"I'm feeling just fine everything's been going great," says Betty, who just celebrated her 61st birthday. Betty received her lung cancer diagnosis in June of 2005 after a persistent cough, thought to be sinusitis, would not clear up. A chest x-ray later detected a spot on her lung. Betty never got upset when she learned of her lung cancer diagnosis. Cancer was no stranger to Betty and her family. Her mother passed away from liver cancer and her nephew is currently battling colon cancer. Betty never questions the past or why she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Instead, she has relied on her faith to see her through this and remains focused on her treatment and the future.
Betty had surgery to remove part of her lung and started chemotherapy at another hospital to be close to her daughter, but later returned to Moffitt. She made a personal choice, "I told my daughter I want to go back because they're the best for me."
Betty remembers first discussing her options, including a clinical trial at her initial appointment. Betty did not have any apprehension or anxiety about joining a trial. Both she and her daughter had researched her diagnosis and all available treatment options, including clinical trials. She was comforted knowing that at a research facility there are always multiple options available. Together as a team, Betty decided to begin an aggressive treatment plan.
Betty has a support system that extends beyond her immediate family. She acknowledges everyone plays an important role in her well-being. "It's like family because my oncologist and the staff, the ladies at the desk, the nurses and all, they are just like family to me. I have such a good caring doctor and his handshake and smile keeps me going day by day in every way possible; I really am truly blessed."
Betty enjoys spending quality time with her twin granddaughters. She is appreciative of every moment with them, watching them grow up. She has also been busy traveling to some of her dream vacation spots. She recently joined 15 of her family members for a vacation in Cancun. Betty remains focused on her future and is already planning her next destination, Hawaii. "My future's to live on. I know God's in the plan and that's what I rely on."