In April of 2015, I was diagnosed with advanced stage non-small cell lung cancer. As an otherwise healthy, non-smoking young adult, this news came as a complete shock. At the time, I was 26 years old and pregnant with my first child.
I was also told that the cancer was incurable and that I had less than a year to live.
As a teacher, newlywed and mother-to-be, I refused to accept the prognosis and had my tissue sent to the United States for genetic testing.
At 5 months pregnant I began chemotherapy.
I finished 3 cycles before giving birth to my beautiful and healthy son Jack, two months prematurely. After giving birth, the test results came back positive for a ROS-1 genetic mutation. I was then able to use targeted treatments to try and shrink and stabilize my cancer. I am currently on my second targeted treatment and hopeful that it will help to reduce the volume of cancer even more so. I am so thankful that I sent my tissue to be tested as I am certain that I am alive and here today thanks to these targeted therapies. I am also very hopeful that as awareness and funding continues to grow, lung cancer will be, if not curable, a chronic disease.