Saturday, March 28, 2009
Desperately Seeking a Cure For Lung Cancer
via The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation by sheila on 3/23/09
Meet Elyse Aussenberg, attorney by vocation, athlete by avocation and Lung Cancer patient – not by choice. Either way you see it, here’s her story of optimism and hope for ordering Lung Cancer out of her life – and the life of everyone else.
At 52, Elyse Aussenberg was a poster girl for healthy living. She loved whole grains, salmon and leafy greens; practiced yoga, hit the gym religiously, and had a travel passport to exotic places across the globe. She lived life passionately, committed to her profession as an attorney and helping others through difficult family law matters, and shared a love for her four dachshunds with her husband, John, and son, Brent.
In spring of 2008, the Atlanta resident refused to ignore a persistent cough. As she searched for help, the internists she consulted diagnosed a mold allergy, prescribed antibiotics for pneumonia and told her to drink Robitussin three times a day.
But, Elyse knew her body. She knew something was seriously wrong.
When this dedicated athlete collapsed following a bike ride, she refused to stay knocked down. After visiting doctor after doctor, she finally found an internist who ordered a CT scan.
On May 27, 2008, Elyse was diagnosed with “Bronchial Alveolar Carcinoma.” Translated: Lung Cancer.
“My story is not a pleasant one,” says Elyse, who recently joined the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation as our newest board member. “It is thankfully ongoing, but I have suffered greatly from not only the lack of early detection of the disease, but a conspicuous lack of knowledge about Lung Cancer.”
Elyse was forced by circumstances to smarten up about Lung Cancer and took it on like her fiercest legal challenge. In many ways, she feels like she needed a degree in cancer treatment to take on her own Lung Cancer case.
Now, she’s determined to take her own journey through cancer as the guiding force to help others through this troubled situation. For patients who aren’t Lung Cancer gurus, (and who is?) Elyse hopes to help make the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation the top crusader to end this killer cancer.
So how does Elyse stay so positive? She says she keeps on keepin’ on in large part because her friends have rallied to her side, and because together they are taking on Lung Cancer like they would any major challenge that they refuse to let shake their worlds.
“I have endured radiation, chemotherapy, the removal of a lung, targeted therapy, traveled to a major cancer center for help and have still not been “cured,” says Elyse. “I have and continue to spend many hours educating myself on this disease and treatment options. I enjoy bits and pieces of life in between doctor visits, rehab and resting, but I am primarily consumed with the act of staying alive.”
Elyse’s friends have formed a “Team Dream 2010,” and plan to bike across the United States to raise awareness and funds for Lung Cancer research: “3,415 miles, 10 bikes, 7 weeks and 2 oceans, 1 cure,” is how they are billing the feat they currently are training for.
In the words of Elyse’s dream team, who already has raised more than $20,000: “We’re committed to KILLING Lung Cancer.”
With doctors recently saying that all signs of cancer are gone from her body, Elyse is optimistic. She’s also more committed than ever to increase the awareness of Lung Cancer and get the information others need to know about Lung Cancer into the hands of folks who may be unknowing patients.
“I am filled with hope,” says Elyse.
Visit Elyse’s Big Adventure Blog, now in the “Our Survivors” section.
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