonne H. I received a phone call while on vacation that my... Illinois JaVonne Illinois Brother Battle Months Leg Sciatic nerve Injections Hospital Lung cancer Small lung cancer Hip Spine Screenings Aggressive Testing Love I received a phone call while on vacation that my brother had been hospitalized because his leg gave away. He could no longer walk on that leg. He had been dealing with a problem with his leg for about a year and had only been diagnosed with a sciatic nerve. After many injections and then finally not being able to walk he ended up in the hospital and only then was the cause discovered. It was actually lung cancer. Small cell lung cancer that was already at stage 4 and had metastasized. The cancer had deteriorated his hip and had spread to his back, spine and brain. This was September 2009 and on May 17, 2010 just 8 months later my only brother lost the battle. He was only 52. We all know that early detection is the best defense and I learned that there are ways to detect lung cancer early but you have to ask because there are no automatic or routine screenings that are done unlike other cancers (that I know of); even though small cell lung cancer is one of the most aggressive cancers. And folks, don't ignore chronic conditions or accept one answer. Be proactive with your doctor and force them and yourself to search for answers. We need to get lung cancer on the map and at the forefront of testing. Too many people I know learn they have lung cancer after it's too late. The biggest challenge for all of us who have lost loved ones is dealing with the loss! Let's all become advocates to give lung cancer a voice.
Jason D. I just wanted to let you know about a young man who... Missouri Jason Missouri Grandmother Alabama Lung cancer Chemotherapy Brain stem Liver Football Disease Joy 2nd round Commitment I just wanted to let you know about a young man who is honoring his grandmother, who is currently battling lung cancer. Nickolas, who is a Varsity Football Player in Seneca, MO, has been wearing a pink band around his wrists this season to honor his grandmother, Beth, of Gulf Shores, AL. She has been battling lung cancer for almost a year now, of which has spread to her brain stem and liver. She is currently undergoing her second round of Chemotherapy. After visiting with her over the summer, Nick said that he was inspired by her "...fighting spirit..." and wanted to dedicate his junior season to her. He has said that "...the tape on my wrists reminds me to never take any play for granted, and to go all out - just like Grandma Beth does every day!" He has not shared his dedication with his Grandmother as of yet. His plan is to share this with her either by video or phone before his Homecoming game this Friday. So far his dedication has paid off. Seneca is currently undefeated in their division, and Nick is having the best season of his career. His grandmother also continues to fight the good fight against this devastating disease. It is Nick's hope that when he finally tells his Grandma Beth about what he has done that it will bring her some joy; and, that the joy she feels will help her the same way her commitment to beating this disease has helped Nick.
Janice S. I was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer in... Michigan Janice Michigan Diagnosis Lung cancer Non-small cell Tumor Doctors Henry Ford Hospital Detroit Surgery Oncologist Radiation Remission Treatments Side effects Disease Power Exercise I was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer in August of this year. The tumor was around 2 centimeters. I consulted with a team of doctors at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI. The Surgeon explained he could not do lung surgery due to my COPD lung disease. He said I would not have a good quality of life if he removed the lung. The oncologist explained that I might be a candidate for SBVT radiation treatment. I then talked with the radiologist and he recommended I receive 4 targeted radiation treatments in September. When I returned on October 21, he told me the tumor had shrunk and to return in January of 2014. I will see the oncologist in November for a follow up also. This experience has been kind of surreal. I have not been sick. The treatments were easy with no side effects. Knowing that I have this cancer inside of me bothers me but I have faith and trust that the doctors will do the right thing by me. I have really concentrated on exercise and making future plans. I am not going to give into the disease. I have been very active in Relay for Life for the past 15 years and I have witnessed the power of positive thinking and prayer. I do not know what the future holds for me but I am ready for it.
HOPE C. A little over 3 years ago, I came down with... Mississippi HOPE Mississippi Pneumonia X-ray Lobe Lung cancer Biospy Surgery Carcinoma Oncologist Survivor Remission Lobectomy Chemotherapy A little over 3 years ago, I came down with Pneumonia. To confirm this, the doctor took a chest x-ray, which showed a spot on my lower right lobe of my lung. Biopsy confirmed that I had a Well Differentiated Carcinoma. The scary thing is that another x-ray on file from 5 years prior, showed the same spot! No one bothered to tell me to get it checked. In Feb. 2010, I had a lobectomy by a wonderful surgeon followed up by some precautionary chemo and a little over 3 years later, I am still cancer free. I was a former smoker, but had not smoked in over 25 years! So, as my oncologist told me... Pneumonia saved my life! Even with the lack of the lower right lobe, I lead a very normal life, exercise regularly (well, sort of, kind of), can walk 3 miles and I feel great. My goal after my surgery and before my post op check up with my surgeon, was to be able to walk a mile and I did!
Helen M. In the last 4 years I have had 4 brothers and... North Carolina Helen In the last 4 years I have had 4 brothers and sisters diagnosed with lung cancer. One Stage 1, one Stage 2, One Stage 3 and One Stage 4. Sadly we lost our brother 5 weeks after his diagnosis. What surprised me the most is how some people think they brought it on themselves for smoking. There are other things that cause lung cancer. My sister who had Stage 3 still struggles with infections and coughing. I just wish as much emphasis and funding was given to lung cancer as it is breast cancer.
Heather I. I found out that my mother has lung cancer after... Ohio Heather Ohio Mother Lung cancer Bronchitis Pneumonia Asthma Medication Thoracic Surgery Biopsy Lymph node Liver Cancer center Support Family I found out that my mother has lung cancer after several trips to the emergency room and overnight stays. It started in April with bronchitis and pneumonia. Mom also has asthma so a lot of times those went into overnight stays with lots of medication and chest X-rays. Finally, in September one of the hospital doctors said, “Let’s look at this spot closer. I don't like how it looks.” We went for an appointment with the thoracic surgeon that next week. The biopsy was on August 30th. The doctor came out and told me it was advanced lung cancer with lymph node involvement. No one was able to go with me. I sat in the lobby just crying. We went to cancer center but they needed testing that we should have had before getting to them. After doing that testing it indicated the need for another biopsy of the liver this time. Yes my mother now has non curable lung cancer.
Grace c. I was diagnosed with stage 3B lung cancer in June of... Florida Grace I was diagnosed with stage 3B lung cancer in June of 2010. It is now October of 2013 and I'm still here. My first reaction was to sob and think I'd be dead in a few months. Stage 3B--advanced non-small cell lung cancer. I was 62 and felt a whole lot younger. All of a sudden my dreams and hopes were gone, my life was over. Then I did 2 things--met my oncologist, and told my friends. My oncologist was a believer that everyone had a chance and with all that was out there we'd find ways to fight. If one didn't work, we'd try something else. After all, he told us he had a patient who was still alive and doing well after 8 years. One of the oncology nurses told us that cancer was becoming a chronic illness. If we can't cure it, we can control it and each day new studies are available. After I'd been through my initial chemo and radiation, my tumors had shrunk and things were good. But then they started to grow and I went back on chemo, but this time they found me a clinical study. I was in that for phase 2 trial and it was just great--constant monitoring by nurse and doctor and best of all it was keeping things at bay. Of course the treatment is of utmost imiportance, but you know I have the absolute best oncology nurses. Kathy, Debbie, Janet and those who came later made me feel like I was the most important person in their lives. They are just fantastic. Also I was a teacher before I retired because of the cancer and 2 of my former students work where I was treated. It is so great to see them when I go--kind of like family looking out for me. If you are diagnosed with cancer tell your friends--they want to know and they want to help. I honestly don't know what I would have done without their support. To say they've been helpful is the biggest understatement of the year. I don't know how I'd have survived and kept fighting and trying to be positive--not cloyingly so but genuinely positive if not for them. They also gave me persmission to be not positive some days. Yes, it's ok to have a day when you fall apart, sob, and just go to bed. One of the hardest things about lung cancer is people's reaction. With other cancers they tell you they're sorry, but with lung cancer they ask if you smoked. It makes you feel like they feel what what did you expect? It's hurtful. no one deserves any kind of cancer--remember that. Remember that support group--your friends. it's invaluable.
Gloria R. Five years ago, at the age of 60, my intuition told... Pennsylvania Gloria Pennsylvania CT scan Brain Insurance Symptoms X-Ray Hospital Advice Support Surgery Lobe Stage 1 Chemotherapy Radiation Risk factors Smoker Non-smoker Five years ago, at the age of 60, my intuition told me to get a CT scan - my brain also urged this, as I'd smoked for 25 years. My insurance company refused to pay for a CT scan, as I had no symptoms; they only authorized an X-ray, which showed no problems. A few months later, I found a clinical trial for COPD where I got a free CT scan. This CT scan showed a small tumor in the lowest lobe of my right lung. I received wonderful treatment at the Hospital of Univ. of Penn - advice, support, and finally surgery to remove that lobe. Fortunately, the tumor was contained and was only stage 1A, so I did not require chemo or radiation, only surgery. Subsequent CT scans have been clean. I'm a strong supporter of screening CT scans for people who've smoked or have other risk factors.
Gail C. When I went to the ER in May 2011 with an acute GI... New York Gail New York Emergency room May 2011 Lung cancer Nodule PET scan Malignant Thoracic Surgery Recovery Lobe Disability Diagnosis Adenocarcinoma Non-small cell lung cancer Lymph node Recurrence Tumor When I went to the ER in May 2011 with an acute GI problem, I never expected to be told that the CT scan they had done had detected a lung nodule (unrelated to the GI problem). A follow up PET scan revealed that the nodule was "indeterminate" meaning it didn't "light up" very much. Since that meant it wasn't very metabolically active, there was hope that it wasn't cancer. My options: to wait three months & re-scan to see if the nodule grew, or to consult a thoracic surgeon about having a surgical biopsy. The nodule, being only 1.5 cm, was considered too small for a needle biopsy. My Internet search revealed that because I was close to 60 years old, and the nodule was over 1.0 cm, the probability of it being malignant was 65%. With those odds, I opted for surgery. I had Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery, technically laparoscopic, it's still considered major surgery. The pathology report during surgery revealed cancer so the surgeon removed the affected lobe of my lung. My surgeon told me while I was in Recovery that the tumor had been malignant. Knowing the odds, I can honestly say I was not surprised or shocked. I was just glad the tumor was gone. My surgery had gone very well and my recovery was going well. I was so relieved to have gotten through this terribly frightening and difficult time. Then I received copies of my disability papers from the surgeon's office in the mail and saw these words: "Diagnosis: Lung Cancer". I cried my eyes out. Those words pertained to me. I had lung cancer! Seeing it written was quite a shock. Although my life has changed forever, at this point, I still consider myself fortunate. That lung nodule, if it hadn't been detected incidentally during my ER visit, would have undoubtedly progressed to Stage IV lung cancer before any symptoms would've appeared. I was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, a subtype of Non-small cell lung cancer. But I was lucky. The tumor was well-differentiated and I was staged at 1a, the earliest stage lung cancer can be detected. There had been no lymph node involvement. My surgeon told me the tumor had been very well contained. I needed no further treatment. I have a pretty fair shot at a cure, but unfortunately, I still face the very real possibility of recurrence and therefore must be monitored by scans every six months. It's very difficult living from scan to scan never knowing what the next one might reveal. I would love to have my old, carefree life back again.
Frank l. I was a volunteer responder on 9/11 and was present... New York Frank New York 9/11 Primary lung cancers Smoker Victim Lobe Kidney cancer Bladder cancer Surgery Diagnosis Radiation Chemotherapy Fatigue Depression Anger Lung cancer Oncologist Remission PET scans Volunteer I was a volunteer responder on 9/11 and was present at ground zero for over 2 months. In February, 2006 I was diagnosed with my first of 3 primary lung cancers. Since I had been a lifetime smoker of course that stigma was placed on me. "Well, you gave it to yourself" was more or less what I heard. If you were a smoker and have lung cancer, the first thing to do is not fall victim to this kind of thinking. People who have never smoked get lung cancer. Ignore that discrimination. You're not your own victim. After having a lobe removed I was diagnosed with kidney and bladder cancer in November, 2006. Again, surgery caught it before it spread. In September, 2011 lung cancer returned. Again it was caught in time. In August, 2012 a 3rd lung cancer was diagnosed. This time surgery was impossible so I underwent 3 months of radiation and 7 months of intense chemo. It was the worst time of my life. Fatigue, depression, anger, feeling sick every day drove me to the point of giving up and letting cancer win. It was a very difficult challenge and I didn't want to live anymore. But I didn't give up. In June of 2013 I was admitted to the hospital with acute renal failure. The cause? Chemotherapy. My kidneys just couldn't take it any longer and my oncologist told me we would have to discontinue chemo. I began preparing myself for the inevitable. BUT, a follow-up PET scan showed that my cancer had gone into remission. After subsequent PET scans, it continues to be in remission. The treatments were brutal but they worked. Most importantly, all these cancers were found and treated due to early detection. I can't stress enough how important it is to be regularly monitored and screened. My first lung cancer was detected through a routine chest x-ray. It saves lives. Although I'm not particularly religious, I prayed a lot. Did it help? Maybe. Miracles do happen. I have since been certified by the World Trade Center Health Monitoring Program as a cancer victim due to my exposure to dangerous pollutants at Ground Zero. If you smoke, quit immediately, just don’t be intimidated and embarrassed by the finger pointers. It will only serve to blame yourself and interfere with your battle. I'm now in full recovery, getting my life back, surrounded by loving family and friends who were by my side throughout my ordeal. HAVE HOPE. As the saying goes: “It’s not over until the fat lady sings", and my "fat lady" is nowhere to be seen. Be brave, be strong and fight, fight, fight!
Frank S. Last year on November 2, my mom became ill when she... Massachusetts Frank Massachusetts Lung cancer Dizzy Stroke Symptoms Tests Tumors Brain Lung Stage 4 Surgery Chemotherapy Pill Morphine Side effects Doctors Support Family Bronchitis Pain Peace Last year on November 2, my mom became ill when she came home from work. She felt dizzy, and parked her car crooked when she arrived home. My dad took her to the ER afraid she was showing stroke symptoms. They ran many tests that week, and found tumors in her lung that had spread to her brain. It was already Stage IV. She had brain surgery on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Another tumor became aggressive and they needed to operate on the brain again on that Saturday. The surgeries were successful. She then needed radiation for a month while in rehab. After a while, she began chemo. The chemo was definitely making her weaker, but it looked like it was working on her lung tumors. Then they found them coming back again in her brain last May. They were going to start her on a chemo pill that could attack both the brain and lung together. It was a long wait of three weeks for the insurance to cover it, and they had to pay around $1600 to get a month’s worth. Then the weakness kept getting her, and she collapsed at home in my dad’s arms. He called an ambulance, and my mom never came home again. She went to the hospital, and the doctors told her the cancer was too aggressive. The chemo side effects would kill her sooner than the cancer would. From the hospital, she entered a nursing home the day after her birthday on June 3. She had trouble feeding herself because her left side didn't work because of the brain tumor. Pain increased because of tumors throughout her body. They started her on a strong dose of morphine when it became evident death was near. My mom passed on July 21 very peacefully. You always wonder if there is more I should have done. Should I have pushed harder for the chemo pill to arrive quicker? Ultimately though it did not work for her because the side effects were too strong. I loved my mom's doctors. They were so kind and understanding. Because it was Stage IV, it was tough right from the beginning. I wish it was discovered two or three years prior. She had bronchitis often with a bad cough but was never tested for lung cancer. I love my mom and miss her so much. It's hard to believe that almost 3 months have gone by. I told her I loved her all the time, and I hope she knows how much I did. I had to let her know it was OK for her to go, and I just hope she realizes how difficult that was for me. She needed to end the pain and not fight any longer. She needed to be at peace, and I feel she is in a better place.
Frank C. In Dec. 2009 I went for my annual physical, all went... California Frank California Physical Doctor X-ray Biopsy Lung cancer Symptoms Running Chemotherapy Death Surgery Prognosis Lymph nodes PET scans Faith Family In Dec. 2009 I went for my annual physical, all went well. I had a new doctor as mine had retired. By chance he gave me a chest x-ray. Not standard procedure, but as my new primary he wanted to be thorough I suppose. I went home and soon received a call to go to the hospital right now, I had a spot on my lung. I got a biopsy and indeed I had a tumor the size of a baseball in my right lung. I had no symptoms. I was playing softball three times a week and running with no problem. After diagnosis I felt like a walking dead man. They told me it is not necessarily a death sentence anymore. I went for chemo for about eight weeks. On March tenth, after playing a double header on the ninth, I went for surgery and lost 40 percent of my right lung. They said most of the tumor was dead and my prognosis was good. They removed 37 lymph nodes and none had cancer. After a brief rest I went back for two or three more chemo visits. I was done, and it is now over three years later. I feel good being back playing softball. I get CT and PET scans to monitor my lung, which I suppose will be true the rest of my life. I must admit, when I get a scan I am nervous until I get results. So far so good. It went exactly as my doctors said, the only doctor I see now is lung doctor. I was lucky. Keep the faith.
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.
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.
elizabeth B. When I was 4 my father would put something in his... Alabama elizabeth Alabama Lung cancer Cigarette Tobacco Quit Smoker Pain Struggle Children Liver cancer Stomach cancer Brain Bone When I was 4 my father would put something in his mouth, I thought blow on it, and put it in the ash tray. When he put me in the car, he’d light one up, at first it smelled kind of sweet. Not long after, I felt sick to my stomach. He would be just driving away, and I am trying to puke quietly so he wouldn't spank me. Every time he put me in the car, he spanked me, because I puked everywhere. I was little girl. When my father asked me what I wanted for my birthday present, I would always say "daddy stop smoke". He giggled and continued to do it. It was about that time when violent abuse started. He would drink out of his mind, and think we did not brush our teeth. However, to get to the end of this, we were placed in the fine system of foster care. Away from my dad, I did not know that men did not smoke that smelly thing. So, I asked my foster father where his smelly thing is, and he told me that it is not allowed in the house. I never asked again. We lived in the home for the rest of our lives, as we waited for our father to pick us up. We were told at the age of 12 that my father died. So, we went to the funeral, and it was my sister’s birthday. I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, and she told me our daddy. I felt hopeless, and sad. He never stopped, but his body killed him at the age of 52. He had liver cancer, and stomach cancer, brain cancer, and bone cancer. From November 1981, until Feb. 1982 he never saw us again. He went to the hospital on the Army base, and died there. In 1990 I had my daughter, I promised her that I would never subject her to anything to end my life and shorten hers by allowing smokers around her. However, that was not easy because my husband at that time would not stop smoking. So, it caused another reason for me to take her and keep her away from the smoke. Eventually I raised her on my own. She promised not to smoke around her little baby. This is what gave me hope. That my wish finally did come true and that I was able to stop the smoking chain from ripping families apart.
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.
Elizabeth R. My husband's story is sadly typical; it all started... California Elizabeth California Cough Bronchitis Blood Nonsmoker Lung cancer Smoking Radiation Pneumonia Treatments Chemotherapy MRI Surgery Clinical trials Hospice Palliative care Family Friends Detection Tumor My husband's story is sadly typical; it all started with a cough. It could be heard throughout the house and he was incapacitated by it. At first they thought it was bronchitis, when it became bloody they tested for TB. We never thought of lung cancer, he was 41 and didn't smoke. After months of ruling things out and extended hospital stays we found out it was lung cancer. He had the best possible care but it was probably too late. Radiation started immediately, if they could shrink the tumor then they could clear the pneumonia. Six weeks later, after daily pneumonia treatments and two rounds of chemo he could come home. Life was never the same. The doctors figured out how to control the cough because of the radiation. We couldn't do an MRI so we falsely hoped it was stage 3. We went to specialists, talked to surgeons about removing the lung and looked into clinical trials. He was too far gone for surgery so we pinned our hopes on chemotherapy and clinical trials. Every day he was sicker and we told ourselves it was the chemo. It wasn't fair; he was too young, a good man, we had a good marriage and our boy was only six. On his 43rd birthday we got the results from the MRI and clinical trials were are only hope. Once he was released from the hospital from the third stay we went to specialist again trying to see if there was a trial. For the first time insurance denied a chemo treatment. Radiation was ordered for his lower back and I took to fighting for more treatment. One morning I noticed he couldn't move his right arm, later we found out the cancer had broken his neck and one wrong move could end his life. It was during this hospital stay we filed a DNR. They offered surgery to repair the break but no promise he would survive the operation. Radiation continued to reduce the tumor in his neck but we were grasping at hope. My husband was released to home hospice care. I would like to say he died peacefully but it was painful. The amazing nurses did their best to keep him comfortable as first his mind slipped away then his body. Jorenz was diagnosed on May 2, 2011 and died on October 14, 2011. I have the wonderful support of family and friends but am now raising our wonderful boy alone. My hope is to discover the causes of lung cancer and early detection. It is often discovered when it is too late to do more than pray for just a little time.
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!
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.
Donna Z. I am a 46 year old woman, because of cigarettes, I... New York Donna New York Cigarettes Smoking Small cell lung cancer Lung cancer Diagnosis Tumor Life Quit Pain Drugs Torture Young Loneliness I am a 46 year old woman, because of cigarettes, I am now a widow. My husband passed away in October 2012, almost a year ago, besides myself he left behind two teenage sons. My husband's name was Louie and he died of small cell lung cancer at the age of 47. Our horror story began a year before in Nov, 2011, when we received the awful diagnosis that the pain in his chest was from a tumor in his lung. The tumor was diagnosed as small cell lung cancer, which I soon found out was a smoker's lung cancer. Yes, Louie smoked...he tried to quit several times over the years but he was addicted the same way that an alcoholic needs a drink or a heroin junkie needs his fix. Louie was a talented landscape designer/builder who worked on some of the most beautiful homes on Long Island. He had a wait list of people who wanted him to design their property. Life was good for us, we had so many plans for a future and were talking about opening a nursery and expanding the business. He was an incredible father, our sons are devastated. They admired everything about him, they enjoyed each other's company and spent time fishing, hunting and he was even teaching them his business. Cigarettes ended our life as a family. Louie thought that there was time to quit, he had been saying "It's time, I know I can't smoke any longer.” I think 50 was the magic number for him...if he quit before 50 he would be okay. Three months after a good scan, the cancer returned to the bone. As bad as it had been, it got much worse. Constant pain...endless amounts of drugs to try and control that pain, my husband was slowly tortured by this cancer. He was taken from us on Oct. 8, 2012 and there was nothing peaceful about it. He died at our home with me and the boys by his side...he was not ready to go. The cigarettes decided that he had lived long enough, that we would have to make our way without him. Our lives are so different now, financial stress, and loneliness are new members of the family. HEAR THIS YOU ARE NOT TOO YOUNG TO GET LUNG CANCER!
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.
Dona G. My husband, Gary, was diagnosed with lung cancer... Wisconsin Dona My husband, Gary, was diagnosed with lung cancer last December, virtually no symptoms. He was having knee surgery and in the course of preparing for that, the spots on his lungs were found. He was diagnosed with Large Cell Neuro Endocrine lung cancer, stage 4. Of course after the initial shock of finding this out and facing your own mortality, we searched for any and all options to save his life. His Doctor was hopeful with a strong chemo regimen he could live up to a year and half. This was unimaginable to hear, as we were the couple that everyone always said was so in love and on an eternal honeymoon. Gary smoked for 30 years and quit smoking in 1995 when we met, I would not date a smoker and he quit on the spot. Gary powered through 6 strong regimens of chemo, as well as the many other trips to the hospital for transfusions and pneumonia. The knee no longer was the issue. Gary became ill with pneumonia in late June and on July 5th went into the hospital to try and knock that out of him. He was accepted into a clinical trial on July 2nd. The trial was showing significant results and we were thrilled. We needed to get him through this bout of pneumonia so we could get him going on the clinical trial. The lung cancer won, Gary lost his battle with lung cancer on July 11th, 2014. He did not want to die, he had so much to live for. The photo is a note to his grandson Sean who lives in Atlanta. I was surprised to hear that imaging of the lungs is not a normal part of healthcare; seems like if you crack a rib...you get scanned. And with lung cancer being a cancer with such a high mortality rate, you would think we can work to make a chest scan searching for this a regular part of our healthcare; similar to a mammogram, etc. I want others to make this a part of their health regimen, even if it means paying for the scan. Especially if you have anyone in your life that was or is a smoker-- protect yourself. Challenges along the way were trying to figure out how to get Gary the care he needed--from rides to chemo and doctor’s appointments, to the mental health care that is required for not only him but for me as well. Friends and family play an important role in this journey. Living without the love of my life is unspeakable. I pray often that lung cancer is someday something that no one has to live through. Stop smoking, encourage ones you love to stop smoking!!!
Dianna S. I am a 57 Year old Grandmother of two wonderful boys... Florida Dianna Florida Grandmother Lung cancer Stage 3 Husband Tests Treatments Company Support Environment I am a 57 Year old Grandmother of two wonderful boys and I found I'm Stage 3a Lung Cancer. I took control of my treatment immediately but must credit largely my husband of 38 years for standing at my side, asking questions, demanding answers and prodding me on as I'm now in my first weeks of treatments. There sure isn't dignity with Lung Cancer as some part of you is naked to the world throughout tests and treatments but there are many others like me (unfortunately) so I'm in good company. There is no cure, that is certain but you do get to plod on with some old and some new treatments and teams of people who really want the best for you. To all those in the "clean" world of health, pray for us who aren't, wrap your arms around someone who needs it and count your blessings.
Diane G. On February 9, 2011, my mother's birthday, I was... New Jersey Diane On February 9, 2011, my mother's birthday, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. I was a 35 year old, non-smoker who just gave birth for the second time 5 months earlier. I was a healthy person who in 4 years had two healthy pregnancies. I developed a cough and shortness of breath a few weeks after the delivery. Ignoring it, I took care of my children and went about my life. The coughing started keeping us up at night and I figured I'll go to the doctor after the holidays and before I returned to work as a teacher. After x-rays and scans I was put in the hospital a week while they tried to figure out that mysterious spot in my right upper lobe. After an unpleasant biopsy it was confirmed I had non-small cell adenocarcinoma of the lung. My journey had begun, I have had chemotherapy, radiation, attempted surgery, clinical trial, and continued chemotherapy. Currently my doctors work to control and maintain the cancer to keep it localized. I have been through many obstacles along the way, too many to write in this story. But this is what I want people to take away. Lung cancer is not just a smoker’s disease. It causes families as much heartache and pain as other cancers. Never give up. No matter how hard it gets I push through. I do it for myself, my husband, and my children. They deserve a strong mother who can at least teach them to never quit no matter how hard. I fight for them. This country needs to pay more attention to a cancer who kills the most men and women. It is a silent killer with little to no symptoms. I was lucky to find my cancer, at least it gave me a fighting chance.
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.
DeWitt H. Lung cancer took my wonderful brother Richard from... New Mexico DeWitt New Mexico Lung cancer Death Young Brother Lung cancer took my wonderful brother Richard from his wife and extended family when he was only 56. That's been 12 years ago, but of course I think of him very often. Many things remind me of him, and so many lives have been affected by his death.
Denise H. I am a 3 year lung cancer survivor and happy to... New York Denise New York Lung cancer Survivor Non-small cell lung cancer Lobe Chemotherapy Surgery Treatment Confidence Family Side effects Smoking Nonsmoker Health Lung health I am a 3 year lung cancer survivor and happy to report my life is very much back to normal. I was diagnosed with stage 2 non-small cell lung cancer in June 2010 and had the upper lobe of my right lung removed in July 2010. I was fortunate to have an excellent surgeon and a wonderful support system. As a precaution I underwent 3 months of chemotherapy, not pleasant but you do what you have to do. When the doctor confirmed it was lung cancer the first thought I had was that I was going to die. I had never heard of anyone living with this disease. As quickly as that thought came to me it left just as quickly. I decided that I was going to fight this and win. When I met my surgeon, I had such confidence in him that I felt I was already cured. Lung cancer and the treatments definitely take a toll on your life, your family, and your finances. But this is all temporary. Three years later I can honestly say I have never felt better. There are a few side effects from the surgery and chemotherapy but nothing that has stopped me from living my life. Stairs and hills do leave me short of breath but at 67 I'm happy that I'm able to do them. I beat lung cancer because I had the belief that I could, the support of my children and God. I want lung cancer patients to know that they can survive. I want them to know that whether they were smokers or not, if you have lungs you can get lung cancer. There are advances being made in improving lung health so stay strong and believe that you can get through this.
Deborah W. My husband found out he had lung cancer after trying... Connecticut Deborah Connecticut Husband Lung Cancer Cold Pneumonia Scan Chemotherapy Early Finances My husband found out he had lung cancer after trying to fight a cold. First the doctor told him he had a bad cold. It would not go away and turned into pneumonia. They sent him for a scan and it was the worst news ever: it was lung cancer. He fought for a year trying all types of chemo. None of them touched the cancer. I would just like to tell everyone that please have yourself checked early- don't wait. My husband’s was too far when we found out. We never gave up hope. I never believed I would lose him. You need to get all your personal finances in place even if you do have a great outcome, at least you are set. Enjoy every day like it is your last and cherish all the memories you make and have.
Debbie S. On Sept. 11, 2012, I experienced chest pains which... Oregon Debbie Oregon Chest pains Acid reflux Biopsy Non-small cell Carcinoma Survivor Surgery Lymph nodes Diagnosis Chemotherapy Fighting Family Emotions Radiation Brain Family On Sept. 11, 2012, I experienced chest pains which were diagnosed as acid reflux. Chest pains require a chest x-ray, which showed a shadow on my left lung. A subsequent CAT scan determined the shadow to be a mass and a biopsy on Sept. 14th diagnosed the mass as non-small cell carcinoma or lung cancer. So began my cancer survivor journey, thanks to acid reflux. My MRI, PET scan and blood tests were clear. Feeling good, lots of energy and no other symptoms made this diagnosis hard to believe. Plan was to remove my left upper lung which contained the mass. The surgeon removed sample lymph nodes through my throat to determine if the cancer had spread and, unfortunately, it had. So surgery was cancelled and I began 4 rounds of chemotherapy. To say chemotherapy is not fun, is a big understatement. It is very hard - hard on your body, hard on your mind, hard on your emotions, hard on your family - just plain HARD. The good news is that it will stop at some point. That fact kept me going. Chemo did end and my surgery was scheduled again. This time surgery was completed and chemo had fried the cancerous mass. Chemo does work! The surgeon also removed lymph nodes, some were clear and a few were cancerous. Cancerous lymph nodes meant radiation was now part of my plan. I had 26 rounds of radiation - five days a week for 5 weeks. Radiation was not as bad as chemo - slight burn that lotion took care of. But, the radiation regime did mess with my mind. The machine is huge and scary and everyone leaves the room, except you! Procedure doesn't last long, but the idea of rays going through your body is hard to ignore. I kept my eyes closed and prayed. One of the worse parts of my entire treatment plan was when it was all ending. After fighting for so long, the thought of not fighting was hard. If I wasn't fighting, would the cancer could come back? How could I live without seeing my supportive, positive doctors & their staff? How could I trust my body again? But, it was over and has been for 6 months. I have quarterly CT scans - all clear to date! I'm challenged daily by the "cancer demons" that try to instill fear. I work hard to keep them at bay and have learned keeping busy helps a lot. If I have to fight cancer again, I will. Chemo, radiation, surgery - I'd do it all again because I won't give up life easily. Three things got me though cancer - God, family & friends. I am so blessed & grateful to be a cancer survivor.
Dawn H. In May 2013 I noticed a cough that wouldn't go away.... Washington Dawn In May 2013 I noticed a cough that wouldn't go away. After many visits to my primary care provider, two chest x-rays, and trying several allergy medicines and inhalers, I finally sought a second opinion. In August, 2014 I had a chest CT scan which revealed a tumor in my lung. From there, my PET scan confirmed that it has spread to my rib, spine and hip. I am 51 years old, a non-smoker and live a very healthy lifestyle. The shock that came with this diagnosis was unbelievable since both of my parents have had lung cancer. My father had the same as I do, Adenocarcinoma. My mother had squamous cell carcinoma, and my Mother has lost both a brother and sister to lung cancer. When my parents were diagnosed I did not know that the funding for lung cancer was so low due to a "stigma" that is associated with this disease. I believe that everyone deserves a chance at life, smoker or non-smoker. My goal in all of this is to raise awareness so that we can help fund research! So far, I have undergone 3 treatments and am going strong. I continue to work and exercise on a regular basis and will do so as long as I am able. I believe that a positive attitude will help me get through this and that it is important to share my story so that others out there will share theirs. Write your congressman and state senators, let's spread the word!
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.
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/
craig b l. I'm a 90-year-old retired surgeon. In WW 2 I was a... Oregon craig b Oregon Surgeon Marine Cigarettes Tobacco Lung cancer Addiction Lung cancer Friendship Physician Death Failure I'm a 90-year-old retired surgeon. In WW 2 I was a Marine. Our K-rations and C-rations had packets of 4 cigarettes each. I got hooked. In medical school about 1950 I learned that tobacco causes lung cancer, and tried to quit. I failed over and over, as the addiction was powerful. The tobacco companies denied it for years, but, in spite of their lies and obstructionism, the truth finally got out. I saw growing numbers of young people with lung cancer, and continued my efforts to kick the addiction till 1973. A friend and fellow physician was dying of lung cancer. At his deathbed I thanked him for our friendship and asked if I could do anything for him. He asked me to light a cigarette and hold it so he could smoke it, since he was too weak to do it himself. He died the next day. I have never smoked again. I want people to NOT START smoking, and to stop if they have already started.
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
Craig F. My dad quit smoking in 1985 after his mother died. 3... Wisconsin Craig Wisconsin Smoking Tumor Radiation Healthy Battle Lung Cancer Research Hospital Lung Family Doctor Wheeze My dad quit smoking in 1985 after his mother died. 3 1/2 years later I convinced him to see a doctor when I detected a 'wheeze' in his breathing. The doctor discovered that he had a tumor in the lower lobe of his left lung and was able to completely remove it surgically. In February of 1991, during a follow-up visit to the doctor, they found another tumor but it was inoperable because it was attached to his diaphragm and esophagus. He was treated with radiation for several months and passed away at the VA hospital on Veteran's Day. At the time his grandsons were 8, 6 and 1. He never knew he had 2 awesome granddaughters yet to come. His father and uncles all lived healthy lives into their late 80s and 90s so it's sad for me to think all the time he missed with his family, and all those who could have benefitted from his presence since he left us. I'm sure my dad thought he was 'in the clear' after he had quit smoking, but I'm sure the tumor was already there. Dad was lucky to have caught the first tumor early enough, but he was not diligent in scheduling regular follow-up visits after his surgeon told him there was a high probability of additional tumors appearing. When he finally did go back in, it was too late. In the 20+ years since Dad passed away there have been many new discoveries in the battle against lung cancer, but early detection is still key. Much more research is needed to advance the fight!
Connie T. Three summers ago, when I had a terrible backache... California Connie California Backache Tumor Immunotherapy Research Spindle cell carcinoma Rare Disease Lung cancer HIV Weeks Normal Chemotherapy Hepatitis HIV Three summers ago, when I had a terrible backache after a strenuous hike, the last thing I expected was a diagnosis of Stage IV lung cancer. Even less expected was that the tumor, which had pretty much destroyed one of the vertebrae in my lower back, was going to be just the first loop on my roller coaster ride. Miraculously, I am still here, thanks to immunotherapy. Instantly my whole life went into a fourth dimension, where nights became my escape from the nightmare of my days. We went to one of the best research hospitals in the country, yet the doctors couldn’t figure out what I had. Finally they diagnosed it as spindle cell carcinoma, a very rare form of cancer. My first line of chemo showed some progress against my disease. But as with most chemo treatments, the drugs eventually stopped working. The doctor recommended a new line of chemotherapy, but she wasn’t optimistic. I decided I wasn’t going to do more chemo if all it would get me was a couple more months. Serendipity intervened. At a conference, my doctor had run into a colleague who was testing a new approach to cancer treatment: immunotherapy, which enables the patient’s own immune system to fight the cancer tumors. “This is your chance for a home run,” explained my doctor. I drove across town to the clinic, where I was scanned, biopsied, and tested for everything from HIV to hepatitis. After several days of waiting, I got the news that I had passed all the screening tests. I was in! Everything about immunotherapy is different. I haven’t lost my hair. I don’t feel nauseous. After my first set of scans, even though I knew I felt better, I was having the usual scanxiety. Then my doctor and nurses came in the waiting room excitedly. After just twelve weeks, my tumors had shrunk by almost seventy percent! One year later, I continue to do well. My drug, was recently given breakthrough therapy by the FDA. If I had not taken this opportunity, I would not have written this. I would probably not have seen my daughter graduate from college a week ago. I would not be planning my retirement. When I first started this harrowing ride two years ago, all I wanted was to go back to my normal life. Now, no one who doesn’t know me has any idea that I have cancer, let alone Stage IV. A few people in the immunotherapy trials have had a complete response. Time will tell. But for now, I am enjoying every day. In August, I took a dream trip with my sisters to the Galapagos.
clare m. I am 70 years old and woke in the night with pain... Alabama clare Alabama Pain Shoulder Heart attack Lobe Biopsy Symptoms Chemotherapy Blood tests Health Side effects Hair Kidney Support Family I am 70 years old and woke in the night with pain under my right shoulder blade. I thought it was a heart attack so woke my husband to go to the emergency room. Once there it was found my heart was fine. So a chest x-ray was taken and revealed a shadow in the right upper lobe. Several biopsies later and the defining PET scan showed it to be cancer. I learned that only 1 out of 4 will have any symptoms before they are in stage 4. Cancer that has a 15% 5 year survival rate is usually found early stage 1. I have a 50% chance of a 5 year survival rate but with chemo that rate goes up to 60%...which is not very much. I read that most people have few if any symptoms and that is the way I am. If it was not for family I would not go through the side effects I am expecting with the chemo. I am booked for next Friday. I will have a pick line put in so Chemo is easier to administer. I will have weekly blood tests, weekly doctor visits and weekly chemo for 2 months. As long as I can tolerate the side effects that will be the way my treatment will go. Right now I am in excellent health. We walk daily, go ballroom dancing at least monthly, I do all the gardening on a quarter acre lot and enjoy the activities. I am in the beginning of this fight. I know I am very lucky, a great husband and family. I worry about deafness that may come from the drugs, possible kidney damage, loss of feeling in my fingers and toes...they say I won’t lose my hair...and I am glad about that.
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.
Cindy B. My father, a non-smoker, passed from lung cancer... Connecticut Cindy My father, a non-smoker, passed from lung cancer nearly five years ago. He was diagnosed after he developed a cough treated for a few months as pneumonia. The cancer was spotted a few years earlier at an ER visit, but the results were never passed along. He worked in a boat yard for many years, and that is what we suspect to be the cause. I recently acquired adult-onset asthma from mold exposure in my workplace, and am on daily inhalers and will be lifelong. Lung issues don't just happen to smokers. The environment we live and work in play a big part in lung health.
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.
Christie S. In December 2011 my dad, Gaylon, was diagnosed with... Texas Christie Texas Small cell lung cancer Cancer Tumors Brain Radiation Chemotherapy Seizure Bone Coma Blood clots Strong Treatment Life Awareness Rare Chemotherapy Family In December 2011 my dad, Gaylon, was diagnosed with stage four non-small cell lung cancer. By the time he was diagnosed it had spread to his bones, other organs and his brain. He had tumors in his brain that caused him to be unable to speak clearly and he was unable to read. He was a fiercely independent man who was robbed of this; a business owner, who had to rely on others and eventually sell his legacy. He went through numerous rounds of radiation for the brain tumors and chemotherapy for the cancer. Each having their own devastating side effects. In the six months he fought he had a titanium rod inserted in his leg where the cancer had destroyed the bone, a seizure that caused him to be put into a medically induced coma, and surgery to insert a net to catch blood clots. Through it all he smiled. He didn't complain. He never threw himself a pity party. As his only daughter I was falling apart on my own time and remaining strong when I was with him. He fought hard. He never gave up. He never complained. He went through all the chemo so he could try and get a little extra time with his family, even though he knew it wasn't going to change the end result. I will always remember eating junk food on the couch to help him gain weight so he could undergo more chemo treatments. Oreos and fried pies. Smiles from dad are cherished treasures that I carry in my heart and bring happy tears to my eyes. In May of 2012 he couldn't take the pain anymore and he finally succumbed to the cancer. He is my inspiration to be better, complain less and love life. He is my hero and he raised me to be strong like him. I tell his story, my story, our story to help raise awareness of lung cancer. This deadly cancer is under the radar yet it is absolutely devastating.
Cheryl V. I coughed up blood July 4, 2000, and being a... Oregon Cheryl Oregon Cough Blood Respiratory Tuberculosis Lump Smoker Lung cancer Disease Chemotherapy Radiation Weight Hair Hope Recovery Bronchoscopy Pathologist Hope Death Survival I coughed up blood July 4, 2000, and being a respiratory therapist who had a chronic cough for about 3 months, decided it must be tuberculosis that I was exposed to. Wrong...Went to the doctor, had a chest x-ray and was told that "lump" in the right bronchial area was either the aortic arch or a mass. Of course it was the wrong side for aorta, so I knew we had a major problem. Yes I was a smoker and had quit about one year prior. Because I had worked at the hospital where I was treated, things went fairly quickly. I saw my oncologist, who at that time was the only lung cancer expert in Oregon. She delivered the news after all the testing that it was adenocarcinoma stage III B and it was inoperable. At that time she said the chances for survival were about 10%. That truly changed my perspective on life. We discussed the SW Oncology Group Protocol which I was soon undergoing. Chemotherapy and radiation at the same time. All the horror stories of this treatment are true. I lost weight, lost all hair, became extremely tired. My family hopped onto the internet to learn all they could about lung cancer. After an extended time on the computer they knew I was dead. Knowing deep down that I would survive this, and also knowing that what is published is the result of studies and scientific facts I ordered the computer turned off. Hope, determination, prayers and positive attitude do not play into those studies but it sure does in real life situations. I was fortunate enough to have a big dose of it all throughout my recovery as well as the expert treatment from my physician. I had a scare in August of this year when my breathing took an extreme downturn and I ended up in the hospital having a rigid bronchoscopy to remove what was blocking my right bronchial tube. You could hear me wheezing throughout the office and home. Turned out to be just some tissue that had blocked my airway and when it was removed, it was found by the pathologist to be non cancerous tissue. We definately will keep an eye on the area for any recurrence. I am now out 13 years without a recurrence. I still work and enjoy life. I have a chronic cough as a result of my adventure. The thought of a cigarette does not even enter my mind and I do not intend to die of lung cancer. Do not lose hope if lung cancer touches you.
Cheryl S. It's been almost five years since my then 12-year... Ohio Cheryl Ohio Daughter Mother Diagnosis Lung cancer Disease Cough Early detection Hope Knowledge Stage 3 Support Family Friends It's been almost five years since my then 12-year old daughter came running down the stairs in tears to tell me one of her best friend's mother had just been diagnosed with lung cancer. Carolyn was just 44 years old, had never smoked and now had Stage 3b lung cancer. She was not only Mom to my daughter's friend, age 12, but also two little boys, then ages 9 and 5. The shock rippled through our group of "Mom Friends." How could this be happening??? The prognosis was very grim. Despite valiant efforts to stem the tide of the disease, it took my friend and the Mother of these very beautiful children in just seven months. The last day before she entered the hospital for the final time, she walked the 2 mile length of our community's Fourth of July parade with her sons. If only her cough that just wouldn't go away had been diagnosed earlier, Carolyn might still be with us today. My hope is for earlier detection and better knowledge about why lung cancer is striking women in such high numbers.
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.
Carly H. I am going to be honest, I struggled quite a bit... Michigan Carly Lung cancer Michigan Smoking Fear Disease Surgery Chemotherapy Radiation Anger Shock Family Caring Cancer I am going to be honest, I struggled quite a bit with my father's lung cancer diagnosis. As a child I had begged him to quit smoking, especially when his own mother died from the disease. When he was diagnosed in November of 2011, I was flooded with so many mixed emotions. Of course sadness and fear but also anger. I had tried to prevent this from happening! But I quickly realized my anger was not helping anything. My father still needed my support, my love and my encouragement. What he didn't need was my blame or guilt. And no one, no matter what they are facing, needs that. Of course after the initial shock it was easy to go into caring mode and once I was there, I never looked back. No one deserves this disease and every person deserves support while fighting it. My dad went through surgery, chemo and radiation and has had clean scans ever since. I don't doubt for one moment that the support from our family, friends and neighbors helped him achieve a positive outcome. So I guess my message is- if you are facing lung cancer, don't be afraid to ask for help. And don't be afraid to speak up about your disease. The more attention we give to this disease, the more support we will get and we will get one step closer to beating lung cancer.
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.
Buddy R. In early Feb, 2011 I went to my primary care... North Carolina Buddy North Carolina Pneumonia Survivor MRI Lobe Lung cancer Depression Doctors Positive Treatment Chemotherapy Radiation Cocktail Nausea Disease Support In early Feb, 2011 I went to my primary care physician to be treated for what was thought to be pneumonia. A chest X-ray, CT scan, MRI and bronchoscopy later, I was diagnosed with SCLC (limited) with a partial collapse of my upper right lobe. Obviously, I was devastated and very depressed. I think I ate one mozzarella stick for the next 3 weeks. All I kept thinking is that I have a wife & 4 children and it wasn't possible that I can die. They need me!! On February 18th, 2011, I met with my chemo Oncologist. I flat out asked her if I was going to die. She told me that lung cancer is no longer the death sentence that it once was. I was so relieved and hugged her tightly. I paid zero attention to statistics because I know every case is unique. I knew I was willing to fight to live for my family. I believe you need to find doctors that you trust because they are who are going to plan out your treatments for survival. I believe other keys to success is to follow that treatment plan closely, stay nourished, stay hydrated, have a solid support foundation and STAY POSITIVE. When I was diagnosed there was almost nothing on the Internet to give me hope. I found one survival story for SCLC and that was 4 years old from its last post. That's all I had to hold onto. Now there are great support sites like inspire.com where you can find a ton of success stories and educated cancer patients and caregivers who provide a wealth of information and support. The treatment plan that I went through was a little unique and aggressive. I started in March, 2011. I went through 4 rounds of chemotherapy, 3 days per week, 3 weeks apart. I had 30 concurrent radiation treatments to the right lung twice per day (morning and evening) for 3 weeks instead of the traditional once per day over 6 1/2 weeks. I had a complete response and was NED!! In August, 2011 I completed 10 PCI treatments (brain radiation) over a 2 week period. The treatments are not easy but the alternative is obviously much worse. One side effect from the PCI treatments that I did not like was the cognitive memory loss. However, that is getting better as time passes. I did not vomit from the chemo cocktail due to the fantastic nausea medicine that is available today. New cancer treatment technology is being implemented all of the time. We are getting closer to curing this horrible disease. If diagnosed with cancer, focus on something important to live for. Then give 110% to beat it!
bob b. On Sept 3, 2013 I came home from work feeling good.... Ohio bob On Sept 3, 2013 I came home from work feeling good. Had to go to bathroom and when I went- nothing but blood. Long story short, I ended up in hospital. I had a tumor on my left kidney the size of grapefruit. I had it removed and during surgery the urologist found nodules on my left kidney. A biopsy found it to be stage 4 lung cancer. I am now on cancer pill daily. I am on it two weeks and then off one. It has worked. CAT scan showed it is shrinking. In October tumors started growing again. I am back on the pill -this time for two months then CAT scan again. What I really want say is, all of us with cancer will fight. We make peace with our life and live it as best we can. I cherish my days and take it as it comes. I know the whole treatment plan could change anytime but we will deal with it. I pray daily for all my brothers and sisters who are fighting for their life. Be strong and share your story, it helps.
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.
Becky J. Did you know that lung cancer claims more lives each... Massachusetts Becky Massachusetts Lung cancer Family Battle Struggle Disease Diagnosis Statistics Awareness Passionate Alone Hope Lung Smoker Cure Did you know that lung cancer claims more lives each year than breast, prostate and colon cancers COMBINED? Did you know that it doesn’t receive nearly as much funding as those cancers? Until my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer I did not know much at all about the disease. I have found that is often the case for many other people as well. What started as a nagging cough soon turned our family's lives upside down when a diagnosis of stage IV lung cancer came in January 2011. I didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t know who to turn to. Google searches didn’t help because the statistics were shocking and there weren’t very many events or groups for JUST lung cancer. I was lucky enough to find an event that benefits lung cancer right in my back yard, and I have devoted my free time to raising awareness and funding for lung cancer in my community. It is something that I am passionate about and dedicated to. My mom’s battle with lung cancer was not easy, for her or for our family. There was good news, and there was bad news, but we struggled through it all together. Family and friends really are the most important thing to have during a lung cancer diagnosis. Although my mom unfortunately passed away in July 2012 after an extremely courageous battle with lung cancer, I am dedicated to continuing the fight in her memory. It is so important for everyone to know that they are not alone. Although lung cancer doesn’t receive nearly as much recognition as other cancers, it is important to remember that there options and groups that can provide additional information and that it’s important that all who are able speak out so that we can change the statistics that surround this disease. It’s also important for everyone to know that ANYONE can get lung cancer. Anyone with lungs can get lung cancer- it’s NOT just a smoker’s disease! We need to get rid of the stigma that surrounds this disease and fight back so that we don’t lose any more wonderful people to this horrible disease! It's important to have hope- hope that those fighting can beat this disease, and hope that we can raise more awareness and funding to cure this disease! "It is better to light a single candle, than to sit and curse the darkness". If we all stand together and "light a single candle" we can bring light to this disease that is often left in the darkness.
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.
Angela K. This is the beginning of our journey. My mom was... New York Angela This is the beginning of our journey. My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer metastatic to the brain on Oct 12, 2014. This diagnosis crushed me as we are very close, and she's only 50 years old. Right away I researched stage 4 lung cancer and instantly read the statistics, making the disease a death sentence. They told her she had a mass in her brain and one in her lung, both a decent size although I don't know the exact measurements. They did surgery in the hospital and removed the tumor from her brain which is what initially was causing symptoms. The surgeon said it was about the size of a grape but was luckily in a reachable spot. She was then referred to a thoracic surgeon who ordered a CT scan of her other organs to determine how widespread the cancer was. When the results came back, he stated that there was no sign of the disease in her other organs. He said she may be a very rare case of stage 4 where when only 2 single tumors exist, and both are operable. He ordered a pet scan to see if other cancer could be detected on there. Once again the pet scan showed no further sign of the disease. He said her chances of 5 year survival went from 1% to around 25%. She needed an oncologist. I researched our area to find the best doctors and made an appointment at Roswell. He agreed with the thoracic surgeon’s treatment approach and surgery has been scheduled for Nov 24th. The tumor in her lung is contained to the upper right lobe which will be removed entirely. We're scared. However we are trusting the doctors and going forward. Thank you for reading our story.
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.
Amanda P. My grandfather was diagnosed with Stage 3C lung... Ohio Amanda Ohio Lung cancer Diagnosis Health Hospice Chemo Chemotherapy Advocate Smoke Smoking Love Brain Sick Wrong Disease My grandfather was diagnosed with Stage 3C lung cancer in 2010 and sadly lost his battle on September 27, 2012. He was 76 years old when he was diagnosed and in pretty decent health. That winter, he and my grandmother went to their winter home in Florida and my brother went to visit them. He noticed that my grandpa couldn't even walk to the mailbox without becoming winded and we all knew that something was terribly wrong. He was diagnosed that spring and was treated at the Zangmeister Center in Columbus, Ohio. Our entire family was devastated but we were determined to help him through this diagnosis. He was rarely sick his entire life, and though he had both smoked and chewed tobacco, it had been many years since he had done either. His first round of chemo went well, but the tumor did not shrink very much and at his next PET scan, a spot was found on his brain. They tried a chemo pill next and then radiation on the inoperable spot on his brain (his lung cancer was also inoperable), but he was not getting better. His body and mind really started to dwindle and by early September 2012, the doctor suggested that they stop his treatment and hospice was called in. In the midst of everything, my dad had lost his job and I was about to get married. He was put into hospice at home and passed away just three weeks later. Watching his disease destroy him completely was so heartbreaking and has made me an advocate for lung cancer. I would love to get everyone I know who smokes to quit, but none of them seem to be able to see what those cigarettes might do to them one day. My grandpa was an amazing man who worked hard and raised three amazing sons and to watch him wither away was so incredibly difficult. He was unable to come to my wedding but I carried a picture of him in my bouquet that day and we said a special prayer for him at the church. I miss him every single day and want to do whatever I can to make sure that this doesn't happen to someone else that I love.
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.
Allen M. My late wife, a long-time cigarette smoker, died of... Virginia Allen Virginia Wife Cigarette Smoker Health Tumors Lung cancer Suspicion My late wife, a long-time cigarette smoker, died of lung cancer because she delayed having suspected lung tumors removed and treated while she lacked decent health care coverage.
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