It took the better part of a year of feeling unwell before Tabitha Paccione would receive the shocking news in 2016. She – a young, in shape, and otherwise healthy woman – had lung cancer.
Tabitha’s lung cancer detection involved a “series of little miracles” which included biomarker testing. Tabitha, a 35-year-old working mother of two, had Stage 4 adenocarcinoma, 29 brain metastases, and the ALK+ mutation. She began IV chemotherapy, then oral medication. Followed up with stereotactic brain radiation, Tabitha is currently in remission. Her last three rounds of scans came back clear.
“I have always been confused with the actual difference between remission and NED. It just always seemed so closely entwined. I was under the impression that remission meant that all of the cancer was dormant or “asleep” in a body. My oncologist told me that I am currently in remission. But in the same breath, he also said that he sees no cancer in my body.”
Tabitha was a participant in LCFA’s #LivingWithLungCancer Social Media Takeover on August 1, 2021 as part of World Lung Cancer Day.
Read Tabitha’s story: How I Beat Stage 4 Adenocarcinoma: Tabitha Paccione’s Story
“I now understand how truly complex cancer is. And I am now able to truly appreciate that whether I am stable, in remission, or NED, I am living. And I am so grateful for that opportunity. Those terms don’t actually define me. I am so happy to be alive now. And I am happy to know that one day, that term NED will apply to everyone because of how hard we are fighting for more funding and more research. Hopefully, I will be here to experience that joy. But either way, I am just happy to be here right now in this moment.”– Tabitha Paccione