Year In Review

What a difference a year can make!  Thank you to all of our family, friends, and supporters who have been a part of this journey. To those who come to this site in need of inspiration, this look back at 2013 is for you.  

Much love.  Live in the Moment.   

Emily & Miles

TREATMENT

January 2013

Six months post-diagnosis, Emily completed seven rounds of chemotherapy.  The triple-drug cocktail of Carboplatin, Alimta, and Avastin was toxic but effective, making Emily eligible for surgery.  Miles’ employer, The Garland Company, generously donated to help fund the Young Lung Study, and produced this heartfelt and uplifting video of Emily’s path to surgery.

February 2013

Emily and Miles temporarily relocated to New York City for an innovative, post-chemo treatment of Stage IV Adenocarcinoma at Mt. Sinai Hospital.  On February 8th, Emily successfully underwent an extra-pleural pneumonectomy, removing her entire right lung, pleura, seven nodes, half of her diaphragm, and the pericardial sac surrounding her heart. Two days post-op, Emily was caught dancing in the halls of the hospital.

Chief of Thoracic Surgery, Dr. Raja Flores, shared the great news with Emily – he saw no evidence of disease following her procedure.  She was NED!  Emily told Miles it was the happiest day of her life.

NED with Miles

Emily with Dr. Flores

March – April 2013

After three weeks of recovery, Emily embarked on the final stage of treatment: 28 rounds of high-dose radiation to the empty lung cavity.  It proved to be the most arduous part of the battle, but necessary to knock out any microscopic cancer cells and prevent recurrence.

Victory

MOVING FORWARD

September 2013

Six months and two NED scans later, Emily and Miles confidently moved forward in life with the purchase of their first home – a house with plenty of rooms and a large yard for a big family.

Driving to First House

Driving into the neighborhood on move-in day.

Miles carries Emily over the threshold, a dream come true.

Miles carries Emily over the threshold, a dream come true.

PAYING IT FORWARD

While Emily continued to work diligently at her recovery and continued health – sleep, physical therapy, aerobic and breathing exercises, and an array of integrative therapies – she also made an important, life-altering career shift to undertake an active role in lung cancer advocacy.

First SpeechFirst Speech

Emily sought donations to produce and distribute the most comprehensive patient handbook ever published for newly diagnosed lung cancer patients (free download HERE)

First Television Appearance

Next up was a polished and poignant appearance on the nationally televised Steve Harvey Talk Show to promote the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, awareness of the disease, and to help put a new face on lung cancer and replace the current stigma.

Steve Harvey

First Interview in National Magazine

Emily was highlighted in this article published in The Atlantic in November, ““Why Do Healthy Non-Smokers Get Lung Cancer?”

Speech 1First Performance as a Couple

Emily and Miles took to the stage at the Lung Cancer Foundation’s annual Gala to promote a new study designed to identify a genetic link in lung cancer.  Their heartrending story raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the cause.

The couple was also featured in this 2013 Gala video highlighting patient success stories.

LOOKING AHEAD

Emily will start the New Year off with a bang when she joins Bonnie Addario as a program participant at an International Conference, “Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer” in San Diego.  Stay tuned, and Happy New Year! 😀

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7 thoughts on “Year In Review

  1. my daughter who is 51 and diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer and a rude doctor told her when she was by herself at 10 PM that she had stage 4 lung cancer and there wasn’t much they could do for her so she just might as well go home. That was April 14th of 2011. She is fighting the battle, doing everything to stay alive through her doctor at UCLA. Our family is scattered all over and as a result she has not received the support that she needs. I am her 75 year old mother who is also dealing with a Doctor son who had a stroke and left a business for someone to pick up the pieces. My main concern is my daughter and somehow getting some friendships and financial support so that she is not alone. I just do not know how to go about it, beings that I am still working to keep my sons medical clinic in operation so that I can obtain some funds for my daughter, who is a single parent, who’s daughter is in San Francisco at a new job and not able to leave her job and take care of her mother for physical reasons of her own.

    It was wonderful that this young girl was able to change something bad into something good by fighting the battle in every way she can. I pray that someone out there might have some suggestions as ways to get help for my daughter Lori. Fifty one is still young and I feel that other medical things should be eligible for her as they are for young piople

    please reply

  2. I went to Country Day with Miles and Emily and I have been following your blog since the beginning. Your story has touched me in so many ways. Yesterday I took my dad to a pulmonary specialist because he’s had a cough for the past 2 months. We learned from the CT result he has a partially collapsed lung and a mass/tumor likely causing it. The past 24 hours have been horrific for our family. Next week my dad will have a bronchoscope and PET scan and we will develop a plan for this horrible disease. I’m so glad for your site and also the patient handbook you shared. My email is ivonsmith@gmail.com if you have any other information to share. So thrilled for you and will be looking to you as an example of strength and courage.

  3. Emily, you inspire me.

    Today, like many days over the past year, I’ve been caught up in little things, stressing about work stuff, sleep deprived from my nights shared with my baby… and then I check my email and get an update on your progress. Your smile and excitement for life is absolutely contagious. You seem to live with such amazing grace and I am ALWAYS reminded that I get to choose to live with intention, to savor the moment… It brings tears to my eyes every single time it happens. And it makes a huge difference in my life.

    I just want to say thank you! Happy 2014 to you and yours!

  4. Fabulous, fabulous news!! We will see you at the international conference in January. Neil is participating on two panels on Monday.

    Evy’s annual new year resolution is always the same:
    F.A.M.E = fantasize. accessorize. moisturize. exercise.

    Here’s to HEALTH!! xoxox

  5. Looks like things are going great. Hopefully, they stay that way and after a while these last few months seem like a strange dream. Good luck. We’re super happy for you.

  6. Inspired. What a year. Our lives are forever better by knowing and learning from you. Happy New Year and to the best and healthiest 2014 and beyond to us all.

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