I call my experience “My Unexpected Journey.” My writings of love, family and a cancer diagnosis. Sharing My Journey of Lung Cancer, Surgery and Chemotherapy. The good days and the bad. Taking a step back and looking at the big picture with the love of family and friends.
In January 2014, I developed a fever which, I am ashamed to say, lasted over a month before I went to the doctor. Taking Tylenol during the day, I felt great, so it was only at night when I would wake up with a 102 fever, only to take Tylenol again and feel great. A month later, I realized I had gone through an entire bottle of 120 pills. Time to go to the doctor’s office.
And here my journey began. An initial x-ray and CAT scan showed lung cancer. They admitted me for further testing and I got GREAT NEWS: no lung cancer, just 4 spots that were were all a lung abscess. Eight weeks of antibiotic therapy via a PICC Line. Life was great again.
Or so I thought. When they re-did the tests to see if all the spots were gone, the results were in. Two spots were gone, one was 1/2 the original size, one was larger and a hilar lymph node was enlarged. Off to the surgeon for more tests.
On Good Friday, April 16, 2014, the official diagnosis was in. I had a tumor in my lower left lobe, another tumor in my upper left lobe, and it had spread to the hilar lypmh node and was located 2mm away from my pulmonary artery. The three tumors were removed, and surgery was horrible. I ended up with my chest in for over one month. Therapy began shortly thereafter because due to many free-floating cells within my thoracic cavity, I endured 3 months of chemotherapy.
At this point, I am awaiting the decision of the University Hospital Seidman Center’s Tumor Board to decide if I should continue with chemotherapy or begin a regimen of maintenance therapy. My life has changed dramatically since 2014 began. I was a full time marketing assistant and freelance writer, and now I am on Social Security Disability.
After losing 90% of my left lung from the surgery, life will never be the same. BUT, that has not stopped me. I still enjoy working from my computer. I enjoy the love and support from my 7 grown children (18 to 30 years old) and the heart-melting love from my grandson. It is from them that I gain my strength each day, and they motivate me to fight this awful disease with every breath left in my body.
As I recently read, “If I only had one breath left, it would be to tell my children I love them,” and I will save every breath I have for that – and to fight this!!
I have learned so much during this experience: don’t take tomorrow for granted, don’t let anyone tell you something you don’t believe and lean on the love and support of your family.
To me, Fight Like A Girl means I need to remain strong, positive, decisive and most of all, lean on those around me when I begin to lose those feelings. As a group, we can support each other and continue to Fight To The End.
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.