In May 2013, Bonnie Mueller was 48 years old and feeling good. She was running two to three miles each day to stay in shape. However, things started falling apart just weeks later. Bonnie noticed roving pains in her body and a persistent heaviness in her chest; she knew something was terribly wrong.
After being referred to a pulmonologist, Bonnie learned she had a large mass on her left lung. Bonnie was soon diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer that had spread to her liver, abdomen and lymph nodes. She also had a lump on her breast. Her family was devastated and with a very poor prognosis, Bonnie’s most fervent prayer was that God would give her two more years to get her youngest daughter through high school. Added to the shock of her diagnosis was the fact that Bonnie had never smoked and like most Americans, she had never given a thought to her own risks for lung cancer.
Bonnie’s oncologist told her that their goal was to find a match for her genetic markers. Chemo began July 1, 2013. She became very weak. Her days consisted of moving from a chair in the bedroom to her bed. During this time, her doctor called and told her they did not find a match.
By late July, Bonnie was told the chemo was not working, but she remained determined to get better for her husband, three children and all of her loved ones. Just a few weeks later, Bonnie’s oncologist called to tell her they had found her a match. There was a new drug on the market showing positive results, but it was not FDA-approved. The doctor looked at her and said, “This is good news.”
Later in the summer, Bonnie noticed that her stomach mass was shrinking. Within a couple more weeks, the mass was completely gone. Bonnie’s CT scans in September of 2014 revealed that all of her tumors were shrinking. Recently, against all odds and predictions, her scans showed nothing at all.
Bonnie doesn’t believe she has beat lung cancer forever, but for now she is simply thrilled with the miracles she feels she has received. Her adult son is a man of few words, but since her illness he gives her a hug each time he sees her and says, ‘I love you.’
“Feeling good enough to enjoy these special moments with family and friends is my miracle,” Bonnie said.