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Kicking Cancer's __s!

Dusty Donaldson

When Terri Conneran was first diagnosed with lung cancer, she focused on kicking cancer’s ass.

That was before discovering she had the KRAS (pronounced KAY-ras) biomarker.

Now, Terri wants to kick cancer’s KRAS.

It began with having trouble breathing

It all started in 2017, when she began having trouble breathing. Lung cancer was not on her radar.

“I had asthma for a number of years,” she says. A difficult summer turned into a challenging autumn, then winter—with no relief. “We blamed allergies and changed medications, but nothing really seemed to help. It became harder and harder to breathe. By Christmas, I just felt lousy. My husband finally said, ‘Enough is enough.’ So, I went to the doctor expecting to get an antibiotic for an upper respiratory or sinus infection.”

However, when the doctor heard fluid in Terri’s lungs, she ordered imaging and discovered a mass. A biopsy ultimately confirmed she had non-small cell lung cancer. The very next morning, Terri experienced what felt like a heart attack. She reasoned within herself and attributed the classic warning signs as stress brought on by the shock of her cancer diagnosis.

“What happened was, after the biopsy, my lung had filled up with fluid and collapsed,” she explains.

They kept Terri in the hospital to drain the fluid around her lung and stage her cancer. She was initially diagnosed at Stage III. Her care team planned to start her on chemotherapy, then surgically remove one lobe of her left lung.