In 2021, I started having pain in my left leg. I visited my family doctor, and at first we thought it might be a deep vein thrombosis. When we ruled that out, I saw a vascular doctor in case it might be varicose veins. That doctor had me get an MRI, and after those results came back, I had to get a biopsy. That’s when the doctors confirmed that I had a stage IV tumor in my leg.
I am 40 years old and currently live in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Although I work as a case manager for an insurance company now, I was previously employed as a full-time nurse. I have always been a busy person with plenty on my plate, so when I started feeling tired and losing weight, I thought it was caused by the stress of my daily routine.
It wasn’t until July 2017 that I couldn’t ignore my symptoms any longer. When I developed a migraine and felt a tremor in my arm and eye, I knew I was about to lose consciousness. I immediately called 911.
Sometimes I think that my timing was just incredible. If I had been diagnosed with cancer a few years earlier, my prognosis would have looked much different than it does today—especially if I had not gone to Fox Chase!
I was only 40 when I was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. I went to my primary care doctor, who sent me for a CT scan. When he got the results, he told me to find an oncologist because it was cancer. A few years earlier I had a breast lump removed at Fox Chase, so that is where I knew I should go.
Joan Lautenbacher was 55 and enjoying a rewarding career in educational administration for the State of New Jersey when she was shocked to learn she had lung cancer, a diagnosis she received from her primary care doctor after she had trouble swallowing. She took the advice of a good friend and sought treatment at Fox Chase Cancer Center. There, Joan underwent chemotherapy and radiation before having surgery to remove the tumor. A month later, she learned that the treatment had been a success. "Though some members of my original lung team have left Fox Chase since I became a patient, I feel as confident as ever in the care they provide me," she said. "Once I found my way to where I had the best opportunities, I wanted to stay there and follow it through. For me, that place was Fox Chase."