When you are 85 years old, it is not unusual to have medical issues that need to be addressed. That is why Kathryn Graves was visiting her doctor.
|Cancer throws your life into turmoil. But when Kathryn Graves was told she had lung cancer, the one thing she was certain about was she wanted to be treated at City of Hope. City of Hope is one of the top cancer centers in the world thanks to your support.|
She was being treated for a bladder condition, and her doctor had decided that surgery was necessary. But as he was x-raying Kathryn's chest as part of her pre-op exam, the doctor suddenly noticed a black spot on one of her lungs.
"We thought it was pneumonia," Kathryn recalls. "He put me on drugs and we just figured it would go away.
"But 10 days later, the spot was still there.
"That's when he began to get concerned," she says.
Kathryn's doctor quickly scheduled her for several in-depth tests and exams, including CT and PET scans. It was the PET scan that proved the black spot was a tumor -- possibly lung cancer.
"As soon as we heard 'cancer,'" Kathryn remembers, "my daughter and I agreed I should go to City of Hope."
"Neither of us had ever been to City of Hope," Kathryn continues. "But we had heard all about it.
"We knew City of Hope was up on all the latest research and science. We knew they treat you very well. And everyone we knew who had been there said it was a really pleasant place.
"All of that," she concludes, "made going to City of Hope an easy decision."
When Kathryn came to see us, she met with Dr. Marianna Koczywas, an assistant professor of medical oncology and therapeutics research and a member of City of Hope's lung cancer team. She soon confirmed that Kathryn had non-small-cell lung cancer.
There are two main types of lung cancer, small-cell and non-small-cell. Non-small-cell, Kathryn's type, is more common. If caught early, it is highly treatable. Unfortunately, Dr. Koczywas determined that Kathryn's cancer was already at Stage IV, the most serious level.
"I never realized I had cancer," Kathryn says. "I still don't feel like I do. I never had any lung cancer symptoms."
Today, Kathryn is receiving chemotherapy at City of Hope and, despite the challenges presented by her age and disease, is in excellent spirits.
"City of Hope has lived up to everything I had heard about it," she says. "This is the best possible place I could be right now."
Kathryn Graves and many other adults and children are battling cancer every day at City of Hope. Please continue to support the best possible patient care, backed up by world-leading research, by sending another cancer-fighting gift to City of Hope today. Thank you for your compassion and generosity.