By Geri Mangas
My story began exactly 10 years ago today, June 4th, 2007, with a right lower lobectomy. I discovered I had stage 2A non-small cell lung cancer during a routine exam by my cardiologist. At the time, I didn’t know anyone survived lung cancer.
I was diagnosed on a Thursday and had surgery on Monday. Within five days my life was turned upside down and changed forever. I have found strength that I never knew I had. My focus became survival, I had a lot to live for.
In my 10 years of survival, my mother was able to see me regain health, I witnessed both my children get married and experienced the joy of my four beautiful grandchildren. I am blessed.
Each year since 2007, June 4th has marked a milestone for me to celebrate. There have been years that were pretty significant to me, 2 years, 5 years, 7 years, but this is the year I will say I beat cancer and truly believe it. For my 10 year anniversary to fall on National Cancer Survivor’s Day is like icing on the cake.
My advice to someone newly diagnosed is to get a Phone Buddy. Family and friends want to comfort and help but they don’t know what you’re experiencing. Talk to someone that can give you support and hope. It was one of the best things I did.
The Phone Buddy Program is our peer-to-peer program for people with lung cancer. Our Phone Buddy volunteers have either been through or are going through lung cancer treatment and as a result are uniquely qualified to lend support and share information and resources. For many, talking with someone who has been through a similar situation can really make a difference. Click here to learn more!