Thank you AstraZeneca for sponsoring this post. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Now more than ever, there is reason for hope. Please visit LIVE W.E.L.L. and LVNG With Lung Cancer for more information.
Living With Lung Cancer – There Is Hope
I remember it like it was yesterday. My dad called me on the last day of school before winter break while I was away at college. I answered the phone in the dorm room and he told me that I needed to come straight home when I was done with my winter break exams. No stopping at the outlet malls to check out the holiday sales and no need to stop and grab something to eat.
I knew something was wrong. But I didn’t ask. I was too scared.
On the three-hour drive home I was a nervous wreck. All sorts of thoughts entered my mind. But when I got off the expressway, I didn’t go home. I drove straight to my grandparents house. I didn’t go to the front door, I didn’t knock. I walked around the back of the house and looked through the living room window. My grandpa sat in his favorite chair all dressed up and my grandma’s hospital bed was gone from the room.
I never went to the door. I never knocked. I never let my grandpa know I was there. I ran to the car and went home. I walked in the door and my dad walked down the stairs in a suit. And I knew. I lost my grandma to lung cancer. The service was that night.
I know she waited for me. She wanted me to finish up my exams. She wanted me home. I also know that she is still with me today. In my heart, in my soul, in special things that happen that I KNOW she still has a part in.
We lost her too early. She loved to cook, shop, travel and play golf. She was so full of life. Then one day she went to the doctors for a cough that wouldn’t go away. That day changed our lives forever. And it took hers. Too fast. She was too young. She had lots of love left to give. But lung cancer won that battle. My mom lost her mother and my brother and I lost our grandma. We lost a friend, we lost a loved one, we lost a piece of our hearts. Lung cancer won that day.
That was over 20 years ago. Did you know that in the United States, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women, accounting for approximately 154,000 deaths each year and about one-quarter of all cancer deaths – more than breast, prostate and colorectal cancers combined? It’s true.
There are medicines that have been proven to benefit patients with specific types of lung cancer, so if diagnosed, it is critical to understand the details of your diagnosis and talk to your medical team about what treatments are approved to treat your specific type of disease. So, maybe lung cancer doesn’t have to win…not everyday, maybe not today. It’s time to learn more. Live well.
In recent years, researchers have come to understand important details of how lung cancer grows and spreads. This has led to important new treatment options that treat cancer differently from conventional therapies, like chemotherapy and radiation. Two important types of therapy are targeted medicines and immunotherapies. In later stages of lung cancer, particularly stages 3 and 4 NSCLC, these types of medicines are changing the way cancer is treated.
Join me in spreading the word about Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Encourage others to learn more about their diagnosis, encourage them to LIVE W.E.L.L. It’s so important for those that have been diagnosed with lung cancer that they become their own advocate and talk to their medical team about what treatment options are right for them. Now more than ever, there is reason for hope.
There is reason for hope. Say it with me. There is reason for hope. Open your heart to it. Open your mind to it. There is reason for hope and it starts today.
Please spread the word about Lung Cancer Awareness this month and every month.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.