Life with LAM

yvonne chambers

Talent Acquisition & Workforce Generalist | Seaside, California

“I remember having chest pains about a year before my actual diagnosis and experienced shortness of breath for at least the last decade. My diagnosis came from an ER doctor after I was awoken by chest pains in the middle of the night. I thought I was having a heart attack. My husband took me to the ER and after many tests, including a CT scan of my chest, the doctor explained that she hadn’t seen anything like this before. She couldn’t give me any more information other than the fact there were several hundred black spots on my lung but assured me it wasn’t the big “C” – Cancer. She referred me to a pulmonologist, and I waited a full week to be seen. During that time, I searched the web and thought for sure I had an environmental disease, perhaps black lung.

When I met with the pulmonologist for the first time and heard the diagnoses of LAM lung disease (lymphangioleiomyomatosis), a rare disease with no cure, and a life expectancy of 8-10 years from diagnosis. I remember asking if this was the time to cry. Since then, I have learned so much about LAM, thanks to The LAM Foundation, local LAM Support Meetings at Stanford, and through the Lammies Facebook group. I have met many amazing women who have lived with this disease for many decades, and I’m grateful every day that my disease seems to be fairly mild with manageable side effects.

I now have a new appreciation and respect for people living with rare diseases, especially those that are not visible. I cherish every situation and moment with my daughter and my husband, and I do my very best to live in the present day with absolute gratitude.”

– Yvonne Chambers, United States of America

This excerpt is from Breathe, Just Breathe by Jennifer Fujikawa. Share your own story during Worldwide LAM Awareness Month, tag @thelamfoundation on social media, and use the hashtag #WWLAM to raise awareness for LAM with your friends and family.