Welcome friends. As you can see from the title of my blog, I was blessed to be put on this earth with an identical twin sister. This is a personal account of my unique life experience as a twin. Double the trouble and double the fun. Hope you enjoy the journey.
Friday, November 8, 2013
My Lung Cancer Story for the American Lung Association
LINDA R.'S STORY
From Minnesota –The story of how I figured out I had lung cancer:
Early February of 2004 I was having extreme anxiety and panic attacks. I ended up in ER twice because of it. The second time the anxiety was so severe, I thought I was having a heart attack. The doctor said that my heart was fine but the x-ray revealed a small spot on my right lung. She asked me if I was a smoker and I told her I had never smoked. She told me that anyone can get spots on x-rays, especially in Minnesota because of the melting and freezing temperatures. She suggested I follow up with my primary doctor, although she didn't seem too concerned about the spot. After seeing my doctor, I was set up for a CT scan. The scan revealed that the spot had gotten bigger since my trip to the ER. I was quickly scheduled for a biopsy, and sadly, the results revealed I had non-small cell lung cancer. Later I learned that the pathology report showed the cancer had spread to my trachea and bronchi lymph nodes. This result changed my stage 1 A diagnosis to 3 A. I underwent surgery to remove the middle lobe of my right lung followed by five months of chemotherapy, and finally radiation. Those were scary, difficult days but I fought hard and won. I am happy to say, I will be ten years cancer free this coming St. Patrick's Day. I thank God every day for the gift of health and life. My cancer journey, although difficult, taught me how precious every day is and not to sweat the small stuff. I feel grateful to the American Lung Association for letting me share my lung cancer story with others. I hope my story will help educate people on this type of cancer. I also hope my story will help reduce the stigma that often comes with a lung cancer diagnosis. No one deserves cancer, and whether you are a smoker or non-smoker, you deserve support.