Mother, daughter share story to promote lung cancer awareness

Mother and daughter lung cancer
Posted at 6:41 PM, Dec 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-15 21:55:33-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A mother-daughter bond can be a powerful thing. One mother-daughter pair have a story they hope can give precious time to other families.

When Becky Bonds and mom Martha get together, laughter always follows.

"That man back there is handsome!" laughed Becky Bonds, looking back at a man lifting weights.

"He's single!" Martha chimed in while exercising on an elliptical machine.

"Don't say nothin, but he's handsome."

Becky wants her mom on a routine, going to East Park Community Center and getting time in the fitness room.

"She's 82," Becky said of her mom. "That's my mother, my world, my queen."

"She's my right arm," Martha said of her daughter.

Becky's emphasis on health comes from being a part of Ascension Saint Thomas hospitals.

"I am the lung nurse navigator," Becky said. "I work with lung cancer patients."

When Martha told her doctor she'd smoked for more than 30 years before quitting, the doctor ran a test.

"When she sent me for that, that's when they found it," Martha remembered.

"She's a strong woman," Becky added. "She's resilient, but it's still hard."

Martha was diagnosed with lung cancer.

"It was a shock, but I dealt with it," Martha said.

"Even though this is what I do, you still don't want anyone you love to go through this," Becky continued.

According to the American Cancer Society, 237,000 people were diagnosed with lung cancer this year. Most of them were over 65. It's the second most common form of cancer but by far the leading cause of cancer death.

Knowing that, a mother and daughter are sharing their story to give others their advice. Becky's learned from her work that lung cancer can be in advanced stages when symptoms emerge like prolonged cough, weight loss, chest pain, and extreme fatigue. Early detection is key.

"Stop smoking for one thing," said Martha.

"Make sure you have an established relationship with your primary care physician," Becky added.

"You know, you have to talk to your doctor," Martha chimed in.

"She encourages me more than I could ever encourage her," Becky said, turning her attention to her mom. "She's the strongest woman I've ever known in my life. She bounces back. She's resilient, and I love her for that. I think I'm more strict on her [exercise] because I want her here as long as I can have her here. She's my superstar."

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