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Stage IV survivor so far


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I am not sure I have ever introduced myself officially on here. I am a 39y/o female who has been married for 17 years and has 3 children (20, 9 and 6) and one grandchild (2). I was diagnosed with stage IV adenocarcinoma in August of 2013 after going into heart failure. What a surprise it was to me for sure. My physician thought I had bronchitis, then after a few weeks of the "cough" not going away, I finally became so weak and spiked a fever and had severe stomach pains it took me to the hospital where they had to do an emergency drainage on my heart. Long story short, there it was stage IV lung cancer that had spread to the fluid around my heart and lungs, adrenal gland and lymphatic system. For a few weeks I threw in the towel. I didn't know what to do or think. I felt like I was dying. But slowly and surely, I had the fluid drained off my lung and started my treatment here at Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa Florida where I live and am now back to working full time, taking care of my family full time and feeling pretty good, on most days. There are some that I feel like just giving up but I dig deep and pick myself back up. The problem I have besides the obvious, is finding enough time to do everything I want to do. Who knows if I will be here in 1 month or 20 years. I like to work, the people there are like my family as well. It keeps me going and makes me feel "normal". ON the flipside, I would love to volunteer and help others and just get the word out there. Lung cancer is the number one cause of death among cancers yet it doesn't get nearly enough recognition and has such a stigma behind it. You know the one where you hear people whisper....well that is what happens when you smoke. Needless to say they "assume" and don't realize that a lot of people with lung cancer have never picked up a cigarette in their life. Frustrates me. Lungevity is such a wonderful community. I recently did the Breath Deep walk in Tampa and am going to the Hope Summit in DC in May. I am so excited to finally at least be able to part of something. This is just the beginning of long journey. Who knows how long we have in this life but you know what, you might as well make the most of each day! I am making a promise to myself to at least check these message boards once a day at the least to maybe help someone that needs to talk to someone or advise or anything. Thank you LUngevity for your time and comfort and everything you do for us!

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Hi Dtrakas,

My name is Cindy and I am an Administrative Assistant to Katie B. It is nice to meet you. You sound like a strong chick, I like that. Thank you for turning to LUNGevity for support. We are here for you.

If you ever have any questions about this board, volunteering or advocating with LUNGevity, I'd be happy to help you. Here is my email CAlmendarez@LUNGevity.org.

I too will be at the Hope Summit. It sounds magical from what I've been hearing. Have you been before?

See you around. :)

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