Welcome to the November 6th Edition of Lung Cancer Awareness Month 2015. Trying to understand what is going on in November – read November 1st blog post.
I am happy to connect you all with fellow lung cancer survivor Jessica Steinberg (@chemosabemomma)
If you are out and about in the Portland area you might encounter this dynamic woman on the Portland State University campus where she is working towards a second masters degree, this time in Social Work. If you happen to be just South of town, chances are good you’ll bump into her while in single parent mode. Parenting two boys, 10 and 13 who’d most likely describe mom as embarrassing, as she is juggling 16 items, 4 of which she forgot to write down and may likely be forgotten. If you are anything like me, you see Jessica at Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health and Science University where she checks in with her much liked Medical Oncologist while waiting for her next cycle of of her ALK+ cancer controlling targeted therapy pills. Alectinib, slated for FDA approval, has been successfully managing her cancer burden since February 2014.
Jessica is no stranger to other forms of cancer treatment for her Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). After her lobectomy in 2011 uncovered that she had advanced NSCLC, she has subjected herself to various chemotherapy agents, radiation, whole brain radiation, and targeted therapy to combat the cancer.
In her own words, “Cancer picked the wrong bitch!”. Her bold and daring personality teamed up with her natual ability to entertain makes her a successful advocate for the Lung Cancer Community. As a Caring Ambasadors active board member, she courageously speaks at the Oregon State Capital – demanding statewide attention to lung cancer. She also sees the need for what she calls “sidewalk advocacy” by running errands in her custom made t-shirt exclaiming “this is what stage 4 lung cancer looks like” that reguarly becomes a conversation piece. (If you are interested in a t-shirt leave a comment below for Jessica.) It seems that no task is too grand or too insignificant for her when it comes to advocacy.
Some of Jessica’s favorite movies include “Life is Beautiful”, “Like Water for Chocolate”, and “E.T.”, which are very different than her favorite written trilogy, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”.
I will not be surprised at all when I hear in the not-so-distant-future that Jessica is a social worker in oncology, ensuring a positivie relationship exists between patients and doctors.
Family was, is, and will always be, what comes first for her. Her motivation, inspiration, and mindset come from her family and their needs. A close second is “Jessica’s Army”. A core group of friends that provide support of all kinds to Jessica and her boys. And if you are wondering, yes, Captain America, the 2011 version, is a member. (I am jealous.)
Jessica is consistent. What you see is what you get. I do hope that one day, far from now, she will be sourrounded by her boys, their partners, and possibly grandchildren; wearing her “this is what stage 4 lung cancer looks like” t-shirt and cozy black pants which are covered in cat hair.
Read Day 5 Profile HERE.
Read Day 7 Profile HERE.