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Maria Quezada Rivera: She's a 1der

After a few months of being married in 2016 I suddenly became ill. I started having a little cough that wouldn't go away, and each day it will get worse. The cough would wake me up during the night and the only thing that will calm the cough was water. In the meantime I use to go to work tired, weak, loss of concentration, losing weight and losing my hair. I started buying medicine out of the counter thinking I was coming up with the flu. Until one night the cough wake me again, but this time I was having chest pain and out of breath.

My husband took me to the Emergency Room where the doctor order a chest x-ray .The x-ray reveal I have pneumonia and a mass in my right lower lung the doctor send me home to bed rest. The next day I saw my physician she saw my x-ray and ask me if I smoke I told her never in my life. Then she tells me I might have cancer and scheduled me an appointment to see a pulmonary specialist for a biopsy. When my physician told me I might have cancer I started to cry and felt like the world stop for a second. After a week I went to the pulmonary specialist appointment and she did the biopsy.

June 28, 2017 at 2:00pm the date and time that changed my life forever the results of my biopsy. The pulmonary specialist came to the room and tells me I have cancer. I couldn't believe this was happening to me. I was a very healthy woman and now I have this terrible disease. I was confused mad at the world saying why me. July 28,2017 I went into surgery half of my right lung was removed. I stay in the hospital for four days. September 2017 I started aggressive chemotherapy were I lost all my hair and started getting sick from the chemotherapy. January 2018 I started aggressive radiation for me it was better than chemotherapy.

A week after finishing radiation my oncologist order a CT Scan to see if I was clear of cancer and everything came clear. I was in remission for ten months. Every 3 months I will go to the Cancer institute to do a CT Scan, but on February 19, 2019 cancer came back but now on my throat. I am fighting cancer for the second time, and I am a ROS1 positive lung cancer (non-small cell) stage four. I am taking oral treatment Xalkori 250mg twice a day for the rest of my life. The treatment has some side effects double vision, feet and hands swollen, depression, anxiety and I also lost some of my weight.

Cancer has shown me something that if I don't take care of myself it will take me out of this world and I am not ready to go yet. I keep myself positive at all times. I shower early so I wouldn’t get sick, I eat a healthy diet and rest when my body feels like taking nap. I try not to stress life is too short. I spend time with friends and loves ones, I go to event that the community has, I sing, dance, laughed everyday. I am a women that believes and have faith in God. I pray every day giving thanks to him for been alive and still been here with my loves one. It has been two years and six month since I was diagnosed with cancer. Thanks to the researchers that came up with Xalkori now my cancer is stable and I am living a happy and wonderful life.

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1 Comment

Lisa Miller
Lisa Miller
Sep 14, 2022

Maria, thank you for sharing your story. i too am stage 4 non small cell lung cancer never smoker and xalkori has given me tremendous hope and results. God bless you and His peace be with you and your family

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