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Thought It Was COPD

I QUIT smoking when I was 58 years old. I was getting colds almost constantly. It seemed as if I couldn’t ever feel really well. I had a PFT test and was diagnosed with severe COPD.

This round of illnesses continued for 10 years. It did seem like I was getting exacerbations more often, but I was only hospitalized once. In November of 2016, I coughed up some blood mixed with mucus. Of course it was the weekend. I also was on blood thinners because of stents. I was scared but waited til Monday to see Dr. I had a chest x-ray that showed nothing. It was decided to do a CT scan. Found a large mass in the lower right lung, and a smaller one in the upper left lung. Got scheduled for a bronchoscopy. Anyway, was diagnosed with stage IV adenocarcinoma.

I went on a schedule of chemo every three weeks. I kept working and didn’t feel too bad. I saw a surgeon. Wasn’t sure if I was a good candidate for surgery because of severe COPD.

The 2nd PET scan showed shrinkage of the primary mass with less activity. The left lung nodule had no growth and relatively low activity. It was decided I was stage II. Now I had to go through PFT tests and stress tests.

On June 27 2017, I went in for a lobectomy of the right lower lobe. They used the robot. According to the pathology report, all cancer was in the tumor. He also took out a bunch of lymph nodes. They were all clear.

I just had a CT scan the first of May. I have had nodules, but nothing is growing. During this whole ride, I have felt healthier than I have in years. I seldom get colds, my O2 stats are higher, and I seldom get short of breath.

I have had some digestive issues. It is not c-diff. Dr not sure what it is. I don’t know if it is from the chemo, but it is a small price to pay. It seems to be under control now.

For me, my cancer journey has been an eye-opener. I never felt sick. And now I seem not to get sick. I get anxious at scan time. So far so good.

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