Terry Johnson of Cedar Rapids is a retired factory worker and served our country in the Vietnam War. He’s also a former smoker, having smoked a pack a day for 34 years before he kicked the habit in 2001.
Based on his history, Terry had been getting a CT scan to screen for lung cancer annually as recommended by his primary care provider, Dr. Alecia Allen at UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine – Northridge. A scan in December 2017 showed nodules that were concerning for cancer. Terry’s Pulmonologist, Dr. Muhammed Anwer, UnityPoint Clinic – Multi-Specialty, ordered further testing which led to Terry being diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma of the right lung in January 2018 and a referral to the Nassif Community Cancer Center.
Connie Dietiker, RN, was Terry’s Care Coordinator who served as his main point of contact and helped coordinate Terry’s cancer care and treatment. “Connie was super helpful,” said Johnson. “She took care of everything and if I had a problem all I had to do was email her and she would get back to me.”
Terry underwent surgery in February, performed by Dr. Garry Weide, cardiothoracic surgeon at Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa, to remove part of his lung. Soon after, Johnson began radiation and chemotherapy. “My care team was super. They would go the extra mile and that means a lot when you’re going through cancer,” said Johnson. “And after three or four months of treatment, my scan came out perfect!”
As part of his recovery, Terry worked with Matt Schmitz, cancer exercise specialist, and now uses the Community Cancer Center gym three times a week. “He showed me what workouts I should be doing and shouldn’t be doing, and now I’m gradually increasing my strength,” Terry said.
Terry is now an advocate for screening for anyone who may be at risk. “I felt good. I didn’t have any symptoms,” he said. “Thanks to the scan it was spotted. I tell anyone I know who smoked to get a screening CT scan every year.”
“I felt good. I didn’t have any symptoms,” he said. “Thanks to the scan it was spotted. I tell anyone I know who smoked to get a screening CT scan every year.”
He’s also grateful for the team he had around him that helped him through the journey. “I was very pleased with everyone there and couldn’t have been happier,” he said. “And as a result of the care I received I’m still going at it.” To learn more about lung cancer screening and treatment, visit communitycancercenter.org/lung.