caught it early and this is what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna take it out and I may or may not have to have chemotherapy. They’ll figure it out, but that’s what we’re going to do.”
With her mom and support system by her side, Denise underwent surgery to remove the left upper lobe of her lung on March 7, 2018 and started chemotherapy the first Tuesday in April. She went through 4 cycles of chemo over the course of 84 days.
In addition to leaning on her support system, Denise found ways to stay motivated and keep going. “I made sure I got out of the house every day and walked. That helped a lot both physically and mentally. I also journaled quite a bit,” she recalled “I had to learn to stay off of Google because too much information isn’t always a good thing. Most importantly, I prayed.”
Once Denise’s chemotherapy cycles ended, she went through additional scans and showed no evidence of disease. She currently gets regular check-in scans to monitor her lungs.
Now, at 58 years old, Denise is a lung cancer survivor who remains motivated from her world travels. “I have to stay healthy for my next trip,” Denise exclaims. She’s also become an advocate for early detection and is sure to constantly remind friends and family that are former smokers about how the billboard and lung cancer screening eligibility quiz saved her life. “I am heartened to see that more individuals in the medical profession are referring more people for scans and that I think is in part due to Saved By The Scan.
The number of great stories that are on SavedByTheScan.org about other individuals’ lung cancer screenings has almost doubled since I put mine on there. More people are getting tested, which is a benefit, and it’s just a matter of getting the information out there and reaching more people.” When asked what she would want others to know about lung cancer and her journey, Denise replied, “There’s nothing to be afraid of. The earlier you can find out, the better, the more options you have–that’s what happened for me. I had more options because I looked at that billboard. I’m just so thankful I saw that billboard.”
Bryana Holcomb is the Editor of BlackDoctor.org and graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Gender and Women’s Studies, an MBA in Management Strategy, and Life Coaching and Nutrition certifications. Connect with Bryana on Instagram, @BryDelicia.