Published: Apr. 9, 2008
Updated: Sept. 16, 2010
In October 2007, I went for a routine physical to see Amy Erickson, DO, at Duke Medicine at Brier Creek. She was new to the office, and I was a new patient for her.
For some time, I had had a cough, and then I started experiencing shortness of breath and pain in my right side when I lay on it. During the course of the physical, I relayed all that to Dr. Erickson. She heard me, and instead of giving me an antibiotic and an inhaler and sending me home with instructions to call back in two weeks, she sent me immediately for a chest x-ray.
When she saw something on the x-ray, a CT scan was scheduled, and after that I had appointments with a surgeon and an oncologist. All within a matter of days, Dr. Erickson had found that I, a 56-year-old woman who had never smoked, had lung cancer. Shocked is not enough to describe how I felt.
It's six months later and I am doing better than I ever thought that I would. My oncologist, Yuri Fesko, MD, got me into a trial at Duke for non-smokers with lung cancer. I have one more session of chemotherapy to go, and the trial drug seems to be working well.
I am forever grateful to Dr. Erickson for being alert to my symptoms and for getting me on the right track as fast as she did. I feel like she may have saved my life.