Somewhere around August 2014 I began to notice that my appetite dropped off and I began losing weight. Since I had a history of digestive problems, I suspected that’s where the problem was. By the middle of December I had lost 18 pounds and developed a dry cough. My primary care doctor referred me to a gastrointestinal specialist and ordered a CT scan of my chest and abdomen. To my great surprise the chest scan revealed a large mass on my upper left lung.
My first call was to my brother Paul and in talking with him about this news. I discovered I wasn’t experiencing any fear. I realized that instead of focusing on possible outcomes, I wanted to know what to do in the present. He called his friend, a physician at Boston Medical Center and the next day I had an appointment in the Center for Thoracic Oncology there.
Things moved fast and on January 16th 2015, after many tests, I underwent surgery to remove the 7 cm tumor from my lungs. The surgery was successful and PET scans since then show me to be cancer free. I did undergo a course of adjuvant chemotherapy to help prevent re-occurrence of the disease.
Now, one year later, I remain cancer free and very grateful for all the care and support I received from the medical staff and my friends and family. It proves that even at my age, 76, a diagnosis of lung cancer is not a death sentence.