Jamie Johnson - Lung Cancer
Hello, my name is Jamie Johnson and I am a cancer survivor! My story starts three days before my 50th birthday. I had gone to the local hospital to get something for what I thought was a bad cold. I had an X-ray and they asked me all of the usual questions before I was sent home. I had coughed up some blood and figured that it was from a blood vessel in my throat.
That evening I got a call from the doctor's office telling me that if I coughed up blood again, I was to notify them right away. The chest xray showed that I had a lung mass and the doctor wanted to get a CT, which was scheduled the following week. I said ok and hung up.
That's when my head started spinning. I said to myself, "A mass, what the heck is a mass? What kind of mass? What does that mean?" This all took place over the 4th of July holiday so no one was available to answer my questions. I had to wait for the CT. It was the longest 7 days of my life.
I saw a pulmonary specialist in Sequim, Dr. Rebecca Corley. She arranged for a lung biopsy and I was informed that it was CANCER. After that came a few tears and a million questions. "Why me? How can this be? How long do I have?" Dr. Corley looked me in the eye and said "Jamie, we are going into combat mode and we WILL beat this enemy, this cancer." What followed was a series of doctor appointments, sometimes 2-3 a day. I was getting sicker and more depressed wondering if it was all worth it. I didn't know if I would survive all of the tests, let alone the cancer. I was overwhelmed with friends and family, doctors and nurses, all wanting to help me in whatever way they could. I had a very difficult time accepting all of the attention.
The next step was to see a thoracic surgeon. I chose Dr. Brian Louie at the Swedish Cancer Institute. After more tests, he scheduled surgery to remove the cancer and half of my right lung. At that point, I was afraid of dying from the procedure, let alone the cancer.
Dr. Louie and his staff changed all of that for me. Their kind words reassured me that I was in the best hands at Swedish Medical Center. They were absolutely right! I cannot thank the nurses and hospital staff enough, especially those nurses on 7SW and 12SW. They were amazing! I could not have received better care anywhere in the world. I am living proof that in the right hands, cancer can be beat! I have just passed my second year of being CANCER FREE thanks to all of the wonderful and caring people at Swedish Cancer Institute and hospital. I will always be thankful for their kindness and skills.
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Seattle, WA 98104
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“I want people to know what happened to me so it will encourage them to quit smoking and get tested for lung cancer because it’s so important to find this early.” Patient Stories
Swedish offers smoking-cessation resources including nicotine-replacement therapy, individualized eight-week smoking secessation class, vidoes, brochures and materials. Download a brochure