It's been almost five years since my then 12-year old daughter came running down the stairs in tears to tell me one of her best friend's mother had just been diagnosed with lung cancer. Carolyn was just 44 years old, had never smoked and now had Stage 3b lung cancer. She was not only Mom to my daughter's friend, age 12, but also two little boys, then ages 9 and 5. The shock rippled through our group of "Mom Friends." How could this be happening???
The prognosis was very grim. Despite valiant efforts to stem the tide of the disease, it took my friend and the Mother of these very beautiful children in just seven months. The last day before she entered the hospital for the final time, she walked the entire two miles of our community's Fourth of July parade with her sons.
If only the cough that just wouldn't go away had been diagnosed earlier, Carolyn might still be with us today. My hope is for earlier detection and better knowledge about why lung cancer is striking women in such high numbers.