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Tom Galli

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Tom Galli last won the day on August 15

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About Tom Galli

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  • Birthday 09/23/1950

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  1. Brand New

    Jeffrey, That's not good! So they are hospitalizing you because of the current atelectasis and potential irritation of radiation and chemo, is that correct? Do let me know what the PET reveals. I hope it is just an aberration.... Stay the course. Tom
  2. numb and painful chestwall

    Karin, I'm not sure I have a good answer about numbness. I had an extensive incision when my right lung was removed and because of surgical complications and the need to address a fistula, I had two follow-up procedures that used the same incision point. So I have chronic pain but not numbness. Was your lung removed? When my incision pain soars, my wife applies lidocaine patches. These are available by prescription and they are a medical miracle for me. Using them some times allows me to avoid taking pain meds. I also soak in the pool and the buoyant effect reduces the tug of gravity on my chest and thus helps relieve pain. But, not numbness, in fact, I've never felt numbness in my incision area. Are you consulting with a medical oncologist and are you having regular scans to check for recurrence. A scan would address the scare of recurrence. So, I advise following up with your doctor and getting a script for lidocaine patches if it is pain you are feeling. If numbness, I don't have a clue. Stay the course. Tom
  3. Father, 59, going through NSCLC diagnosis.

    Marcia, Was the infusion for his bones called Zometa? It is typically used when mets are discovered in bone. Bone pain with cancer is a pretty common complaint and palliative radiation is most often used to relieve pain. You might inquire why not radiation. And, as you suspect, the pain could be the immunotherapy reaction, we hope. Stay the course. Tom
  4. 75 year old mom with Stage IV nsclc

    MalTay, My bottom line answer -- second opinion. I'd get a second medical oncologist involved. Now I'm not a doctor and Keytruda is showing impressive results but immunotherapy is a relatively new treatment modality for cancer in general and lung cancer in particular. There could indeed be some reasons why her current doctor is reluctant to start a Keytruda routine, but my doctor would have to explain the reasons, in detail. I'd expect a complete explanation of what potential side-effects were of concern and why. A tumor board should not need to be consulted to explain side-effects. So I'd be shopping for a different medical oncologist. I'm also wondering why Neulasta and Procrit were not administered to address low red and white counts. This is a very typical side-effect for most conventional chemotherapy and the administration of these two drugs is nearly universal about 3 days after infusion. I had in total 18 infusions of Taxol and Carboplatin and for about half, I received injections of Neulasta and Procrit to kick start red and white cell production. Chemo does beat one up but it also beats up tumors. Something is not adding up with her blood count problem. The only good thing about chemo side effects, my experience, is then tend to repeat in the same order and intensity after each infusion. Yet, your mother did not experience low counts till after her fourth. I had low counts after each infusion and sometimes, they were low enough to warrant injection of the aforementioned drugs. So, something else may be going on with her marrow. If it were me, I'd be consulting with another medical oncologist. Stay the course. Tom
  5. Brand New

    Jeffrey, Stage 3A NSCLC? I recall there was a question about the type. Is it NSCLC and if so Adenocarcinoma or Squamous cell? I am confused about your post surgical treatment description. Will you be hospitalized? Are you to receive 6 weeks of radiation and 4 weeks of chemo, once per week? The radiation sounds odd post surgery. Did he give a reason? Stay the course. Tom
  6. I join Bridget with a welcome. Your description of your mother's problems is the most complex immunotherapy side-effect I've ever read. I hope doctors are able to stop further deterioration and restore her organ function. That said, I wouldn't know where to begin to suggest a remedy. I am messaging LUNGevity staff to make them aware of your post and see if we can connect you with Opdivo expertise. Stay the course. Tom
  7. So much so fast...

    YES - YES - YES - YES and once more with gusto! YES! Stay the course Susan! Tom
  8. Pet scan shows it's back

    Daughter, I would say the objective of second-line treatment is to achieve a reduction or elimination of tumor or tumors. You are correct, there will likely be an in-process scan about midway through and then decisions on continuing or changing therapy. Your dad will need his family to close ranks around him. Lung cancer treatment is not easy, especially the daily treatment like your dad will endure. My view, past relationships are immaterial. I would not have made it through my treatment without my wife and daughter. Their contribution was immeasurable. I am quite sure your dad will appreciate your engagement. By all means, pick our brains. Stay the course. Tom
  9. Pet scan shows it's back

    Daughter, I am so very sorry to hear of your dad's recurrence. That is what it is called when cancer returns -- a recurrence. And unfortunately, recurrence with lung cancer is common. I have non small cell squamous cell lung cancer and experienced four recurrences after treatment that showed me to exhibit no evidence of disease or NED. Because lung cancer and in fact all cancer for that matter recurs so frequently, the treatment community has moved away from the word cure. Remission is still used but the definition has narrowed to cancer that stops growing either as a result of treatment or not. Here is a good summary of lung cancer that will acquaint you with basic terms. What is the recurrence timeframe? Mine were 6 to 8 months after last treatment. It is not unusual that the duration is shorter or longer. Everyone's cancer is somewhat different. How effective will his second line treatment be? The Lord only knows. Cancer is a disease of one's genes. Everyone's genetic structure is different thus on reason for the variability in treatment outcomes. But, chemotherapy kept me alive for 2 years till a new treatment emerged from research to cause me to achieve NED. In fact, I've lived nearly 14 years after diagnosis and many in fact on this site are long term survivors of lung cancer. Those with small cell lung cancer are following emerging research in targeted therapy and immunotherapy. These new methods are promising advances for small cell treatment. Read about these here at the Clinical Research Study down arrow. You may point your dad to this site as a place where he can understand and ask questions about his treatment and interact with survivors. Questions? This would be the place for those. Stay the course. Tom
  10. New to this

    Sandra, WONDERFUL! Stay the course. Tom
  11. Tim, What to expect with a pleural effusion? As you said, drained and the fluid will be examined by a pathologist for signs of cancer. The radiologist reported a mild uptake in the effusion area and has expressed concern about malignancy. Perhaps but I've had many PET scans with reported "mild uptake" that turned out to be something other than cancer. I would think it unusual to have a significant reduction in masses from radiation and adjunct chemo while developing a new metastasis in the pleural area. The radiation had to have been concentrated in the right lung area. So, we wait again for a path report. He'll likely have Second Line treatment consisting of chemotherapy only. The PET showed a significant reduction, not elimination. But overall, the PET is a good report. Stay the course. Tom
  12. No cancer, but I have bronchiectasis..

    Bee, Welcome here. I am one of the several with a military background. Bronchiectasis is nasty. It is normally associated with cystic fibrosis and or an autoimmune disease. I know because I spent about a month in an Army hospital as a young officer with symptoms. In my case, it turned out to be a nasty virus but obviously yours is different. While I understand your situation, I can't understand how the armed service could retain you on active duty. While you report your superb fitness state, loss of portion of a lung normally results in medical retirement because you've become "non-deployable". Are you being processed for military medical retirement? Military medicine is outstanding in battlefield trauma (as one may suspect) but mediocre at almost everything else. And, I understand how your hands are tied. I suspect you'll have a medical retirement board proceeding and will receive both a military retirement and veterans disability retirement along with life-long VA medical care. I live near Dallas and find the VA hospital here provides excellent care. The only problem with VA medicine is the bureaucratic shuffle getting into the system. You'll be in the system from the start. In my active duty time, we did a 5 mile run on MWF and 10 miles on Tuesday and Thursday and that routine may be too much for your condition. I'm not a physician so don't take my suggestion as medical advice. If it were me, knowing the symptoms of bronchiectasis (I do) and the irritation that excessive physical fitness activities can cause the lungs (I do), I'd be very careful with your fitness routine. Keeping fit is fine; training for half marathons is likely not. So I'd focus on fitness activities that do not overly stress lung function like weight lifting and static strength exercise. Stay the course. Tom
  13. Finding hope in my mom's cancer journey

    Steff, Three removals were day surgery: morning procedure, afternoon discharge. There were complications on the last removal that earned me an overnight stay. I think the complication was a reaction to anesthesia. I hope your mom is feeling better. Stay the course. Tom
  14. Finding hope in my mom's cancer journey

    Well Steff, great news and I'm so happy to hear your mother is doing well. Trachea stents and mucus build up is a real problem. I had four placed and removed at various times in my treatment history. I used Mucinex and although it is supposed to be for lung congestion, it worked well to break up the mucus that the stent captured. Of course, I had a Combivent inhaler and that also helped. Have fun at the Buffett concert! Stay the course. Tom
  15. 6 mm growing lung nodule in Right Upper Lung Lobe

    Swapon, Again, I'm not a doctor, so I can't begin to give you advice. The problem is a very small nodule. Six millimeters is a little larger than an eraser on a pencile. A biopsy is the only way I know to confirm the nodule is cancer. At this small size, a doctor will be reluctant to order a biopsy. The most common way to biopsy lung nodules is with a needle and a nodule this small is hard to hit. Even if it is, the sample may not be good enough to examine. And, without a biopsy a medical oncologist will not be able to treat you. A PET scan can, with larger tumors, indicate cancer but is not reliable on small tumors and it cannot identify a type of cancer. Not knowing the type will make treatment difficult. So you may need to wait till the nodule gets bigger. It could disappear. I hope it does. Stay the course. Tom