My sweet angel

My sweet angel

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Profiles in Lung Cancer - Day 11: Kelly Shannon, "We need to show the world who we are"

Nearly 4 years ago, Kelly Shannon was diagnosed with Stage 4 non-small cell adenocarcinoma with the KRAS mutation (more commonly associated with people who have smoked). Kelly was a 35 year old non-smoker when she was diagnosed in January 2012, and since then has endured numerous types of treatments from traditional chemo to 2 separate clinical trials.  There aren't many options for someone with the KRAS mutation, as there are with and EGFR or ROS-1 mutations.  She is now a 39 year old single mother raising two children, ages 5 and 7, while jumping from treatment to treatment in order to buy time for a KRAS treatment to come out.

She is currently on traditional chemo that is keeping her tumors stable at the moment. Her longest treatment lasted 1 1/2 years and was a clinical trial where she had to travel from her home in Rochester, NY to Memorial-Sloan Kettering in NYC. It was a very promising clinical trial for Kelly, and it wasn't expected to keep her tumors stable for as long as it did. The doctors don't know why that particular drug worked so well for Kelly. She was the last one on the trial for months, until it eventually stopped working for her, and the tumors had spread too much to allow her to continue. We need more clinical trials like this one, especially for people with the KRAS mutation. While it's been nice not having to travel for treatment, Kelly has hopes that another promising clinical trial will become available for her when it is needed. She will do anything to fight this disease.

A typical day for Kelly consists of waking up very early in the craziness of the morning to get her children off to school.  Then, not unlike myself, lays back down to rest.  She rests a lot, but tries to maintain a balance so she can still function and get everything she needs to get done and have time to spend with her kids.  She feels lung cancer has changed her perspective on life. It's humbling. It has made her appreciate the little things. Yet it is very difficult to function as single mom, go through chemotherapy, and deal with the unknown of her future. Having a mommy with cancer is all her kids have ever known, since they were 1 and 3 when she was diagnosed.  That saddens Kelly, but that's the way life is for them.  She wishes it were different, but she tries to give her boys a life full of as much normalcy, fun, and love as possible. Though she has her days where she breaks down in tears as well.

Something others may not know about Kelly is she is a t.v. addict.  She will binge watch t.v., especially during the cycle of chemotherapy when she's feeling most fatigued. It's her break from reality and helps her get through.  She loves the really stupid reality shows.  I shared with her my love for the ID channel, which is my own escape.  I realize we have a lot in common.

I asked Kelly what she wanted people to know about lung cancer.  Her response was the same as I hear from every person who has lung cancer.  Anyone with lungs can get lung cancer.  She was misdiagnosed with pneumonia for 6 months, because her doctors never considered that the "healthy, never-smoked, 35 year-old" was at risk for lung cancer.  She also wants people to stop the stigma associating lung cancer and smoking.  Not only does it hurt all lung cancer funding, but especially hers since her mutation is most commonly associated with smokers.  She feels no one deserves lung cancer, smoker or not.  We don't blame people for getting other cancers, why blame people with lung cancer?

Kelly's hope stays strong based on the new advancements that are being made in the field of lung cancer research. Since her diagnosis nearly 4 years ago, she's seen a lot of progress in the amount of treatments available, and she appreciates the persistence of advocates that are working hard to increase awareness.  She is trying to buy time for the next big thing in lung cancer to save her.  Hope for her also comes with the support she receives from family, friends, and even strangers. Whether it be in the form of meals, help with her children, financial donations, or just someone to talk to.


Kelly feels that if others could see the real faces of lung cancer, who we are, more than what has been promoted in the mainstream media, we could get more funding.  We need to show the world who we are.


Kelly Shannon pictured above with her two sons

Yesterday's post was by Tori Tomalia at www.lil-lytnin.blogspot.com about Brendon Stiles, MD.
Tomorrow's post will be Craig Blower's blog at www.craigblower.wordpress.com about Karen Loss.

All profiles can be found the day after posting on the #LCSM Chat blog at http://lcsmchat.com/  A list of links to all the profiles on the original bloggers' pages can be found on the #LCSM Chat site on the Profiles for Lung Cancer Page.

11 comments:

  1. We need so much more research on lung cancer. It is a horrible disease for anyone to endure. People think it's a smokers disease. Wrong. You do not have to smoke to get lung cancer. Research is at the Bottom and we need Much More Awareness to lung cancer , to get the research we so desperately need . If you have lungs, you can get lung cancer!

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  2. I think we need research on metastatic cancer in general. We might share many similar gene mutation. I can hope some days. Other days I drag along. But if Kelly can, I can. I am living with MBC.

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    1. Totally agree Mary. Cancer is cancer and it's never a "good cancer".

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  3. I was glad to see this. My best friend and mother of my two kids is fighting lung cancer. She never smoke in her life. I don't understand why isn't there move information about this. Often I feel like we are,all alone and there's no one out there to even understand.

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    1. You're not alone. There is a whole world of us out there. It's just finding us. Look me up on Facebook and friend me and I'll introduce you and your wife to so many other inspirational survivors. Thank you for your kind words.

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  4. I was glad to see this. My best friend and mother of my two kids is fighting lung cancer. She never smoke in her life. I don't understand why isn't there move information about this. Often I feel like we are,all alone and there's no one out there to even understand.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was glad to see this. My best friend and mother of my two kids is fighting lung cancer. She never smoke in her life. I don't understand why isn't there move information about this. Often I feel like we are,all alone and there's no one out there to even understand.

    ReplyDelete
  6. How i survived lungs cancer.
    I was diagnosed of lung cancer in 2011 and the doctor (oncologist), because i was a chronic smoker who started smoking from 16 and told me i had just two years to live that my lungs had been damaged, that even on the best medication i still had two years. I needed help because i was scared to die and i did chemotherapy, radiotherapy and it was unable to treat or help me. I coughed nearly every minute. In my death clock counting just 6 months remaining, if you knew me then i was good as dead because the cancer had eaten me up. My wife was fortunate enough to contact doctor Amber, a herbal doctor who came and treated me in our house using his medicine and that is how i was saved (where western medicine and methods failed), that was the greatest decision my wife had taken aside marrying me. Today i am totally fine without any symptoms of cancer, it was all confirmed by my oncologist that i am clean. Do not die in silence or rely only on western medicine herbal medicine is very effective. You can contact the doctor on (drambermurray@gmail.com) for more information about his treatment.

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  7. I made a promise to tell my testimony all over the globe once my man come back to me and my husband came just as Great Mother told me when she helped me. I made the right choice to have contacted Great Mother the great spell caster who is capable of helping you solve your problems. My man left me to suffer and i never believed that he will come back to me again but when i contacted Great Mother she assured me that my man will come again. She gave me some list of items to buy but i could not get them in my country and so i sent her the money and she bought the items and prepared the perfect love spell. My husband ran back to me in 3 days time begging for forgiveness THIS IS SO REAL AND GENUINE. NO SCAMS. I was so surprise that the spell worked just as she told me. This is so amazing and i want you to believe because Great Mother is so real and i urge you contact her now on her email so that she can also help you the way she helped me. Her email is Greatmotherofsolutiontemple@yahoo.com and you can also contact her with her phone number on whats app +2348078359876 you can also check and contact her on
    Greatmotherofpowers.blogspot.com
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    I made a promise to tell my testimony all over the globe once my man come back to me and my husband came just as Great Mother told me when she helped me. I made the right choice to have contacted Great Mother the great spell caster who is capable of helping you solve your problems. My man left me to suffer and i never believed that he will come back to me again but when i contacted Great Mother she assured me that my man will come again. She gave me some list of items to buy but i could not get them in my country and so i sent her the money and she bought the items and prepared the perfect love spell. My husband ran back to me in 3 days time begging for forgiveness THIS IS SO REAL AND GENUINE. NO SCAMS. I was so surprise that the spell worked just as she told me. This is so amazing and i want you to believe because Great Mother is so real and i urge you contact her now on her email so that she can also help you the way she helped me. Her email is Greatmotherofsolutiontemple@yahoo.com and you can also contact her with her phone number on whats app +2348078359876 you can also check and contact her on
    Greatmotherofpowers.blogspot.com
    Greatmotherofsolution.blogspot.com

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  8. As a sign of gratitude for how my wife was saved from CANCER, i decided to reach out to those still suffering from this.
    My wife suffered cancer in the year 2013 and it was really tough and heartbreaking for me because she was my all and the symptoms were terrible, she always complain of abnormal vaginal bleeding, and she always have pain during sexual intercourse. . we tried various therapies prescribed by our neurologist but none could cure her. I searched for a cure and i saw a testimony by someone who was cured and so many other with similar body problem, and he left the contact of the doctor who had the cure to cancer . I never imagined cancer. has a natural cure not until i contacted him and he assured me my wife will be fine. I got the herbal medication he recommended and my wife used it and in one months time she was fully okay even up till this moment she is so full of life. cancer. has a cure and it is a herbal cure contact the doctor for more info on drwilliams098675@gmail.com on how to get the medication. Thanks for reading my testimony.

    ReplyDelete