Update – See Life Break Through

Hello All ~ It’s been awhile!  Turns out, 3-year-old twins keep you pretty busy!

This blog originated in 2012 as a vehicle for updating family and friends of my diagnosis and treatment. However, it soon morphed into a story of inspiration for other lung cancer patients. My journey was an arduous one, but I was beating nearly insurmountable odds, and this gave hope to both newly diagnosed patients and those undergoing debilitating treatments for this disease. Since receiving my stage 4 diagnosis, I have been in contact with many patients through this blog, and it has become part of my life’s purpose to help others with advice, contacts and emotional support.

H&M Irish

Hope left, Maggie right. We found out at 14 months, to our surprise, that they’re identical – a 0.5% chance. Still almost can’t believe it – except when I see that hair!

I am enormously blessed to be here, to have Miles, my health, and now my girls. And I am constantly reminded of my good fortune as many friends continue to lose their lives to this disease. I mourn them and I mourn for their families. And, quite honestly, it has made me reluctant to post when my life has improved while others are struggling.

But then I remember what it was like to receive that devastating news seven year ago. How the first thing Miles did was look for stage 4 lung cancer survivor stories to inspire me…and how he came up empty.  So it is important to express my gratitude and share my success. Yes, the lasting side effects from my treatments are significant, but I am here.  With this blog, I want to share hope – hope for life after cancer, hope for NED, hope for — dare I say it? – a cure.

This past weekend I went to Chicago for Amgen to share my story for this video (also below) at the annual ASCO (American Society for Clinical Oncology) Conference.

Atlantic Live AmgenAt the event I was honored to share the stage with many amazing survivors and caregivers, as well as Christophe Bourdon, VP and GM of U.S. Oncology Business at Amgen. Christophe and I interviewed each other, and it was inspiring to hear how Amgen works to include the patient perspective in the work they do.

Enjoy the video (278,000 views!!); I am so happy with how it turned out. Hope & Maggie make a few appearances, and I might be biased, but I have to say: they nailed it 😉

As always, I want to give thanks to all of you who participated in my fight.  Team EmBen continues to be the greatest support network a girl could ever ask for.

To all new patients who have been diagnosed and are reading this, I want you to know you are not alone.  Feel free to contact me through the blog – I am always available to you.

Much love. Live in the moment.