A suspicious spot was found on a chest x-ray Annamarie had in 2010. It was supposed to be a routine screening before an elective surgery procedure, but it led to a CT scan with more bad news. On Mother’s Day, she received a call from her doctor—there was a cancerous tumor in her lung.
“I’ll never forget that day,” Annamarie said. “When your doctor calls you on a Sunday, you know it’s not good. It sure ruined Mother’s Day.”
Many more tests followed, and then there was surgery to remove the tumor and part of her lung. “There was no time to think about it. It all went so fast.” Having COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) made Annamarie’s year-long recovery more arduous.
Then, in 2014, Annamarie was hospitalized due to very low oxygen levels. Her health care team thought the cancer had returned. “I had pneumonia and blood clots in my legs, but I never gave up hope,” said Annamarie. Fortunately, after numerous tests, no cancer was found. “We got the final test results from my oncologist on Christmas Eve. What a great present that was!”
Throughout her ordeal, Annamarie found a little sign that has helped her a lot. It said: “You never know how strong you are until strong is your only choice.”
Recently, Annamarie started attending Cancer Support Community’s lung cancer support group. “No one can understand your cancer journey, but it helps to be around others who have the same issues,” she said of the monthly meetings.
Annamarie had attended yoga classes with our instructor Abby in the past, and when the COVID-19 pandemic required social distancing, she decided to try the virtual programs at Cancer Support Community. “It has helped a lot to be able to participate,” she noted. “With my age and health concerns related to the virus, I can’t go out. COVID is a lung disease and I already have compromised lungs, so it’s a real concern.”
“The free virtual programs have been a Godsend for my husband and me,” Annamarie offered. “We’re both extremely appreciative that they’re being offered.”
Your payroll deduction contributions help provide support for our no-cost programming that benefits people impacted by cancer like Annamarie!