On October 7th, 2011, I was diagnosed with a malignant non-small cell tumor in my right middle lobe bronchus. In an instant my life changed forever. Recently I had received a CT scan of my lungs, as I have severe COPD. The scan revealed a collapsed right middle lobe. A bronchoscopy was performed, a small mass was found, and the biopsy revealed the devastating news.
Surgery would have been the ideal treatment. Because of my COPD, my lungs weren’t strong enough, so radiation and chemo were my options. A PET scan showed that the cancer had not spread. Beginning November 28th, 2011, I received 30 radiation treatments along with weekly chemo. I am so grateful that I was able to handle the treatment well, except for 1 set-back. As my treatment progressed, my exhaustion increased, but I was well cared for by family and friends. Complementary practice added benefit to my overall experience, including acupuncture, Spring Forest qigong, and Pathways, a holistic health center.
Today, I am a 5-year lung cancer survivor, and I share this joyfully with a great respect for the wonder of life. I choose to believe that I am healed and not in remission. The regular CT scans show that my lungs are clear of cancer, although I am challenged by COPD. Life is a journey, and these experiences are all part of my journey.
I have attended the Edina Lung Cancer Support Group (supported by A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation) for several years, and have grown to love these dear folks. We share a bond of hope, strength and understanding. ABOHLF is an incredible organization that offers support in all aspects of lung cancer, and I love attending events when possible.
Even though I can’t run in the annual A Breath of Hope Lung Run/Walk Twin Cities, I so enjoy being a part of, and riding on the survivor bus. My intention is to live in the present moment, to live well for however long I live, and to live with love and joy in my heart. My daughter, Hannah, surprised me with a special CELEBRATE plaque that now hangs on our kitchen wall. God is good!