How Did I Get Lung Cancer?

Last updated: August 2022

Having lung cancer is hard. Any cancer is tough but I'm here to talk about my experience, not the experience of others. My blogs lately have made me sound bitter and unappreciated. My house has always had to be perfectly clean. I'm terrified of bugs and so afraid if food is left out they will automatically come.

Remembering my childhood home

The house I grew up in had an addition on it. I moved into that addition when I was younger and lived in it until my parents divorced.

I constantly complained about the smell. It smelt like mold or mildew. And bugs so easily got in and out of there although they weren't in the rest of the house. It's like they loved my room. Wanting to stay in that room regardless of the smell was due to the back door I could sneak in and out of. Never, in a million years, did I think this small decision in my adolescence could be the reason my whole life changed. It's the small ripple effects that can produce a tsunami.

I moved from that house at 15 into a house with my mom and sister.  We went through some hard times and I stayed in the room again for a few years.  My father passed away on March 27, 2021, leaving my sister his house and some other things. Unfortunately, he owed more on it than it would be worth to fix up. So we sold it in a quick all-cash offer sale. We knew it needed a new roof and I knew that room I stayed in had to come down.

Returning to that home years later

My sister and I had an estate sale and everything else was gutted. Of course, we took our precious memories and it absolutely killed me to see it gutted. But, I wanted to see what had been done since the sale approximately a year ago. Luckily the garage door opener still worked and I was able to get in. At first, I absolutely lost it. Everything that was him was gone. The carpet was gone, walls primed, floor down to the slab. No furniture.

I felt like such a part of my youth had been stripped away. My hero and protector was now gone and I don't think that's something I will ever get over.

We walked into the living room which led to my old bedroom. There was a yellow tape preventing entry and it read "Do not enter. Black mold". Of course, I wanted to see what my old room looked like.

Our environments have the potential to shape us

On my mother's side of the family, we have a genetic predisposition for uncontrolled tumor growth. Most of my mother's side of the family has tumors somewhere and are mostly benign unless they are exposed to a carcinogen. Then, they can become malignant.

I opened the door and was in awe of what I saw. All of the walls were stripped and there was mold on every single wall in the massive room.

I did my research on black mold. Apparently, there is no direct link between black mold to lung cancer. However, black mold causes scarring of the lung. If the lung gets damaged enough, cancer may develop. I've always wondered and may never know why I got sick. That's why I'm donating my body to MD Anderson for research when I pass. It may help save Karley or my nieces one day. And it could help future generations of children having to lose their parents so early.

But, that is only one theory I have about how I got this cancer. Others have been my high school, living near the airport, and secondhand smoke. Any of these could have contributed to my illness, but just remember, when you're breathing anything in, you are not invincible.

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