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Review for Neuroendocrine Cancer Awareness Network Inc, Fort Mill, SC, USA

Rating: 5 stars   Featured Review

My name is Alex, and I am 25 years old. I was married 11-09-2019, turned 25 11-22-2019, I was admitted to the hospital 11-26-2019 for Pneumonia, and then diagnosed with a Neuroendocrine Tumor of the left lung 12-02-2019. It was a whirlwind of a month for me. Upon my diagnosis I was told that my Carcinoid tumor (The term the doctor used when diagnosing me and explaining the situation) was "no big deal, and that as far as cancer is concerned this is a good and easy one to get!" I was not given any information further about my condition. All I knew was that I was going to have to have surgery to take the tumor out, and that a pulmonologist office would be in touch with me for some breathing tests. I was released from the hospital 02-05-2019. Due to my severe pneumonia (that turns out was caused by the tumor blockage) I had to be on heavy antibiotics and wait for it to clear up before I could go any further with my care. (they suggested 2-3 weeks before it would be cleared enough to do any type of tests) About a week after being released from the hospital, I decided to do some research. Yes, I did what everyone tells you not to do, I Googled!! I was horrified!! All I could find at first was older information about Carcinoid tumors that pretty much told me I was going to die. Upon further research (after I had a small mental breakdown) I was lead to NCAN. After realizing that Carcinoid is Neuroendocrine, I was able to get some real information. NCAN has been a blessing. NCAN and my support group on Facebook (loveable lungnoids, which includes members of NCAN) have helped me in so many different ways. I was able to find information, support, answers, and best of all a community. Honestly I feel lucky to have this cancer because of the community it brought me to. I only hope that other type cancer patients have the same type of support and resources! I honestly can not imagine what my diagnosis and my journey would be like if it wasn't for them. I had my surgery to remove my tumor 01-23-2020. My surgeon was unsure at the time of surgery if we were going to do a lobectomy or a pneumonectomy. I went into surgery unsure of if I would come out missing part of my lung or all of my lung. Turns out the tumor was larger than they realized and yes they did have to do a pneumonectomy and remove my entire left lung along with 16 lymph nodes. This was done by a thoracotomy, unfortunately VATS or other robotic surgery was not an option for me. NCAN was a great resource leading up to surgery. It gave me information on what I needed to know before, during, and after. It made me aware of the dangers of carcinoid crisis, and what I needed to do to make sure my doctor knew about this and was prepared to act in the event it happened. NCAN also helped me in knowing what type of tests and scans I needed and exactly what questions to ask my surgical and care team. NCAN also lead me to a NET specialist locally that I was able to go see (after surgery) and add to my care team! I am now NED, and NCAN still continues to be a big resource in my life. I am now looking at my life post NET and I still feel lost sometimes. Maryann, the founder, is amazing. Maryann connected me to her daughter Tricia who was able to talk with me about some of my post NET life concerns. It was one of the best conversations I have had in a while. I am so grateful to both of them for the amount of time they took with me and the information and advice they were able to give. They honestly care about the members of the NET community! My experience with NCAN has been a life altering and life saving experience. I am not kidding. It seriously helped me through the toughest time of my life, and continues to help me. I know that this NET battle is a life long battle, and I also know that NCAN is going to be there for me and all NET patients through it all! I am proud to be a Zebra!
I attached some pictures. The first picture is my mom and I day of surgery, the second is me the day I moved from the ICU, third is me walking the halls of the hospital (about 8 days from surgery), and the last is me 11 weeks post surgery!

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