Back to top

Meet Dawn

Vancouver, WA

How did you learn about your lung cancer diagnosis?
After having a cough for almost two years, receiving a diagnosis of reactive airway disease and having had two chest X-rays taken 10 months apart read as normal, I sought a second opinion with my parents’ pulmonary doctor. When he looked at my chest X-rays, he saw something suspicious and sent me for a CT scan the next day. I went in to see my doctor the day after my CT scan and he told my husband and me that he suspected I had lung cancer. A PET scan and biopsy confirmed his suspicions, and I was diagnosed with stage 4 non-small cell Adenocarcinoma. I searched for an oncologist that I was comfortable with, and began treatment within a few weeks.

How were you impacted by your lung cancer diagnosis?
At first I was in shock and disbelief. It took months for it to really sink in. Even though both of my parents had lung cancer, I never worried about it since I never smoked, have always lived a very healthy life and exercised regularly. When I learned that anyone can receive a diagnosis of lung cancer, I decided I wanted to help raise awareness and funds for increased research.

What have you done to maintain a sense of normalcy?
I live my life as I always have. I only miss work for chemotherapy appointments and stay as active as possible. It took me some time to come to the realization that every day is a gift. I'm just happy to be alive. I enjoy every minute that I get to spend with my family, they are everything to me!