Almost 3 years later and still standing tall

The end of March, 2016, I was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. I was given one round of chemo which damn near killed me, two hospitalizations and over 30 pounds of weight gone…None of that had to take place.

I switched treatment from this clinic due to my being hospitalized twice due to complications from a pleurex cather which had been surgically inserted internally (my choice, as I was having to go frequently to have a thoracentesis every 2-3 weeks…Oh those are fun….ahhhh not so much) so that I could drain off the fluids at home that would accumulate in my lungs, as well as that first round of chemo. The first hospitalization was because of what the doctor said was the largest blood clot he had ever seen….My son who is an RN told me “You, dodged a bullet Mom”……..Indeed I did…….The second hospitalization was from a lung infection and pneumonia brought on by the pleurex catheter………….Between the chemo and catheter……Oh my goodness what a miserable time…Painful, really sick, couldn’t eat, throwing up, rapid weight loss, and so fatigued I could barely put one foot in front of the other…..Yet, I was still so thankful to be alive…

After those two hospitalizations in my local hospital I decided to switch my treatment to where I am going now…………..They saved my life……….My first appointment with my new oncologist asked me if I had ever had a lung biopsy……I explained the former oncologist had said we probably need to do one, but he never did and I never questioned him….I take part of the blame, a little bit, but here’s someone who is certified in his field of expertise, who should known a lung biopsy was needed………and yet he didn’t do it………actually I wasn’t even treated for anything for the first 2 months, maybe three as the CT scans showed the cancer was stable….I trusted him to know what he was doing but should have asked why no biopsy…..Don’t ever be afraid to question your doctor….and if they get mad or irritated due to your questions, then get another doctor!

At my first appointment with my new oncologist, let’s call him Dr. Wonderful, first words out of his mouth were “Have you had a lung biopsy”? And I said no, and he said with your permission I would like to schedule one….And to make a long story short, the biopsy results came back that I had Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer in my lungs…Still very serious, two different types of cancer, MBCA is an easier treatment and your longevity goes up….

I give it up to the good Lord and my wonderful oncology team as the reason I am still standing tall today! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!