Fate and Lung Cancer
Last updated: March 2023
I was diagnosed with Covid late in the year in 2020 and had a lingering cough that I attributed to that. My daughter and I were in Boston visiting my dad at Christmas 2021 and I was coughing no more or less than usual, actually it was pretty minimal. However, while I was coughing, this dime sized bloody thing was coughed up and that caught my attention!
During an annual check-up
During my annual checkup at the VA in January, I mentioned it to my GP (I’m retired USAF and use VA for my healthcare and will never ever have a bad thing to say about the VA). Anyway, my GP ordered a chest X-ray, which resulted in a CT, and a bronchoscopy. I had a 3cm lung mass in the lower left lobe. The bronchoscopy results were negative and the BAL fluids and blood tests all came back clear for infections.
Being diagnosed with stage 3A Non small cell lung cancer
They were going to put me on a nodule registry to monitor it, but since I already had. PET scheduled, they said to keep the appointment for it. The nodule, hilar lymph nodes and mediastinal lymph nodes lit up on the PET. I was immediately scheduled to see a thoracic surgeon and he did a mediastinoscopy and lower left lobectomy which resulted in stage 3A NSCLC.
Treatment and arranging my affairs
When he told me I had lung cancer and gave me all the statistics of survival etc., I immediately went into business mode and took care of all my personal affairs for my daughter just in case it went bad. I did chemo (never lost hair) and radiation. The radiation had worse effects on me than the chemo (pneumonitis, scarring etc) and I finished that in October 2022.
Being at peace
It’s definitely a life changing situation but I’m at a weird peace with the whole thing. I’m 51, my daughter moved in with me to help out as I got sick and she stayed ended up staying long-term. You definitely look at life differently and re-prioritize things. I firmly believe God was looking over me while I was in Boston. If I had never coughed up that thing, I would have never given it a second thought, so I'm thankful for that!
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