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Lung Cancer in Your 20's?!?

Since I was a small child you could always find me outside playing sports, hiking mountains, or just running around. I was a 2 sport college athlete and continued with these endurance sports after college. I started not feeling well and all the doctors said it was covid despite multiple covid tests. After begging to be seen by my primary doctor they reluctantly had me go for a chest x-ray. Turns out I had a tumor and a partially collapsed lung! Long story filled with insurance struggles and navigating the medical world I had surgery in NYC to remove my tumor and left lung. Although it's been months since surgery I still struggle with everyday things. I am not the active person I used to be and it has been a journey to figure who I am now.
Did I mention I've never smoked, no genetic predisposition, healthy 20-something year old?!?

  1. I'm sorry you are still struggling. I've had two lung surgeries, the first one was 22 years ago, and I just have a little residual numbing, I recovered quickly, but I have not recovered fully from my recent lung surgery last year. It can take time. I am also being treated in NYC. Have you spoken to your medical care team or have you been referred to palliative care for your pain? It should be improving a little as time goes on, I would push for answers. I'm attaching a link below to an article written by our editorial team that I hope helps. Warmly, Alisa, Team Patient Leader

    1. hi! I’m so sorry you had such difficulty getting diagnosed. That’s a huge headache you didn’t need.
      I had my lower left lobe removed on October 5th. I’m getting a little better everyday but I still have moderate nerve pain at my incision sites. The shortness of breath I can handle but the nerve pain is what really interferes with my ADLs.
      I’m super lucky though and can stay out of work for 7 more weeks. Hoping that’s all I’ll need.
      I also never smoked or had a family history of cancer.
      What kind of problems are you having if you don’t mind sharing? Lack of energy? Nerve pain?
      I’m sorry you have to go through this.

      1. I'm sorry to hear of your diagnosis and at such a young age. Cancer is not warranted no matter young or older, but when your life shifts when there's so much to do that has now been stalled, it's frustrating. I hope in time your active life returns or in a new stage of being active brings you a new sort of joy. Wishing you the very best in this new stage and journey of your life!

        1. I am so sorry for the issues you are having at such a young age. I am 61, smoke, and was diagnosed with nsclc four years ago. As time progresses, I can do less and less. My mass is wrapped around a large nerve bundle and surgeons would not touch it because of that.

          I understand fully how you feel as I used to do all kinds of construction and remodeling work. Not any more. I am exhausted from walking half way to the back of a store. I still try to do things, but it is small and takes time.

          If you haven’t yet, look into getting antidepressants, maybe even meds for anxiety, through your doctor’s recommendation of course. Reason being, I know how hard it is losing such a large part of your life can be.

          I wish you well in this lousy journey we must take.

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