How did you learn about your lung cancer diagnosis?
I was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer at the age of 62. It came out of nowhere, really — I didn’t realize how sick I was until I bent over while painting and couldn’t catch my breath. A CT scan uncovered a tumor in my left lung. My oncologist advised me to get a biopsy done, and so I did. The tissue was then sent off for biomarker testing. I then found out that I had EGFR-mutated NSCLC.
How were you impacted by your lung cancer diagnosis?
After my diagnosis, I chose to retire from my accounting work at a non-profit. Treatment put a strain on my work and family life. I decided to participate in clinical trials as part of my journey, and learned a lot through that process. To me, it’s my way of paying it forward to other lung cancer patients. My diagnosis made me an advocate, and connected me to so many amazing people I would not otherwise have known.
What have you done to maintain a sense of normalcy?
I enjoy connecting with others in the lung cancer community. I write on my blog about my life with lung cancer, including tips for others in my shoes. Reading about science and the arts keeps me current and sharp; I really value my education. Beyond that, just keeping my usual habits like knitting and spending time with my family keeps my diagnosis from dominating my life. I certainly like to keep myself busy!