Rose developed lung cancer from smoking cigarettes and showed great strength during nearly 2 years of intense treatments. She had chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, and a painful drainage tube in her chest. Doctors were able to remove the part of Rose’s lung where the cancer had grown, but complications kept her in the hospital for a month with a chest tube. “The whole time it was in there, it was painful,” she said. “The last 3 or 4 days, I literally cried.” Finally, the chest tube came out—with a sharp, jabbing pain.
The cause of Rose’s cancer—cigarettes—went back to her childhood. Rose started smoking at age 13 and continued for many years, smoking two packs a day. When she was 58 years old, her addiction to cigarettes nearly caused her to lose a foot because of clogged blood vessels. It was during that time she learned that she had lung cancer. “I regret picking up smoking in the first place,” said Rose. “It’s just addictive.” Rose needed a second surgery after her lung cancer spread to her brain. She hoped that sharing the pain of her treatments would inspire other people to quit smoking as soon as possible. Rose wished that she had more days to spend with her friends and family—especially her three grandchildren, who meant the world to her. She died in January 2015, at age 60 from cancer caused by smoking.