I had adenocarcinoma non-small cell lung cancer. I had the lower lobe of my right lung removed on 3/24/09. No cancer cells were found in the lymph nodes, so I am staged 1A. I am one of the lucky ones thus far as I am now considered cancer free.

My cancer was found only because I was proactive and
had entered an international lung cancer study in 2004.

It is called the International Early Lung Cancer Action Program and was done through the Dorothy E. Schneider Cancer Center connected with Mills Peninsula Hospital. I was at high risk for lung cancer because I smoked for 30 years and quit in 1990, and also my mother, my uncle (her brother), and my paternal grandfather all ultimately died as a result of lung cancer. If I had not been part of that study, my lung cancer would not have been found this early. I had no symptoms at all. Once again I say I am one of the lucky ones thus far.

My inspiration is my mother. In 1975, at 64-years-old, my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer—two years younger than the age I am now. She had the upper lobe of her right lung removed. No follow-up treatment was needed. Two and a half years later, another primary cancer was found in my mother’s lower left lung. A pie shaped wedge was surgically removed. No follow-up treatment was done. When I asked about my mother’s prognosis as to her lifespan, I was told it was not good. WRONG! My mother went on to live for 19 more years … 18 of which were cancer-free and wonderful— leading a full and active life for those 18 years. At about 85 years of age, another lung tumor appeared. Nothing was done to treat this new tumor, as my mother had become too frail for her to physically withstand any treatment. My mother lived about nine more months— dying at almost 86 years of age. Thus, my mother is my inspiration. I pray I can live as she did.