My mom was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in November of 2012. At that point, she was given four to six months to live. But she held on for an entire year, not succumbing to the disease until November of 2013.
Her diagnosis, while devastating, was not a surprise. She was a smoker for over 30 years; from the late 70s until 2008, when she quit cold turkey after she learned she had COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and was told, in very clear terms, that if she continued smoking, she wouldn't last a year.
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