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Coral Delaplaine: Treating Every Day as a Gift

“Live in the moment. Every day is a gift.”

Coral Delaplaine
Lung Cancer

Sixteen years ago, Coral Delaplaine received a startling diagnosis: lung cancer. Her life was about to change dramatically, but Coral was determined to not let the disease change her.

In 2003, Coral was having a pre-operative scan for a hysterectomy to remove fibroids when doctors discovered a small tumor in her right lung. Catching lung cancer at an early stage is rare, as signs and symptoms do not typically appear until much later. In Coral’s case, the cancer was caught at a much earlier, more treatable stage. But cancer knows no bounds and Coral faced three separate lung cancer diagnoses, twice in her right lung, and once in her left lung.

Coral’s treatment included several rounds of chemotherapy, a lobectomy, a surgery to remove her right lung entirely, followed by targeted therapy. Her medical oncologist is Alfred DiStefano, M.D., Texas Oncology–Arlington Cancer Center North.

“After an unsuccessful response to chemotherapy and enduring multiple surgeries, I’m pleased by her remarkable response to her current targeted therapy treatment regimen,” said Dr. DiStefano. “Treatment advances like targeted therapy provide innovative, effective options for many patients like Coral. It’s an exciting time in lung cancer care.”

After more than four years on a targeted therapy regimen, Coral will continue taking the drug, which targets a specific mutation in the DNA of her cancer cells, to control her cancer. Despite the continued need for medication, Coral remains grateful to continue living her life.

“With the removal of my right lung, my left lung has stretched out over the years, allowing enough lung capacity to breathe,” Coral said. “The body is amazing.”

Before her diagnosis, Coral was a teacher. However, in 2009, she made the difficult choice to forego teaching before chemotherapy began – a decision that could derail some people’s happiness and outlook, but Coral has never been one of those people.

“I’ve been lucky,” said Coral. “I’ve been able to live a life.”

If you met her today, you would never know what Coral, now 59, has endured over the past nearly two decades. She has become heavily involved in her church, traveled to beautiful locations, and grown closer than ever to her friends and family. Her positivity and ability to push through tough times have become embedded into the way she views life.

Coral summarized her lease on life with a few wise words, stating, “Live in the moment. Every day is a gift.”

The information included in this testimonial is based on one patient’s unique experience and is not intended to represent all patient outcomes or expectations.