Never Give Up Hope – Bravelets

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Never Give Up Hope

Posted on August 25 2014

Never Give Up Hope
I decided at the age of 56 to go back to school to get a paralegal degree. I was in my second quarter of school when my husband passed away expectantly. I pulled myself together and went on to finish my education graduating with a 4.0 in June 2012.

In July, I started a job with a seemed to be settling down. Two weeks after I started my job my world was rocked again...I was diagnosed with lung cancer. I just wasn't feeling up to par, but just a little run down with a croupy sounding cough; so I made an appointment to see my doctor. He didn't like the sound of my cough and sent me for a chest x-ray. I cannot explain that awful feeling you get when you hear the word “cancer”. At first it was “Why me” and then it changed over time to “why not me”. My son lived close by, but my daughter had just moved to Chicago...350 miles away. It took me a month before I could say "I have cancer" without crying. Thank God for my church family and friends who helped me physically, emotionally and spiritually.

I went to the James Center in Columbus, Ohio for a consultation and had my treatments done in Findlay, Ohio. I went through 2 rounds of the most aggressive chemo that they can give while at the same time doing radiation treatments daily for 5 weeks. During this time I continued to work full time to keep my job and my insurance so I could pay for treatments; I had no sick time or vacation time accumulated so it was crucial for me to work. I tried to stay optimistic and upbeat for myself as well as my kids and grand kids. I remember telling my radiation doctor, Dr Lutz "I will be one of your success stories" I had a life to live and I wasn't going down without a fight. Was it easy? No!! Did I get sick from treatment? Yes!! But I never gave up hope!! The power of prayer is awesome...I had so many people praying for me and I know God answers prayers and performs miracles! I had an awesome team of doctors too and they deserve recognition: Dr Leslie, Dr Chao, Dr Li, Dr Lutz and Dr Ross…without all of you this could have had a very different outcome!

In December 2012 I went to the James Center and Dr Ross performed surgery to remove the upper lobe of my right lung and 20+ lymph nodes in the media-sternum area. I returned to work 4 weeks after my surgery and have regular cat scans every 6 months. So far everything is good. Yes I still worry when it is time to go for the cat scan...I am human, but I don't and won't allow this to control my life.

I met a wonderful man who was willing to take a chance on me and we were married November 2013...he is my soul mate and I have never been happier. He makes me laugh every day!! Yes there is life after being diagnosed with lung cancer and I thank God ever day for the opportunity to live!

I will add this as a side note: I despise the stigmatism that goes with lung cancer and smoking. Whether you smoke or not-NO ONE deserves this disease. People are ignorant that think this and need to be educated…70% of people who get lung cancer are non smokers and not exposed to second hand smoke…this came from experts in the field…so don’t allow anyone to make you feel that you “had this coming” because they are wrong! Shame on them for being judgmental.
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