Blog: Decoding the Research

Share Your Story: Elizabeth

Published: June 17th, 2014

Many of us have been affected by lung cancer. Over 400 people die from lung cancer each day, and every 2 minutes another person is diagnosed. However, we can unite to make a difference. By sharing our stories, we can support and motivate one another to continue the fight against lung cancer. Here is Elizabeth's story: 

"My mom was an amazing person and the strongest person I knew. The summer of my freshman year she got very ill. She ended up battling a brain tumor. After surgery and radiation she was free and clear! 2 years later she was once again fighting for her life. The brain surgeon found an aneurysm. She quickly had surgery and bounced back. We were so thankful and didn't think one more thing could happen to our family. 

She was happy and healthy at my high school graduation in 2004. That winter she was shoveling snow and hurt her back. After months and months of therapy and pain meds nothing was getting better. I told her maybe she should go have it checked. They found a tumor on her sacrum. They demanded further scans because the doctors didn’t think the tumor started in that spot. Sure enough a few days and a full body scan later we found out she had lung cancer. We were hopeful we could beat this with no problem. We set up an appointment with a chemotherapy doctor and were ready to battle. That is when we got the devastating news. The lung cancer had spread to her sacrum, liver, and her brain. She had already had the maximum amount of radiation to her brain a person could have. They said we could try it but she would become a vegetable more than likely. The next few days we found out worse news, she had only 6 weeks to live. 

We spent the next few weeks planning her funeral at her request. Then we spent 2 weeks at the cancer treatment center hoping they could help. We made the 5 hour drive and stayed for a week. We came home to celebrate my 19th birthday and then went back for another week. That last week she kept falling and hurting herself and she was tired. I told my dad to pack the truck up we were going home. That was a Friday night. The next night I had some friends ask me to go to a derby car race and my mom asked me to go have some fun and promised she would be ok. I got home that night and went to kiss my mom and she just looked at me, she couldn't speak but tried too. I knew then something wasn't right. We called the ambulance and she went to the hospital. We got there and knew she was never coming home. Family gathered in support. The only response we got from her was a head shake to say yes when we asked if she was in pain. I told the nurse to give her anything to ease that pain. My dad and I crawled into bed with her and told her it was ok to go. A few minutes later she left us. it has been 9 years and i miss her more than ever. In those 9 years I have graduated college, got married, and had 2 beautiful children. She wasn't here to celebrate any of it.

Lung Cancer research is important to me because I feel like its not out there enough. Everyone knows what the pink ribbon means but not many even know what color a lung cancer ribbon is. I don't wish what I have experienced on anyone. I want to do my part by volunteering when I can to spread awareness and hopefully one day see a cure!”

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