Jeanne Gallant

Hi, I am Jeanne and I live in New Brunswick. I am a wife and mom of two grown children. I am also a retired RN and yes, nurses know too much, it’s terrifying.

I thought I was having a heart attack. After visiting the Emergency Department I was told it was only severe gastric distress. I was home in 3 hours.

I have an awesome GP and he decided to send me for a precautionary CT scan. I wasn’t worried, it showed “shadows, probably scar tissue”, and we’ll check it in a year. I still wasn’t worried, never gave it another thought.

May 6, 2022, one year later, I hear “it has grown, it has density, and it has legs! It has several indicators that it is lung cancer”. That took my breath away!

“But Jeanne, it is a very early stage, tiny, only 9mm. It’s in a great spot to be removed. The Lung Cancer Triage Group will contact you soon”.

That name, Lung Cancer Triage Group hit me hard despite my disbelief. That made it real!

My first questions were, how do I tell….. My husband?... My kids?.... My mom?

My family and friends immediately rallied around me, cried with me those first few days and kept me occupied while waiting for tests and appointments. Finally I saw the surgeon to hear my results!

He said “it’s really small to biopsy and your PET scan was negative, but certain cancers don’t show until much bigger”.

He gave me three choices:

1. Monitor every 6 months

2. Attempt a biopsy and then decide

3. A wedge resection and send to lab mid surgery and then either close or do a lobectomy.

After much soul searching, praying, many varied opinions and a good chat with a retired doctor friend, I chose to have surgery.

August 24, 2022 I had my right middle lobe removed for Adenocarcinoma, Stage 1B 6mm node. I went from saying “I might have lung cancer to I had lung cancer”. It’s such a relief to know it’s gone.

Even before the surgery, I had other questions! Why? Not why me? Because why not me ? But why Lung Cancer?

After investigating several potential reasons, we decided to test our home for Radon. Our daily average was 375 well above the varied safe limits of 200, 100, or as low as possible. We had remediation done and now our level is below 50.

Another question was “Why was I so lucky to be found at Stage 1?

I’ve just retired and my thought was to volunteer for “something”. Lung Cancer has defined that goal! I’ve started peer to peer training. I put a team in the “Give A Breath 5K “and I tell everyone about Radon.

It’s a new beginning. I’m going to do my best to be a good advocate. Much will be outside my comfort zone, but, so is lung cancer.