Knocked in the Head

August 28 will be three years since I was knocked in the head! On that day while riding my bicycle I took a fall and suffered a severe concussion/moderate traumatic brain injury. My first memory three hours later was awaking in the hospital and being told that a CAT scan to my upper body to check for fractures uncovered an unrelated mass in my lung. I was 62 years old, a very healthy, avid and competitive runner, cyclist and triathlete with no symptoms of possible lung cancer. THAT FALL TURNED OUT TO BE A BLESSING.

Several weeks later I vividly recall the doctor saying “I’m sorry to tell you that you have advanced lung cancer”. I was diagnosed with stage 3B non-small cell lung cancer. I thought, “how can that be. I can outrun and out bike many 25 year old’s!” After several months of treatment with chemo and radiation at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center my scan showed that I was NED.

I’ve been getting scanned every three months and continue to run and bike just as before I was KNOCKED IN THE HEAD. My life has changed. I now appreciate life, friends, family and every moment more intensely than ever. I do all I can to advocate for lung cancer funding and research and support others with lung cancer.

I share my story with other’s so they don’t need to get KNOCKED IN THE HEAD to appreciate and live life to the fullest.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


View Comments (5)
  • edie
    1 year ago

    I too have been diagnosed with stage 3 non small cell cancer. Have had 12 rounds of chemo and 30 radiation! My is also inoperable. Still have difficulty breathing. Want to know do you?

  • fcnoll author
    1 year ago

    I don’t have difficulty breathing but do have radiation fibrosis which is permanent scaring of healthy lung tissue which often is unavoidable as the radiation must enter and exit to get to the malignant areas. It causes phlegm and a slight cough mostly at night when I am lying down.I otherwise have no physical symptom. Just the occasional anxiety of recurrence, especially at scan times. Until recently I got scanned every 3 months, now every 6 months.

    Try to stay as active as you comfortably can and keep your doctor(s) posted on how your feeling. Keep in touch with how your doing.

  • edie
    1 year ago

    Oh thank you for this information. I have also been diagnosed with copd moderate. So that to has effect on my breathing! It has been difficult for me.

  • Margot moderator
    1 year ago

    Thinking of you edie! Thanks for sharing with us. You may find our site helpful for you as well; that must be difficult! Thinking of you. Best, Margot, Team Member

  • Margot moderator
    2 years ago

    What a story! Thank you so much for sharing with us here; you’ve been through a whirlwind of a ride! I am so glad that they were able to diagnose your cancer and that you are feeling better and running and biking again!! It is great to hear that you are advocating for lung cancer funding and researching. Thinking of you!!

    Margot, Team Member

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