A mother’s stage 4 lung cancer was detected after she had been experiencing symptoms for two years.One doctor blamed stress for her symptoms and recommended therapy.Mom with colon cancer says she was told her symptoms were “just part of pregnancy.”Written by Dailymail.com’s Health Reporter, Emily Joshu Date & Time Updated: September 4, 9:39 AM EDT 2023
A California woman has spoken up about how her oncologists told her to “see a therapist” after they incorrectly diagnosed her worry as the cause of her cancer symptoms.Ashley, 35, first noticed symptoms in 2020, including a painful throat and difficulty swallowing. Her entire body was bloated to the point where she could hardly walk by the time she was diagnosed with lung cancer, the worst form of cancer in the US.”If you send me home, I’m going to die,” Ashley remarked in a TikTok video earlier this month that has nearly 900,000 views.
Ashley claims to have never had major health problems and to have never smoked. She also practiced martial arts and ran marathons frequently. However, increased fatigue was one of her initial signs of illness. She also had trouble chewing her food and frequently choked.My throat felt all wonky,’ I said. Even though it wasn’t a sore throat, I was definitely gulping water.
A slight dryness crept into my throat. Ashley remarked, “I noticed a change in how food felt as it passed down my esophagus.”The medical social worker believed that the stress of the epidemic was to blame for her symptoms.A year later, Ashley presented to urgent care with the same symptoms and complaints, including a cough and a headache, but she was only tested for Covid.The cough got worse over time.My performance at work suffered as a result.
Conversations were being disrupted. I’m a quick talker; I realized I needed to pause for breaths in between sentences,” she admitted.I used several boxes of cough medicine.During this time, I am sure that I spent several hundred dollars on cough syrup.Doctors diagnosed Ashley with weight loss and wheezing and gave her an inhaler to help.
Her medical team chalked it up to stress after learning of her recent divorce.Ashley had a severe, dry cough a few months later. The tumor was lurking below her heart, thus the x-ray of her chest came back normal. As she put it, “it would have shown up on that” if they had done a CT or PET scan for her.She was still losing weight and became a morning vomiter. She ran the half marathon while carrying an inhaler, but it took her a lot longer than usual.While she usually took around two hours, she thinks this event took closer to three and a half.She estimated that she used up a whole inhaler throughout the 13.1 miles she ran.Doctors said it couldn’t be lung cancer because Ashley had recently run a half marathon.
‘”It’s all stress,” they claimed. There’s a pandemic, you’re a healthcare worker going through a divorce, and you have young children. She suggested that I perhaps consult a therapist.At this point, I had a hard time even swallowing. My throat felt like it was full with lumps.Ashley, who was normally very active, had to stop due to an injury and had dropped about 10–15 pounds. Her pneumonia was subsequently confirmed by the doctors.Then, her whole body began to inflate.She explained, “I couldn’t pick up my children, couldn’t put my shoes on.”I was completely immobile.Ashley kept making appointments with doctors and going to the emergency department, but each time the staff turned her away.Her partner insisted she go to the ER and stay there until she was given an explanation.She claimed, “This is what kept me alive.”It was determined that she had stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer when doctors discovered blood clots in her right lung and her leg.The National Cancer Institute (NCI) reports that of all cancers, lung cancer has the highest mortality rate in the United States. It is the second leading cause of cancer-related fatalities, behind only colorectal cancer.Most cases are detected after the disease has progressed to other organs. It’s estimated that 53% of cancer cases have distant metastasis, meaning the disease has spread to many organs.The likelihood of survival is likewise drastically reduced in such circumstances. The five-year survival rate for patients with advanced lung cancer is only 8.2 percent.After five years, the survival rate for those with lung cancer is only 25%.
Small-cell and non-small-cell lung cancers are the most common.Most lung cancers are non-small cell, and this type tends to grow more slowly than others. Symptoms rarely appear until the disease has well advanced.Lung cancer screening is only recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) for those aged 50 to 80 who smoke 20 packs per year or less, or who have quit smoking within the past 15 years.If Ashley hadn’t begun treatment when she did, she likely wouldn’t have lived more than five months.My life depends on the people who took the time to listen to me and love me, thus I am eternally grateful to them.After having a lung removed, Ashley is currently enduring a regimen of chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy that will last for eight months.