Lung cancer was a diagnosis I never expected to hear. Being a nonsmoker, it took me by complete surprise. However, I grew up as a child of a smoker. I remember trips in a smoke-filled car during the '50s and '60s. So, maybe I should not have been so shocked.
Interestingly, my cancer was discovered completely by accident. My cardiologist ordered a heart scan which revealed a shadow on my right lung. It was quickly found to be cancer. I had no symptoms other than an occasional cough. That was the clue I should have paid attention to. Before I knew it, I had surgery to remove my right top lobe. Cancer had spread to several lymph nodes, which were also removed. It was recommended I receive chemotherapy as a precaution, so of course, I did. I had four chemo sessions from May until August.
Looking back, it’s hard to believe that just five days after my hospital release I helped celebrate my daughter’s wedding in my backyard. This all happened to me as I turned 70 this past year. Currently, I am cancer-free and continue to be checked on a regular basis. I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones. The experience made me realize how quickly life can change. I had always taken care to get regular checkups, but I am now more aware of my day to day health. I am most thankful for the care given to me by my team of Novant doctors. They were so efficient in every way. I appreciate my friends and family more than ever and treasure every moment. Cancer is a scary thing and we are challenged by it but we learn to never give up. I am indeed very fortunate!