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Lung Cancer Stories

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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 moved to a one-year scan at which that point indicated that my “nothing” spot had in fact grown and was probably lung cancer.

My world had been turned upside down.  I quickly had surgery to remove my bottom right lobe and several lymph nodes. Unfortunately, cancer was found in the lymph nodes and the tumor. This led to four rounds of chemotherapy (Cisplatin and Navelbine) and 25 treatments of radiation along with all the mental and physical issues that many people can only imagine.

Cancer can be a very lonely disease even when you have a ton of support. I couldn’t find survivors in my area so I began searching out on-line groups that I could communicate with about my disease.  This is where I discovered LUNGevity! The members of this group and all those associated with the organization wrapped their cyber arms around me and welcomed me into their world.  This was literally a life-saving experience for me and continues to be part of my daily communication. 

Two years ago, people in the group began speaking about the National HOPE Summit in Washington, D.C. and how beneficial it was for both patients and caregivers.  Because I am Canadian, I inquired as to whether my husband and I could attend. I was told of course we could!

My husband and I attended HOPE Summit and that experience has changed my life.  Meeting other survivors and hearing from physicians and researchers empowered me to return to my own country and begin asking questions about lung cancer research and most importantly, begin my work as a lung cancer advocate.  

The Summit allowed me to meet so many people who are advocates not only for their own health but also for lung cancer research and advocacy work. These people meet with politicians, organize, and participate in lung cancer fundraisers and teach so many of us about treatment options. 

Although Canada does not have as large a network, there is a small group of us who have been empowered to meet with politicians, educate and support others with the disease and spread the word about early lung cancer diagnosis, all because of our experience at a LUNGevity HOPE Summit.

Education is power but knowing you are part of a strong, supportive, and knowledgeable group of individuals is invaluable.  Thank you LUNGevity!



Recommended Comments

Hi Heather.  I too have been diagnosed with the same. I had developed a "laryngitis" this past May 2017 and after 2 family doctor's and 3 ENT's it was discovered I have 2 left lung NSCLC nodules that spread to 1 lymph node.  The Cleveland Clinic is where I am seeking solutions, I am definitely scared to death that what they want to do to me will only kill me....more...  In your discussions with others, have you come across other therapies that were less toxic, possibly more effective and maybe something you said to yourself "If only I'd have known, I would have done that"?  There's a lot online suggesting dramatic nutritional changes, going organic, juicing, no meat, plant based only, no GMO, change to filtered water, remove toxic cleaning agents, etc..  that your body can heal itself.  Again, fear and scared to death that I could only encourage the cancer to take further hold by avoiding traditional treatments...

Any thoughts?

Thanks for taking the time....  Kathy


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Heather Hogan's story was posted as a blog by one of LUNGevity's forum staff members.  She may not read your question.  

I just responded to your Introduce Yourself post and offered an answer to the questions you posed.

Stay the course.


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