Struggling in the heat and humidity of the summer of 2016, Terri Conneran believed that her asthma was uncontrolled. In August that year, her physician assistant prescribed her a preventive inhaler.

That autumn brought the excuse of allergies, plus time for the new inhaler to take effect.

By Christmas 2016, nasal congestion, and a heavy feeling chest with shortness of breath it was time to again see her doctor. Hearing fluid in her lungs, an x-ray showed a mass with fluid. Pneumonia was diagnosed, a return appointment was scheduled for two weeks later.

In the first week of 2017, the wheezing and congestion worsened. Already concerned about the mass shown in the x-ray, a CT scan was ordered. Terri scheduled an appointment with a pulmonologist.

Based on the initial CT results, the pulmonologist confidently stated this is unlikely cancer. To be certain, a PET plus biopsy was necessary.

Late in the evening of the following Friday, the pulmonologist called with the results. The diagnosis: non-small cell lung cancer

To think of the call, Terri recalls that it still feels surreal hearing those words of the pulmonologist. She exactly remembers where she sitting as I wrote the words he doctor spoke on the paper in front of her.

The call forever changed her life – It would be the beginning of her journey as a cancer patient and patient advocate.