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Tennis and Lung Cancer

Until my lung cancer diagnosis in May of 2018 and subsequent treatments, I was on the tennis court at least 4 or 5 days per week. I fell into tennis as an adult at around age 40. I really love the game, the competition, and the social aspects.

Looking back in the year before my diagnosis there were several signs of this disease I ignored. I frequently complained of shortness of breath, developed a cough I discounted as allergies, and just seemed to get tired sooner than normal on the court.

As luck would have it, in May of 2018 we were set to fly to Vegas with friends and a bout of vertigo forced me to the doctor. We were all set to fly out that weekend after I would play in our state tennis championships. I was excited and did not want a little dizziness to get in the way of playing at State and taking my first trip to Vegas.

The doctor was very astute in evaluating of all my symptoms and requested a chest X-ray. Unfortunately, the X-ray revealed a one-inch mass on my left lung. And so, my life long journey with lung cancer had begun.

After 9 months of radiation and chemo treatments, I am happy to report that the tumor on my lung is clear. However, I am now treating three small brain metastasis with radiation.

During periods of treatment, I continued to stay positive and play the game I love. I worked hard at being the best I could be and at beating the fatigue that is all too familiar with cancer patients. If I could give one hint of advice, it would be that exercise beats fatigue. You will feel better with exercise. You do have to listen to your body however and get the rest you need to heal.

To date, I am still playing the game I love and will be competing in not one but two State championships this spring. Not only has the game given me the exercise I need but I have a phenomenal support system. The encouragement, prayers, and love I’ve received from my teammates and tennis friends are what continue to keep me in a positive spirit!

Together we are kicking Cancer’s Butt, one match at a time!

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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.


  • PaulH
    5 months ago

    Congrats on keeping up your tennis game – best of luck in the State Championships! I agree that exercise beats fatigue. I have always been an exercise nut – up until the day I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Lung Cancer I was always number 1 on the leader board in my morning spin classes. Never had any symptoms. My diagnosis was incidental. Since learning of my disease on March 1 I’ve had surgery and 2 rounds of chemo. I continue to exercise every day – it’s as much mental benefit as physical. No longer number 1 but feeling good and holding my own.

  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator
    5 months ago

    Hi Paul
    I’m happy your using some physical activity in your journey to holding your own. Keep at it and best!

  • Lcawthon author
    5 months ago

    Thank you Paul. It sounds like you have a good positive attitude. That and exercise will take you far. Best wishes for you.

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