A younger woman hugs an older woman. They are sitting in front of a calendar

What Does LCAM Mean To Me!

November has always been one of my favorite months because it’s my birthday month and I’ve always enjoyed Thanksgiving with my family as well. So, it was a double whammy for me, but I was also diagnosed with stage 3B lung cancer. My cancerversary is November 20th and I do celebrate it because for me it’s a blessing to see another year living with lung cancer. Now it’s a quadruple whammy for me and I enjoy this month (November) to the fullest!

November carries so many meanings for me

On November 1st I start to celebrate my birthday, which happens to be November 3rd. But my birth certificate says November 4th, crazy right? Well, I asked my parents and they both told me I was born on November 3rd at 11:59 pm but the hospital put November 4th. So now I celebrate two birthdays and believe me when I say this, I celebrate the whole month! On November 1st I start to post on social media anything and everything about lung cancer and bring awareness any way I can. I start getting ready for Thanksgiving, but most importantly I look forward to November 20th the day I was told, “you have lung cancer” but you see I don’t look at it as a negative thing, I look at it as a positive thing. Because each November I get to celebrate my two birthdays, Thanksgiving, and my cancerversary and help bring awareness and educate many about lung cancer!

Everything I do, I do for my family

Everyone knows I hate the cold/winter and snow and living in Northwest Indiana November is considered winter to me. It does get pretty cold here and we even get some snow occasionally, but now I look forward to November. When I wake up on November 1st, I’m so happy and blessed that I got to see another November, another birthday, another Thanksgiving, and another cancerversary! I get to celebrate it all with my husband, children, and my beautiful granddaughter.

My granddaughter is my world and my light; she helps me to continue that fight, help newly diagnosed patients, and to make a difference in the lung cancer community. Everything I do, I do for her so I can leave a legacy and she can proudly say, “My gama helped make that happen.”

LCAM is about celebrating our strength

This year for my birthday I went to Miami to celebrate my birthday with my husband and every year when I take a trip in November, I always meet people and share my story and educate them about lung cancer! These wonderful people I’ve met along the way while traveling for my birthday are always in awe of how strong and positive I am. They also thank me for educating them about lung cancer because believe it or not many still don’t know much about lung cancer. They often expressed to me they thought it was a smoker’s disease and didn’t know they can get it too.

I would love to go on a trip to celebrate my cancerversay but it’s pretty hard financially to do two trips in November and it’s being so close to Thanksgiving. But one thing I do know is on my 10th cancerversary I will take that dream vacation to celebrate big and in style!

So, this is what LCAM means to me! To live, enjoy, appreciate, be thankful, fight, stay strong and positive, and continue to bring awareness and educate as many as I can along the way of this journey of mine.

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