My name is Theresa Emerick. My husband Jon was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2016.
Jon knew something was wrong because he had been battling a persistent cough for several months, but he assumed it was simply his allergies. He went to our family doctor to discuss his lingering cough and an x-ray of his lungs came back clear. Shortly after Jon developed pain in his shoulder area. Despite various treatments like physical therapy and cortisone shots the pain persisted. At this point months had passed.
Our family doctor recommended a MRI. I will never forget the words our doctor said to Jon and I when he was reading the results of the MRI. “You have an abnormality on your scapula”. My initial thought was “What does that mean?”
A biopsy was performed on the mass. We received a call asking us to come to our doctor’s office to review the biopsy results. As we sat in the doctor’s office and waited all I could hear was the clock ticking on the wall in the room. It was as if time had stood still. When our doctor arrived he informed us, “I’m so sorry but it is malignant”. My heart stopped.
Jon was diagnosed with Stage 4 Terminal Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.
Our lives changed on that day, and our family began our struggle with this horrible disease.
We immediately went home and had the hardest discussion of our lives with our son and daughter, who were 14 and 16 years old at the time. We explained that their dad had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Our daughter describes that day as the worst day of her life.
Jon has been fighting this battle every day since his diagnosis. At first the cancer therapies seemed somewhat bearable, but as treatment has progressed it has become steadily harder and harder to endure. Jon has been treated with 5 different chemotherapies as well as immunotherapy drugs and 3 experimental clinical trials as well. These drugs have the ability to hold back the cancer for only so long, usually around 5 months but the cancer has returned each time and the remission we hoped for has not resulted.
The evils of cancer have affected so many of us, whether it is family members, friends or acquaintances.
Please join us in our efforts to combat this disease so that another family may not have to endure the pain, fear, and devastation that we have experienced.
Lung Cancer is the #1 Cancer Killer in the United States.
Know the symptoms for Lung Cancer:
A persistent cough
Hoarseness in Voice
Loss of Appetite