In August of this year my mother broke her arm just by lifting it to open the garage door. After a trip to the ER, one x-ray and an MRI later, we discovered she had a large tumor growing in and around her arm bone. Within a week a biopsy was done and it concluded that she has lung cancer. Arm pain was her first and only symptom and was misdiagnosed as a pinched nerve for several months.
Unfortunately the cancer has spread and metastasized to other parts of her body. She is currently undergoing radiation treatment and will start chemotherapy next week. She is in a late stage of the cancer but we are all hopeful that given her age and overall good health, advancement of medicine, and her positive attitude, she will fight the statistics and beat this!
I felt the need to share this because frankly, if I saw one more pink ribbon I was going to scream. Lung cancer kills more people than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. I'm not trying to offend anyone who has/had or knows someone with breast cancer but with only a 15% survival rate for lung cancer patients it's hard to replate. It is the deadliest form of cancer but only has1/3rd of the donations going into the research than breast cancer. The stigma associated with smoking and cancer is a major barrier to addressing the needs of people diagnosed with lung cancer.
A lot changes when you learn that someone you love is seriously ill, especially one of your parents. The day we found out everything changed for my family, and continues to everyday. My mom, who has always been strong, is now weak; her mind once sharp and full of answers and advice, is now full of questions and fears; her spirit, once full of laughter and liveliness, is now filled with unease and despair. But throughout this whole ordeal, she has kept the poise in which she’s known for, the grace that God blessed her with, and the hope that she needs (we all need), to keep going.
Please remember that November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and do what you can to educate yourselves on this disease. And please keep my mom in your thoughts and prayers as every minute in every day she lives to fight this.
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