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Words from Our Patients

Faith, Family and the Right Treatment Team

Joan, Lung Cancer Patient

When Joan's grandson reminds her of his upcoming college graduation, he says, “Pookie-Poo, you gotta be there.” That was the plan.

That dream seemed crushed, when after a routine checkup in summer 2017, Joan’s doctor sent her for an X-ray. The next day, he called her into the office to tell her she had lung cancer. “When he gave me that diagnosis, I thought my life was over,” she explains, adding, “But I trusted that God had a plan.”

Her son, a resident of Montgomery County, also had a plan – and insisted she get her treatment at Einstein. As soon as she met her treatment team, she knew she was in the right place. “My oncologist, and radiation oncologist, were just fantastic,” says Joan. “My doctor explained every procedure and always gave me choices,” she says.

One of those choices involved her medication. “I started with a chemotherapy treatment that made me sick,” explains Joan. “My doctor asked if I’d try a newly approved drug. I did. I didn’t get sick. I went through chemo like there was nothing wrong with me.” Next, however, Joan’s daily, aggressive radiation treatment proved more challenging. “I got burned. I lost my hair. Sometimes I just asked myself if it was worth it,” says Joan. Her doctors and nurses provided the encouragement she needed to continue.

With their support – and her family beside her, she completed her treatment – right before Thanksgiving 2017. “At your last treatment, you ring a bell,” explains Joan, adding, “When I rang it, I knew I was done.”

Today, Joan, now in remission, isn’t worried about cancer. She’s simply looking forward to her seeing her grandson in his cap and gown. There’s no doubt that he’ll be scanning the crowd, looking for his Pookie-Poo.

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