Jump to content

new survivor story


Recommended Posts

Another mother from my daughter's dance class finally told me of her lung cancer survivor story today . . . when TBone was diagnosed last year, she told me she was a survivor, and I mentioned this site, but she said she had really tried to put it out of her mind. But upon seeing her today for the first time since May, she asked about TBone, which prompted my telling her in a cracking voice about losing him 41 days ago. We had a long talk, which led to her sharing her entire story. It made me feel good, and I hope it helps some of you as well.

Jennifer was 27 years old (don't know if she smoked, cause I've learned here that it really doesn't matter). She was put in the hospital for 12 days for bronchitis or pneumonia (I can't remember which) because she'd been coughing up very small amounts of blood. She got married five weeks after getting out of the hospital, and immediately got pregnant. During the pregnancy, she continued to cough up blood periodically, and as she neared the end of her term, there was more and more blood. No scans could be run, as that would hurt the baby, so they chose to do a bronchoscopy. She couldn't have general anesthesia (again, because of the baby), so they gave her something to basically give her amnesia, as the doctor said it wasn't something she'd want to remember. Well, she does vividly remember watching on the screen as the scope went down into her right lung and shown its light on this gross-looking brown glob. Instinctively, she knew that the pink looking stuff beside it was okay, but the brown-looking stuff couldn't be good.

A C-section was immediately performed, and she delivered a healthy baby boy - a boy, now ten years old, who will forever be extremely close to his grandmother, as that is the only mother he knew for many weeks.

Scans and biopsies showed that the cancer had not spread, probably because it was a carcinoid, which is fairly encapsulated. Ten days after the C-section, she went into surgery again, this time to remove almost all of her right lung. Apparently they only left a small part at the top. Two such close surgeries really took their toll on her body. She spent many days in ICU, and was not expected to make it. She was on so many drugs that she couldn't communicate, but she vividly remembers her husband and parents being there saying their goodbyes, etc. and she wanted so badly to be able to tell them, "NO!!" A priest was even brought in to give her last rites. Probably her worst memory is witnessing her two doctors arguing about what to do with her - one was insisting on inducing a coma, and the other was adamant that such a course of action would kill her. Fortunately, the second doctor won out, and she's convinced that had they indeed induced a coma, it surely would've killed her.

Somehow, she pulled through this horrible crisis and six weeks later went home to finally see her newborn baby boy. She had the dreaded scans regularly for five years, and nothing else ever showed up. It's been ten years now, and she no longer even has to go for scans, and admits that she's a little paranoid, but it gets better as time goes on.

She says that the irony of the situation is this - had she not gotten pregnant (which her family and everyone else fussed at her about because of her recent hospital stay), she most likely would not have been diagnosed while she was still Stage I. It was only because of the baby getting bigger and bigger, and subsequently pressing upward in her body, that her lungs were forced to cough up more and more blood, resulting in the diagnosis.

Sorry for the long post, but I found Jennifer's story very interesting, encouraging, and heartwarming. Now, at 37, she's a beautiful, thin, blonde lady with a wonderful attitude and zest for life. She's also blessed to still be married to the same man, and in addition to that God-given ten-year-old son, she has a beautiful six-year-old daughter. Picture her this way - imagine Joan Van Ark (the actress who was in the TV show "Dallas"), but several years younger and much prettier (and leading a much more mundane, normal life, I would imagine!). And you'd never guess in a million years that she's a one-lunger. I don't know her well, but learning her story makes me want to get to know her better (which will surely be the case since our daughters were both chosen for the dance troupe and will be practicing together twice a week!) I need to know that people can beat this disease. We all need to know that, don't we?

Praying for us all,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.