Tom Galli

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Tom Galli last won the day on July 21

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About Tom Galli

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  • Birthday 09/23/1950

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  1. Maliko, Well, these are some reasons I believe ecigarettes are dangerous to a lung cancer patient -- here and here. The research on possible harm of ecigarettes is admittedly incomplete but as a lung cancer survivor, I'd be reluctant to introduce any potential irritant into my lung during and after treatment. I fought hard to achieve my NED (no evidence of disease) and go to great lengths to avoid all irritants to stay that way. Stay the course. Tom
  2. Pegi, Welcome here! I was the patient while my wife was the caretaker. So I watched her deal with everything you are taking on and now realize that her's was a vastly more difficult challenge. But, I understand I could not have gone through all my treatments without her care and intervention. Energy level during treatment will continue to be a challenge. Martha did find a way of forcing food that was mutually agreeable -- her concoction of chocolate mint Oreo cookie ice cream. She made a batch almost every other day during my first, third and fourth line treatment. It was about the only thing I wanted to eat and given my distain for almost every other kind of food, it was needed nutrition. Funny, I don't relish chocolate mint ice cream now but chemo does something to one's taste buds. So try store bought ice cream (some of the unusual flavor pairings) and if he likes them, tailor make the flavor combination he likes. Well intended family and close friends were most helpful but there was a small population that was too helpful. I was bombarded with internet "sure cure" remedies that gave me false hope and took up my medical oncologist's precious time explaining their questionable value. Almost always a part of this explanation was a simple statement -- if this cure is so effective, why hasn't it been formally tested? So I was gyrating between hope and depression in addition to the burden of treatment. We started researching these ideas on the internet together before investing in their effectiveness. I still do that today on this forum for someone often attempts to sell a "miracle cure". I even wrote a blog about it the effectiveness of miracle cures here. Your husband is involved in serious treatment and your role is invaluable. Suggestions? Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint and you'll need some "me time". Take that time. Also remember that treatment often extends life and take the time to enjoy the extension. Do something you enjoy together. We found we enjoyed cruising and took a best week cruise during each of my three chemotherapy cycles. My oncologist wrote a note to the ships physician and I carried on a drug store's worth of medication. Moreover, I purchased a comprehensive travel insurance package that covered not only medical care on the ship but emergence evacuation back to the states. But a cruse ship was a perfect vacation venue for us during treatment. We still cruise at least once a year. But find something you enjoy and do it together. We understand what you and your husband are going through -- completely. You'll have questions and don't hesitate to ask. Stay the course. Tom
  3. Dave, Ring that radiation complete bell! i hope your August appointments yield good results. Stay the course. Tom
  4. Blue Fish, Well a green card solves that problem. Who knows what changes the politicians will enact that affect health insurance? Perhaps given the uncertainty, she'll have access to more care options in China. Stay the course. Tom
  5. Helpingmom, Steff offered very good points for your consideration on smoking. I completely agree. Stay the course. Tom
  6. Welcome Jeannie! I well understand the confusion. I'm glad you found us because the thing that makes this forum work is each of us have been right where you are now. Lung cancer almost always is a surprise diagnosis and accordingly each of us also completely understand your devastation and shock. On your initial post, I pointed you to lots of information that will take some time to digest. It is good, however, that you take the time to read into your disease because knowledge is power and enables you to ask key questions of your treatment team. My wife's critical question likely saved my life. So you are in the right place and you've now got hundreds of experts on your team ready to provide support or answer questions. Stay the course. Tom
  7. Emily, Waiting for scans, then results, then consults, always waiting with a deep foreboding, that kind of sums up my entire treatment experience. As a community, we call this symptom scanxiety. I call it Scanziety and wrote a book about it. I liked the photos you posted by the way. So where do we start. We have a lot in common. I grew up in the suburbs of Philly, sailed a lot in my younger days, suffered a lung cancer diagnosis, had Carboplatin (18 times) as one of my chemo pairings, and achieved a NED (no evidence of disease) state after a CyberKnife radiation procedure. And I'm alive, and I say most emphatically, if I can live, so can you. Words of wisdom? Stay in the day; look for a little piece of joy everyday, and then revel in it. Tomorrow will take care of itself and will happen on its own accord. You have no ability to control tomorrow, or any outcome for that matter, so why try? You don't need to make decisions about the future today. You may tomorrow or next week, or next month, or never. So on the day required, make the decision then quickly go back to joy. I decided I wasn't going to let lung cancer take over my life. I found I had the power to make and abide by that decision. Stay the course. Tom
  8. Lock and load Ray! Stay the course. Tom
  9. Michelle, How do I deal with stress? Well treatment mayhem taught me a lot, and in truth, I didn't learn overnight. The short version is reading about Dr. Phil Bearman and his treatment experience on line. He enjoyed every day possible because he decided that he wasn't going to let cancer take over his life. The long version is in my book. I just try to live in the day. The only future I think about is a planned vacation. I try and find something I enjoy every day and take time to appreciate the joy. Most days it is little things. I live simply and when something attempts to complicate, I just ignore it. I can't control the outcome of my whole life and I'd fall apart if I tried. I can control the next minute, several hours, and most days, a whole day. So that is where I live, in the day. Stay the course. Tom
  10. You have inspired me, Tom. We  live in philly, but own a 41' sailboat on the Chesapeake, and my prayer is to be able to sail every weekend on non-chemo weeks when I feel well until the seasons change. Thank you for the hope. I'm a newbie, and don't know where to find your story but will search. You brought tears of hope to my eyes and heart. Emily

    1. Tom Galli

      Tom Galli

      Thank you Emily. I grew up in the Philly suburbs and know the back bays of the Chesapeake well. The long version of my story is the book "Scanziety" in the Kindle Store, an ebook on Amazon. The short version is on my profile. 

      Stay the course. 


  11. Wayne, All things considered, I'd call it great news. Stay the course, Tom
  12. Michelle, A spouse's lung cancer diagnosis always leaves one feeling hopeless. The only comfort I can offer is that on this forum, we all understand what you are feeling. We are all lung cancer survivors or take care of those afflicted. I'll confine my remarks to cancer. I can't begin to offer financial advice; I don't even take my own! I am assuming the immunotherapy drug Keytruda did not have an effect. Your husband's cancer likely displays the biomarker EGFR because his suggested treatment of Tarceva is an EGFR inhibitor. Tarceva can work. Have you contacted Genentech and requested financial assistance in paying for the drug? Here is the website for financial assistance application. What should you be doing? Don't do what I did by wasting valuable life fretting about when I was going to die. If your husband isn't feeling that bad, do something enjoyable. Here is an essay I wrote a while back that points to the importance of living. Welcome here. Look around at our profiles, and you'll see many of us were in dire straits. Yet some, not all, found a way out. I'm hoping you and your husband are among those that find the way out. Stay the course. Tom
  13. Blue Fish, Coordinating oncology care and handoff between a China physician and US physician (say at MD Anderson) may be the least difficult logistics element. Given the US - China state of international relations because of North Korea and Spratly Islands disagreements, obtaining a visa might be the high hurdle. It certainly is the most uncertain element. Purchasing insurance coverage for your mother is something you can start researching now. I assume your mom will reside with you in Texas. I'd start an online investigation with insurance carriers in Texas and run a spreadsheet. I don't know details of Texas insurance coverages but suspect there are fine print conditions and exclusions that need to be investigated. So, read every word. Be mindful that insurance policies are generally in force for one year, then renewal price and coverages changes -- sometimes dramatically. You'll need to re-check your spreadsheet immediately prior to your mom's arrival. Stay the course. Tom
  14. Pearl, I know the waiting is maddening. The only thing worse than waiting is not knowing. I've been there; every lung cancer patient has been there. Hang in there. Your worrying and anxiety will not change the result. We'll deal with the outcomes when we know the outcomes. Till then, find something in your day to enjoy.... Stay the course. Tom
  15. Michele, Agree with Denzie, completely. Stay the course. Tom