Every once in a while something happens that kind of rocks your world, but not in a good way. My mom's diagnosis with lung cancer last summer was that "something" for me. Over the course of several months, I flew to Southern California to be by her side. I slept in hospital chair beds as she underwent two separate surgeries that eventually resulted in removing a portion of her lung. When she started chemo, I tried to be there for as many treatments as I could just to keep her company and entertain her with my charming personality. heh-heh
What I have learned about lung cancer over the past year is astounding. It is the most common cancer worldwide. Most often by the time it's detected, it has advanced and spread to other parts of the body. There are two types of lung cancer: small cell (the kind that is typically associated with smoking), and non-small cell (more common, not necessarily attributed to smoking, and grows and spreads throughout the body more slowly than small cell).
The good news is that my mom's cancer was detected at an early stage and was classified as non-small cell. Although we don't yet know if the course of action worked, we are hopeful that between early detection, surgeries and treatments, she will beat this.
What is surprising is that funding and research advances have not caught up with other forms of cancer.
It's time to change that, which is why my mom and I are participating in the Berkeley Walk for Lung Cancer on September 21, hosted by the Lung Cancer Alliance (http://www.lungcanceralliance.org/).
We are walking to raise awareness. We are walking for all of the people who are being diagnosed today, tomorrow and the next day. We are walking because my mom is still here, and is still fighting, and because she can.
Your support in the form of a donation for Team Emm (that's us!) is greatly appreciated.