How I Learned I Had Lung Cancer
Last updated: February 2023
For about 7 months I was seeing an orthopedic doctor and therapist for a pain in my neck which did not get better. My PT said I should get an MRI. I got one without contrast and it showed deteriorating discs in my cervical spine that required surgery.
My surgery journey
In the meantime I had a lump below my breast that I went to a dermatologist to remove. He couldn’t remove it and took a biopsy. It came back as cancer. I called my surgeon and he pushed up the surgery date and scheduled a team of oncologists to take tests while I was in the hospital. By this time the pain in my neck was almost unbearable and I started getting lumps in my lower back and abdomen.
Finding out I have lung cancer
During the surgery they found a tumor wrapping around my spine. They removed as much as they could. The resulting tests and biopsy revealed stage 4 NSCLC that had metastasized to my abdomen and small spots on my brain. I had radiation, a gamma knife treatment, and have been in immunotherapy for a year. Cancer in my brain is gone and almost all the tumors in my abdomen. The tumors in my lung are reduced but still there. No new cancer has been found in recent MRI’s and CT scans. I wonder if there is any treatment I still need to remove the tumors in my lung.
Happy Lung Cancer Awareness Month! What does self-advocacy mean to you?