My Cancer Journey

I was diagnosed with lung cancer in June 2016. Since the beginning of 2016, I had been treated for pneumonia on three different occasions. I just kept coughing! Finally, the doctor performed a CT scan and I was placed in the hospital.

Initially, there was concern of ongoing infection, pneumonia, and possible tuberculosis. We attempted a bronchoscopy but my right lung immediately started bleeding and the doctor had to abandon the procedure. At this point, the doctors began to consider cancer. A surgeon was consulted and a biopsy was performed. After eight days, I was finally released from the hospital.

We waited for more than one week for the results from the biopsy. On that day, I had a simple appointment to have a stitch removed by the surgeon. For this reason, my husband didn’t come with me. You know — I was going to run in and out of the doctor’s office in about 15 minutes. Well, the results from the Mayo Clinic were returned. My surgeon shared the news. Adenocarcinoma. I could hardly comprehend the diagnosis. We both wept. Then, we went to work.

My surgeon made important phone calls and supported the next step — I learned of Stage IV adenocarcinoma on Friday and by Monday was in to see a wonderful oncologist. My medical team has become part of my family. We have been on quite a journey — different rounds of chemo for more than one year (yes, I eventually lost my hair), immunotherapy (my lungs really struggled and right lung collapsed), and clinical trial (I developed an awful staph infection in a pleural effusion on the right lung and spent many days in hospital). At this point, we decided to go off active treatment and transition to palliative/hospice care. My body was so tired from treatment and the doctors didn’t feel we could continue. We tried so many different things.

My family serves as my caregivers. My husband has walked every step with me. I don’t think he missed one infusion appointment. He literally carried me when I was too weak to stand. My children stay close to me and “fuss” over me. They come each weekend to spend time together. I look forward to those moments. My siblings and mother love me and lift me through the highs and lows of cancer treatment. Our neighbors and friends have become an extended community of caring. I have been blessed to interact with noble individuals both professionally and personally. Really, my heart is grateful for the genuine concern that continues to be demonstrated to my family. We are so blessed!

One of the challenges over the past two years has been keeping friends and families updated on my cancer journey. I started writing and created a personal blog. This has provided me with a therapeutic avenue to reflect and record my learning. We haven’t seen all the physical miracles we hoped for. There certainly have been times of discouragement and despair. The cancer has metastasized. However, I have survived nearly two years. This beats a few odds! We have discovered unexpected spiritual miracles.

My body strength is slowly returning, and I am choosing to live life to the fullest! I am grateful for every day. Time has become so valuable. I try and use my energy on all I love — especially my husband and children. I will always be anchored in hope!

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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.


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