10 years ago I was diagnosed with NSCLC and was told that with an operation and treatment, I had 3-5 years to live .
After an upper left lobe resection followed by systemic chemo I went into remission and enjoyed 2 1/2 years of precious time. Then, a checkup revealed that I had 17 mets to my liver and a couple of “hot spots” in my lungs. At that time I joined the already very full ranks of stage 4 NSCLC patients. The day I was to begin another course of chemo, my oncologist recommended that I try a clinical trial, so I did.
My attitude then and my attitude now is “What have I got to lose?”. That clinical trial knocked all the cancer away and gave me more time, but the nature of NSCLC is sneaky and persistent. Things flared up again after about a year and a half and for several years I was put on different cocktails of drugs that gradually were being approved by the FDA. During that time I continued to teach school and I lived a full and productive life.
There were some significant bumps along the way, but I’m still here. Flashing forward to the present, I am now on my 5th clinical trial which is successfully knocking back my cancer and giving me more time. Participating in clinical trials have kept me going in this chess match. They have put cancer in check several times and are key to bridging the gap from treatment to treatment.
I have seen tremendous advances during these 10 years and I feel the cure is just around the corner. I will continue to take advantage of clinical trials because I’m just too busy with life.
Also, I want more time. Time for family and friends. Time to see grandchildren being born and grow up. I just want time.
Clinical trials have made that possible.