It all started fall of 2015 with a dry cough. I was a healthy, active 46-year-old nonsmoker – a working wife and mom of three teenagers. I ate healthy, swam competitively and practiced yoga. My cough would come and go, but I was never sick enough to go to the doctor and I had no other symptoms.
By December, I finally went to Urgent Care, was diagnosed with walking pneumonia and treated with antibiotics. Six weeks later, the symptoms remained and a spot on my right lung was still there. A CT scan led to a pulmonologist referral, where I was treated for a lung abscess. When that still did not resolve, a bronchoscopy was ordered. All of us expected to hear that it was some strange fungus I had contracted, perhaps from our time spent hiking in Arizona a few months prior to the onset of the cough.
On March 23, 2016, three days before our scheduled family vacation, I received the shocking and devastating news that I had Adenocarcinoma lung cancer. At the end of April, I was able to get a second opinion from Mayo that confirmed the original diagnosis. On May 11, I had surgery to remove my lower right lobe. I feel incredibly blessed that my results from surgery were so good. Surgery was successful, margins were clear, and all lymph nodes were clear. I was staged 1A and no chemo or radiation was needed at this time – just CT scans every 3-6 months.
By August 2016 (almost 3 months from the day of my surgery), I was able to run the A Breath of Hope Lung Run/Walk Twin Cities 5K…amazing! I continue to be involved in ABOHLF today. I love the people. I feel safe and at home with them. Fellow survivors offer hope, compassion, understanding and an incredible bond. We share daily life stories on how to move forward with life after a lung cancer diagnosis.