I interviewed my mother and grandmother to find out what diseases are common in my family. They mentioned my grandfather, aunts, uncles, and other relatives. Among those family members diseases include: breast cancer, heart attacks, leukemia, lung cancer of various types and high blood pressure. Affecting my family the most is one type of lung cancer called adenocarcinoma. Adenocarcinoma begins in the cells that line the alveoli and make substances such as mucus. My aunt has recently been diagnosed with this type of non-small cell lung cancer. I next interviewed her on how it has been affecting her life. She said she just felt sick and tired all of the time and began coughing a lot. She said she had back and chest pains as well as a shortage of breath. Once these symptoms became more of a worry to her and started affecting her every day, she decided it was time to go to the doctor.
“During this appointment, a chest x-ray showed a spot on my right lung. I was tested for TB, had blood drawn and was sent to St. Mary's hospital for a CT scan. On February 7th, I saw a pulmonologist who scheduled me for a PET scan on February 9th and a biopsy on February 14th. The PET scan showed a 2.9 cm mass in the right lung, upper lobe along with a smaller mass below it and "spots" or nodules in a number of other places in the right lung and the lining of the lungs. However, it did not show any cancer cells in the lymph nodes or anywhere else in my body. Thank goodness! The biopsy confirmed that the large mass is malignant lung cancer: non-small cell adenocarcinoma. On February 20th, I saw an oncologist and once I received the PET scan results, I began sharing my news with others. On February 22nd I was seen by the thoracic surgeon. He indicated that the next step is to do a procedure called a thoracoscopy where he would insert a scope into my chest and use a camera to look at the tumors throughout the lung especially those on the lining. He would also take other tissue samples to biopsy. Unfortunately, until he completed this procedure, he would not know if the tumors are surgical or not. This surgery required general anesthesia and a three day hospital stay. The outcome of the surgery is that the tumors in my lung are not surgical. I truly didn't understand all the reasons why. Unfortunately, this is bad news. I was really hoping that they could remove the tumors or even remove the whole lung. So, I went back to the oncologist and wanted to talk about next steps. I'm discouraged that I went through this surgery with no positive outcome. But I am hopeful that I will soon bounce back from the surgery, and that I will be ready for the next step. Also due to these other areas, the cancer is considered to have…