Jamie Johnson - Lung Cancer
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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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