I am a survivor! I was diagnosed with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer in November 2012, but this was not my first bout with cancer. 16 years earlier I had ovarian and uterine cancers simultaneously. Now, four years later, and after many chemotherapy and bevacizamab infusions, radiation to my liver, and a year’s worth of immunotherapy, my scans continue to be stable. I am praising God for the ability to live a normal life, even while knowing my journey is not yet completed.
This detour has given my life new meaning which has caused me to direct much of my energy into patient advocacy and education concerning this stigmatized and far-too-often ignored disease.
I am being treated with nivolumab and continue to be stable, though the tumors have not decreased. My health remains good considering all of this.
Fortunately, I am one of the patients who is living successfully with two tumors. It would be nice to be NED (No Evidence of Disease) like many of my lung cancer friends, but I also believe that “attitude is everything” regarding managing one’s life with lung cancer. I choose to make the best of it day by day, and so far, that’s been working pretty well.
Karen also participated in the 2016 Lung Cancer Awareness Month Kickoff Press Conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Karen has also written a book Trekking Through Cancerland. More information can be found on her Facebook page.