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Lung Cancer Stories

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Trish Strulson

My Journey Belongs to Me Based on statistics, lung cancer has a five-year survival rate of 17.4%. For many, it’s a death sentence but for me, this meant nothing since I am not a statistic. I came to the realization that, everyone else’s cancer is not my cancer, because my journey belongs to me, my symptoms were different, and the recovery process seems to be a lifelong event. My journey began in September of 2013, with the stigma that somehow I brought this on myself, that it was self-infl

KatieB

KatieB

 

The Long Road Ahead: Garth Atchley (Part 2 of 2)

Facing a lung cancer diagnosis changes a person’s perspective about what matters in life and what doesn’t. Being diagnosed with cancer makes you put absolutely everything else to the side, or totally out of mind.  You have the chance to let back in only the things that really matter back into your conscious mind. If you can do that, and spend more time focusing on things that really matter in the present moment, you will have completely changed and improved your mind and your life. I still get c

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Submitted by Melissa Crouse

10 years ago I was diagnosed with NSCLC and was told that with an operation and treatment, I had 3-5 years to live .   After an upper left lobe resection followed by systemic chemo I went into remission and enjoyed 2 1/2 years of precious time.  Then, a checkup revealed that I had 17 mets to my liver and a couple of “hot spots” in my lungs. At that time I joined the already very full ranks of stage 4 NSCLC patients.  The day I was to begin another course of chemo, my oncologist recommended

KatieB

KatieB

 

Submitted by Katie Gilley

My hubby of 19 years, Jeff was diagnosed with stage 4 NSCLC on July 31, 2015. He has the EFGR mutation and is responding well to Tarceva. He is 49, never smoker. He has three tumors in his lungs and a page and a half of mets in his bones! Lots of tumors. He lost 35lbs and he was already a lean bean. I tell you all this, so you know there is hope. He was in bed for two and a half months. Two days ago he was climbing a ladder and swinging a hammer. He was on 75mcg of Fentanyl and now is is NO pain

KatieB

KatieB

 

Submitted by Jan Gibson

My cousin Kathi, who was more like a sister to me, died of lung cancer in December 2003.  She was 46 years old.   At the time, I didn’t know the first thing about lung cancer.  Since Kathi smoked for years, I thought that’s why she got lung cancer.   I didn’t think too much more about lung cancer for the next year, although I thought about Kathi every day. Then, about a year later, I had a sharp pain in the right side of my chest, like a knife stabbing through my chest and back.  I thought

KatieB

KatieB

 

Submitted by Donna Fernandez

When my Stage IV lung cancer was discovered in October 2012, I was, as far as I knew, as healthy as I have ever been in my life. I was playing agility with my two dogs three or four nights a week and every weekend. For those who do not know, agility takes a lot of stamina and energy! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCFrUCu6F_g) I went to the doctor because I kept gaining weight. No matter what I did, I couldn't lose it. Since I had always been tall and thin, the extra weight was disturbi

KatieB

KatieB

 

Submitted by Dann Wonser

Last year, after seventeen months on Tarceva, I got the news. My lung cancer was off it's diet and was starting to get fat again. It was time to try a different treatment. But what was left? Seeing my doctor's scrunched-up face while he stared at the floor said it all: He had run out of hope that anything would work. Chemo and Avastin had kept my cancer at bay before Tarceva, and together these three drugs had given me three extra years of life. But they had all eventually run their course.

KatieB

KatieB

 

Submitted by Bobbie

I was diagnosed with SCLC January 2009 and as of today, 10/6/15, there is nothing in my lung except a scar from radiation. No sign of cancer. I beat the odds. I had 5 rounds of Chemo and started chest radiation after the second round. I started PCI 2 weeks after the final chest radiation. My radiologist gave me a lower dosage for the PCI and an additional 2 treatments because I also have MS and PCI causes demyelination. I am cold all the time. I used to be hot. I don't sleep well. I am scar

KatieB

KatieB

 

Ruthe Cain

In 1998, Ruthe Cain was living life in California and enjoying being close to the fresh air and the great outdoors. She was in her late fifties and loved living an active lifestyle, but that year she would face a diagnosis that would change her life: she learned that she had lung cancer. More than 15 years and three surgeries later, Ruthe is still a survivor, and she’s still enjoying life in every way she can. Ruthe first suspected something might be wrong with her health when she had troub

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Paige Black

I was diagnosed in April 2017 with lung cancer (stage 4 adenocarcinoma with malignant pleural effusion). I celebrated my 47th birthday in May. My husband and I will celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary in July. We have a 12 year old daughter. This is my second stage 4 cancer diagnosis. The first was shortly after my husband asked me to marry him. I was 23 years old and had stage 4 Hodgkins. I was treated with a combination MOPP ABVD regimen. My life was placed on pause while I took 24 tre

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Mary Spencer

Time is supposed to heal our wounds, that’s what people say; but when you lose your best friend you realize that no amount of time will heal that void that is left. My mother was diagnosed with non small cell lung carcinoma three months after I turned eighteen, only weeks after what would turn out to be our last family portrait. The day the test results came back the only words I heard during the meeting were “cancer” which meant someday I’d be burying her. I don’t recall anything else; but

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Lisa Przybyla’s Story

In December 2016, I started experiencing a lot of shoulder pain and then back pain leading to shortness of breath.  I went in for an X-ray and MRI, and was told I had pneumonia. I knew that wasn’t correct because I hadn’t been sick enough to get pneumonia.  I spoke to my doctor and insisted on being seen again right away. I was sent to the hospital to have a CT scan, which showed fluid in the lining of my lungs. I had the fluid tapped for testing and it was bloody. I was referred to a thoracic s

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Kateri Langseth's Story

October 30, 2015 will forever be the day my world changed. That day I heard those words that no person wants to hear: “You have cancer.” I kept questioning how this could happen to me. I was a healthy, 35 year old nonsmoker, and a mom of two great children. I came to learn that you don’t have to be a smoker to get lung cancer. Honestly even if one was a smoker, would it matter? No one should have to go through this terrible journey. Soon after my diagnosis I saw a surgeon and was told

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

John Hill's Story

I found out that I had lung cancer back in August of 1999. I had 3 bouts of pneumonia in the first 6 months of that year. The last chest X-ray showed an area of concern. The next step was to have a CT scan of the area. I had the CT and they saw a blockage in my right lung between the lower and middle lobes. I was sent to see a pulmonologist and he scheduled a biopsy. He preformed the biopsy and they found a tumor that was blocking the area of my main bronchi between those two lower lobes. They t

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Jim Pitts

In 2013 started with pneumonia but wasn't getting over it, Dr. wouldn't give up something just not right he kept saying. Sent me to a pulmonary specialist who found a spot on my right lung. Immediately set up oncologist, surgeon & hospital within 7 days I was laying in the recovery room with minus -one lung. Come through with flying colors, home within 3 days, thought to myself piece of cake! Yeah wrong answer, started chemo 3 weeks later and within 24 hrs I was back in hospital dehydrated &

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Heather Hogan's Story

I was 52, a wife, mom and teacher when diagnosed with stage 3a NSC Adenocarcinoma lung cancer in September 2012. I had no symptoms and did not fit the criteria of a lung cancer candidate. An observant radiologist had noticed a small shadow in my lower right lobe when viewing an unrelated abdominal scan in 2010.  Because I didn’t fit any of the LC criteria, no specialist or surgeon thought that it would be lung cancer.  They adopted a “wait and see” plan using two six-month scans and then mo

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

First Steps: Garth Atchley (Part 1 of 2)

I learned about my lung cancer in a roundabout way in the summer of 2017. I started having headaches and experiencing vertigo. I also noticed some slurred speech and trouble with fine motor skills like writing. I went to a series of doctors to try to determine the cause, including my PCP, an ophthalmologist, a massage therapist, and an ENT. Eventually, a neurologist ordered an MRI. I went in for the MRI and afterward the radiologist wanted to see me to “look at something.” From then on, it was l

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Diane Milley

My story begins in May of 2013. I am a high school special education teacher and for weeks I had a nagging but dry cough, I wasn't worried about it at all as I was running 3 miles a day, just completed a 5k road race and was very rarely sick. I finally saw my primary care physician who put me on a Z-pack and I went back to my normal life. A few weeks later since the cough had not gone away, I went back to my doctor who gave me a prescription chest x-ray, which I immediately threw on the passenge

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Carole Baker's Story

My lung cancer diagnosis came as quite a shock to my family, my doctors, and me as I’ve always maintained a healthy lifestyle. I exercised regularly, ate healthily, never smoked, and enjoyed a variety of outdoor sports and other activities with my husband and our three children. I worked as a learning specialist for children ages K-8 and loved my job. Everyone I was close to commented that I was “the healthiest person they know.” But in March 2011, after worsening back pain, I visited my ph

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Ashley Rickles

“I’m sorry, sweetheart these are tumors in your lungs and a form of lung cancer”. These were the words spoken to a vibrant, healthy 36-year-old female on October 19, 2017, by the thoracic surgeon. I knew that things were probably not good when he came in and asked if I was alone. Unfortunately, I was alone. Looking back, that day seems like a blur. I remember the ladies at the checkout desk asking how I was doing as they ask so many patients all day long. It’s mere customer service, right?

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Amy Richard's Story

For the past 11 years, I’ve helped treat lung cancer patients as an RN in a cardiothoracic practice. Then last October, I developed a bad cough that lasted over a month. It was cold season, and my co-workers and I thought it might be pneumonia or even bronchitis. No one suspected it could be lung cancer, since I’m a nonsmoker and haven’t been exposed to common risk factors like asbestos, radon, or pollution. I had a chest ray taken, which showed fluid around my right lung. The tests of the

LaurenH

LaurenH

 

Allison Doan's Story

Allison Doan has been on a long journey of self discovery, from a life of elite privilege to a brief time in federal prison, and then a battle with stage IV lung cancer. Through years of ups and downs, and finding forgiveness and strength she didn’t even realize that she possessed, Allison has remained determined to share a message of hope. Allison’s broken road has led her to a place of peace. She’s written an inspiring memoir, Bruised and Beautiful, which will be published later this mont

LaurenH

LaurenH

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