Lung Cancer Patient Still Going Strong a Year After Diagnosis Thanks to New Immunotherapy
When Nancy Knighton’s vision started to act up, she had no clue it would lead her to a lung cancer diagnosis. Now, with more than a year of treatment underway, she’s persevering and staying positive with the help of her family and physicians.
It was July 2019 when Nancy, 68, of Berlin, took a trip to the Jefferson Washington Township Hospital Emergency Department in hopes of some answers. After an MRI and a series of tests, a cancerous brain lesion — which had metastasized from her lungs — was unfortunately discovered.
“I was in total disbelief,” explained Nancy “It truly came out of left field. I had always been relatively healthy and attended all of my annual exams.”
That day, Nancy met Drs. Ana María López, Christopher Bariana, and Tamara LaCouture for the first time. She knew that she could trust them from the start, admitting, “if bad things had to happen, I’m glad they happened at the right place, with the right team.”
Over the next few months, Nancy underwent a series of treatments, including radiation therapy for her brain lesion, surgery for the cancerous tumor and lymph nodes in her lungs, and immunotherapy to help target the remaining cancer.
“I was definitely concerned about going through chemotherapy; but, luckily, I didn’t have to,” continued Nancy. “Dr. López took me ‘under her wing,’ and found an amazing new medicine for me to try.”
So far, it’s been doing the trick. Nancy’s lung scans have all come back clear, and her brain lesion has shrunk significantly; she feels much better than at this point last year.
Nancy’s mindset has also improved, as the ups and downs at first were trying, she admits. Her biggest support systems have been her medical team and family — especially her husband, who Nancy says always stays up-to-date on new medicines and findings on her cancer.
Nancy says she’s thankful to have stumbled across such dedicated, skilled, and knowledgeable doctors at a location that’s so close to home.
Now, more than ever, she knows not to take life for granted: “I’m grateful for every day that I have; I try to stay positive. I feel that I can beat this and get better for my family. I have my moments, but even on the darkest days, I know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”