Today I’m reblogging this article from the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation.
I thought of this often in January because January marks one of two very similar anniversaries for me. In Jan. 1982 I had my first surgery for non-smoking lung cancer in my right lung. My 31st cancer free anniversary in my right lung just passed. (October will mark 18 cancer free years in my left lung where in 1995 I had 60% of my left lung removed due to a very aggressive cancer.)
I was VERY young in 1982, had an 18 month old son, had never smoked, nor lived with a smoker or exposed to anything more than casual second-hand smoke (mainly from restaurants, which were not smoke free in those days).
The discovery was a fluke. I had actually taken my mom, disabled sister and young son out shopping (in my 5 speed straight shift Toyota that only I could drive) and as I pulled into the parking lot at the mall had a sharp, painful, breath stealing jab fleet across my collar bone. It literally knocked the breath out of me and paralyzed me.
After it passed, I drove on toward a parking space and then, WHAM! It hit again!
This time I knew I had to get back to “my” side of town and the doctor because I knew we’d be stranded if I became incapacitated. I was the only one who could drive my car!
The doc thought maybe my lung was collapsing. He took x-rays and when he did, that’s when the culprit was found…a tumor on the lower lobe of my right lung. That was in Oct. 1982.
It was observed for 3 months and then surgery was set for Jan. 1982.
After my thoracic surgeon did my surgery, he told my family, we could “thank God we found in when we did”.
Carcinoid cancer is rare. 4 to 5 out of 100,000 people a year are diagnosed with it. Although the lungs is a place it can be found, it’s more common to find it in the gastrointestinal system.
Please take time to read this article about carcinoid cancer and carcinoid syndrome. Visit their website, also. It could help someone you love someday.