It was game 5 of the 2004 championship series, the Red Sox versus the Yankees. I remember watching the game with my husband, our three boys asleep in bed. We were on the edge of our seats. It was tied in the eighth inning. At around 9 o'clock the phone rang, and I answered it. I don't remember anything else about that night, but that phone call will be etched in my mind forever: It was my doctor calling to tell me I had lung cancer.
A few months earlier, I had strained my back lifting my youngest son. During the routine examination, my doctor discovered a nodule on my left lung. He ordered a CT scan to check it out but assured me I had nothing to worry about, because I was healthy and even though I'd smoked casually as a young adult, I had virtually no risk factors.
I was shocked by the news, and of course I wanted to treat the cancer aggressively; I wanted my life back. I wanted to be with my family. And so I decided to have surgery that would remove half of my left lung. I also underwent four debilitating rounds of chemotherapy.
But when the cancer resurfaced in both lungs 2 years later and was diagnosed as stage 4, I knew that more treatment would diminish my quality of life, not save it..