- Lives in Maryland with her best friend and husband, Roger
- Devoted mother of 3 and a grandmother of 7
- Enjoys fishing and being outdoors
Deena’s Journey With Cancer
- Diagnosed with stage 1 MPLC (multiple primary lung cancer) in 2012
- Her cancer is NSCLC with the EGFR mutation
- First tumor: A1-Grade 1 NSCLC-adenocarcinoma: KRAS mutated. Surgery and removed in 2012
- Second tumor: A1-Grade 2 NSCLC-adenocarcinoma: EGFR mutated. Surgery and removed in 2013
- Currently going for a CT scan every six months to follow several small nodules
From Deena’s Perspective
“The first time, I was diagnosed and it was almost like a dream. That second diagnosis woke me up to the fact that I had to take control. I realized I had to find out about this disease, find out what was going on with my body, be on top of the doctors, double check, collect data and be proactive to make sure that it doesn't happen again.
It's extremely important to get the knowledge so you don't miss something in your treatment. There should be a checklist of different things that you look at to say 'Do you know this, do you know that' about yourself.
Your oncologist will mostly recommend that you get a second opinion, which is a good idea. It's very complex. Any cancer is complex. Bottom line, you have to be your own advocate. It's hard sometimes to gather all of the information available, and I never got any advice other than 'Go, have a happy life and forget about it.' And that's really hard.
It's really hard to enjoy your life when at the back of your mind every time you get a headache or every time you cough you wonder if it's coming back. However, meeting other people that have lung cancer is the most positive thing.
Working with them to change things so it can be better for people, especially our children, down the road.
Being productive has always made a day good for me and being with people I love and care about.”