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A New Positive Attitude

I was diagnosed with Stage IIIb Adenocarcinoma on April 18, 2014. This is the official date but my journey actually started on February 20, 2014.

Approximately mid January 2014, I started waking up every night with a fever of 102 or higher. I felt absolutely fine otherwise. I was working full time, writing part time and continued my usual activities. On February 17, 2014, I went to take my Tylenol and realized I had gone through a huge bottle in a small amount of time. I still felt fine but knew the daily fever was not right. I immediately made an appointment with my PCP. With no other symptoms, I am sure they thought I was crazy but they did the normal workup – bloodwork, chest x-ray, etc. Four spots were seen on my lungs. I was admitted to the hospital for 10 days and told I had lung cancer where I went through every test imaginable – CT scan, MRI, Bronchoscopy and more. On March 4, 2014, we determined it was not cancer but a Lung Abscess in 4 lobes and would be going home with a PICC Line on heavy duty antibiotics.

Six weeks later, I had a CT Scan to view the progress we had made with the antibiotics. The two right lobes were clear. The two left lobes had gotten larger.

On April 18, 2014 a needle biopsy confirmed my upper and lower left lobes had lung cancer. After more tests for Staging purposes, I had a pneumonectomy of May 28, 2014. Both Left Lobes of my lungs were surgically removed. This begins my true Lung Cancer journey.

July 2014 I began chemotherapy. I faithfully went every 3 weeks for 6 months only to find out the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes in my chest. We agreed to continue chemotherapy and change the medication. In November 2015, we found another spot in my right lung. Welcome to Stage IV Lung Cancer.

January 2016 we all agreed to try ImmunotherapyOpdivo. My prayers have been answered. Since then I received the infusion every 2 weeks and scans every 3 months. Thankfully, each scan has showed a small reduction in the tumors.

Lung Cancer is miserable. It sucks everything from you. The bad days, at times, outnumbered the good days. BUT, without this diagnosis, I wouldn’t have developed a new positive attitude everyday. I walk around each day with tumors in my lymph nodes and right upper lung BUT I’m alive – my treatment is working – I advocate for lung cancer patients daily – I advocate for more research and education about Lung Cancer – I mentor newly diagnosed patients to help them get past the hard times. I spend my time with my 7 grown children enjoying each minute and every second.

As a Lung Cancer patient, advocate, writer and mother, I spend each day looking at the positive. It has been 3 years and 1 month since I first went to the doctor. I am committed to making the best of each day and helping anyone along the way.

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.


  • bcmc1987
    2 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is uplifting to hear how others are coping with the diagnosis and treatment of Lung Cancer. I just started my journey in Sept 2017 and have stage IIIA Lung adenocarcinoma. It has been a rough few months but I am feeling better and learning how to embrace each new day.

  • coco1101
    3 years ago

    That is a good story Jennifer… about as good as LC story can get. I am very happy to know your Opdivo treatments are working, and doing a bang-up job.

    I decided to write a comment because I share one thing with you… one big thing, it’s my attitude. Like you I have learned to appreciate every day and I have learned what is really important in my life. Having a positive attitude has helped me since Cancer dx #1 in 1988 – I appreciate ever day, when I wake up, I am grateful… when I am vertical, I know it is going to be a great day! I am in charge of my attitude and I have subscribed to the Power of Positive Thinking – it’s much easier on me, my DH, family and friends… It is the way I choose to live my life.

    Toodles, gail

  • Margot moderator
    3 years ago

    Gail / coco1101,

    Thank you for sharing this with us! It is great to hear that you, too, have such a positive attitude, and that it has been able to help you. It is so good that you can appreciate every day and be grateful! Thank you so much for being a part of our community.

    Margot, Team

  • Christina Hegarty moderator
    3 years ago

    Hi Jennifer,
    Thank you so much for sharing with us! You have truly embodied making the best out of a situation by making yours a positive one through developing a new positive attitude, advocating, and mentoring! And I want to comment how commendable it was for you to have seen your doctor quickly when you knew having a daily fever wasn’t right.
    Thank you so much again for sharing with us! We are very glad you’re a part of our community!
    Christina, Team

  • Lysa Buonanno moderator
    3 years ago

    I never knew your story. That was write a year! Thanks for sharing and congrats on your writing

  • Lysa Buonanno moderator
    3 years ago

    Quite – this text color is hard to see on

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