My Dear Friend and Cancer ‘Warrior’ Refuses to Fold

Lung Cancer Heroes®, CURE® Lung Cancer Heroes® 2021 Essay Book, Volume 2,

A cancer survivor describes an inspiring close friend who has been dealing with cancer for 13 years and refuses to give up.

Thirteen years ago, my dear friend, Martha, was diagnosed with stage 2 ductal carcinoma. A year ago, she was having a very nutty cough that continued until December. She tried many medication options that the doctors prescribed, but nothing worked. I suggested the idea of getting an X-ray. She got the results, which showed a recurrence of lung cancer with a tumor size of 8.5 cubic centimeters.

That’s where her journey started.

The oncology team told her she had to go through chemotherapy before surgery as well as possibly having her left lung completely removed. Going through hell, she finished chemotherapy at the end of November. During the first week of December when she was getting ready for her surgery, they discovered that the cancer had gone to her brain. Her initial surgery was successfully performed, and the doctors saved half of her left lung. After the surgery, she went seven days without visits in the hospital due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She recovered amazingly, but she struggled a lot during this whole process. There were times when she had to take trips to the emergency department because of the chemotherapy. Even after chemotherapy, she still suffered with the side effects and was weakened by the treatment. On top of this, she had to deal with the pandemic and working around the implications of it.

As a cancer survivor, I wanted to be next to her and comfort her. Luckily, she had her husband by her side, and he helped her with whatever he could. Next, the doctors performed surgery on her brain to remove the tumor.

Skipping forward to today, Martha is walking three miles every day and trying her very best with the oxygen on her back. She is an amazing woman who never gives up. My friend Martha is definitely a warrior. No doubt about it.

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