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Tashia

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Posts posted by Tashia

  1. On 11/20/2018 at 6:46 PM, Seventhson said:

    So sorry your uncle has cancer. I know from experience it is extremely difficult. Good that he is in treatment. Best of luck on your uncles recent tests. Waiting for results and not knowing is often one of most difficult times. Sounds like they are willing to try treatment so that's a good sign. Easier to make internal personal decisions and organize your thoughts and feelings once you have all the info. Try to focus on being there for him and sharing this with him in the meantime. I send you strength love and a prayer my friend. Hope your uncles next doctors appointment has some good news. 

    This is when I introduced myself. November 28th, 2018.

    Tashia

  2. 3 hours ago, Steff said:

    Tashia -

    My mom's diagnosis is non small cell adenocarcinoma. Her original diagnosis was in 2015. She is on her first recurrence, diagnosed in 2017. She had a lobectomy with follow up chemo and radiation. Immunotherapy was not available when she was initially diagnosed.  For this recurrence, she was tested for PD-L1. She tests positive for over 90% of her cancer cells.  When she went on Keytruda + carbo/alimta, it was just FDA approved a few months prior.  It worked wonders for her, but did not come without side effects. Once she was on keytruda alone, her side effects were mild.

    Nothing will "cure" your uncle's cancer or my mom's. Lung cancer is persistent and often pops back up. But it can slow down the cancer or make it disappear. You ask if this treatment just prolongs life or gives quality of life. For my mom, it did both. I cant tell what will happen with your uncle. But your uncle is receiving the standard of care for advanced stage lung cancer.  

    In a few more infusions, your uncle will have another CT or chest xray. It may very well look worse...my mom's first few scans looked worse just like lots of other people's.  Tumors/nodules/masses typically become inflamed and look "bigger" in scans for a few months.

    The beginning of treatment is always a time for questions and worry. The questions and concerns you have are typical. Please feel free to continue to reach out with your questions and concerns.

    Take care,

    Steff

    Steff

    Thank you for sharing, and taking the time to respond back to me. I appreciate it.

    Tashia

  3. 6 hours ago, Tom Galli said:

    Tashia,

    In responding to a post, you can quote the specific post you are interested in.  But, in your case, a good way to use your site is to post in the Introduce Yourself section of our forum. On the upper right side of the introductory page, you should see a Start new topic box.  Checking that and posting allows everyone to see your story and realize you are new.

    From your description of your uncle's treatment, it sounds like he is receiving first-line standard of care treatment for inoperable Stage IV lung cancer. He is receiving combination chemotherapy -- conventional chemo paired with Keytruda, a very effective immunotherapy drug.  As Steff reported on her mother's immunotherapy treatment, this combination can be very effective.

    So others here can provide first hand information, you might tell us about the type of lung cancer your uncle has. 

    You have 3 questions: will this treatment improve his quality of life; will it prolong his life; and will it cure or stop his cancer?  Life quality in treatment depends on a lot of factors: age, general health condition, complicating serious illness, and many more.  If his first line treatment works, his life quality will improve.  You've already reported some improvement in his breathing. Will treatment prolong life?  That is the goal and for very many, prolonged life is achieved.  In my case, treatment has allowed me to live almost 15 years beyond diagnosis.  Can the treatment cure?  We don't use the cure word in the lung cancer community but rather use the term no evidence of disease or NED.  Yes, this treatment can allow your uncle to achieve NED.

    It is not unusual for other nodules to occur while receiving immunotherapy treatment.  It takes time for the immune system to be primed to recognize cancer cells and during early treatment, scans often show tumor growth or new metastasis. How long is your uncle's treatment period?  What are the other drugs he is receiving besides Keytruda?

    Welcome here.  We hope your uncle's treatment resolves his lung cancer.

    Stay the course.

    Tom

    Tom

    My Uncle is on a 3 month treatment period. He is at his 2nd month point. I believe they are to do another scan this coming Friday. He is having two types of Chemo and Keytruda, that is only drugs they are giving him. And....I have posted in Introduce Yourself section. All I know is it is NSCLC squamous cell. Thank you for your response. And that is great you have been keeping up the good fight for 15 yrs.! 

    Tashia

  4. On 6/8/2017 at 2:17 PM, Suzanne said:

    Helping mom,

    In April I was diagnosed with stage 4 nsclc which had spread to the spine. I have had 2 Keytruda infusions with fairly minor side effects (slight nausea, fatigue, constipation). My third treatment is next Monday, after which I will have an MRI to see if it is working. ??emoji1317.png The radiation treatment for the spine had far worse side effects, esophageal spasms. Scared the daylights out of me! I have high hopes that the Keytruda is working.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

    Any new updates on how you're doing? Your diagnosis sounds really similar to my Uncle's. 🙏

  5. On 1/16/2019 at 11:07 AM, dmfan71 said:

    My dad has stage 4 nsclc with brain mets.  He had surgery to remove 80% of brain tumor and radiation as well as chemo for the lung tumor.  He just had a CT and MRI and the oncologist said the chemo isn't working and the cancer has spread to the lining of the brain with more small brain mets.  He has suggested immunotherapy...which drug I don't know..the dr said its a grave situation and has given my dad 2 weeks to read up on immunotherapy and to decide if this is something he wants to do...he said without any further treatment he would have weeks to approx. 4 months (could be less or more) survival rate..not sure how much the survival rate increases with immunotherapy but he said having it spread to the lining of the brain isn't good.  My dad will see the brain dr next week to see what his thoughts are.

    The oncologist did say that immunotherapy does have side effects that could end up hospitalizing him (ie diarrhea etc).

    Ultimately the decision to go ahead with immunotherapy will be up to my dad but I am just trying to see if this is worth it for him or not....thoughts?  How bad are the side effects?  I know it can affect everyone differently.

    Needless to say I am heartbroken for my dad and cannot even imagine what he is going through right now.

    thanks for any input.

    I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. This whole Stage IV Cancer nightmare is fairly new to our family. My Uncle was diagnosed on October 23rd. Thankfully his brain scan was clear. It has spread however to other areas of his lungs and to his lower back. He had radiation first, and now doing Chemo and Keytruda. It is such a difficult place to be to watch those we love feel so sick. Thoughts and prayers for you and your Dad 🙏 Keep us posted when you can.

  6. Just now, Tashia said:

    My Uncle also has zero energy and is always cold. He also can't taste his food, everything tastes the same to him. He is only 126 lbs. right now ☹️

    Fevers as well, which he has to take Tylenol to lower.

  7. On 6/8/2017 at 2:15 PM, Woodburn9 said:

    Hi, I haven't taken Keytruda but am on opdivo and they are very similar. First off, your mom is stage 4 because it has traveled to another organ and at this time the standards of treatment is no surgery. BUT do not let that get you to far down because immunotherapy can get rid of the cancer or keep her stable for a long time. Everybody experiences different side effects at varying times and severity, no two are really the same. When I first started immunotherapy I had a runny nose and eyes for about 3 hours every morning, after about 6 weeks this went away, then I had knee pain, again this later went away. Now at almost three years of taking immunotherapy I am experiencing fatigue and I am cold all the time. I can't wait for this to subside also. Severe heartburn hit at about a year on the drug so I take over the counter Zantac twice a day. Others have has rash that sometimes itches, diarrhea that required medication to calm down. A few people gave had fevers and flu symptoms after their infusions for about four episodes then it went away. Things to report: ANY shortness of breath, abdominal pain, diarrhea. Good luck to your mom.

     

    My Uncle also has zero energy and is always cold. He also can't taste his food, everything tastes the same to him. He is only 126 lbs. right now ☹️

  8. Just now, Tashia said:

    What was your Mom's actual diagnosis? Surgery was never an option given to my Uncle. But we found out he had it after going to the ER because he was having difficulty breathing, and started coughing up blood. They did treat him for pnumonia, but after an MRI they came back and said he had cancer ☹️ the mass was on his airway. Later we were told it was stage IV inoperable, and the only thing they could do was to try and treat it. So radiation came first. Which did help lift the mass of the airway and he was able to breathe without oxygen eventually. Now he is doing the 2 different Chemo's with Keytruda. He goes every Friday. Next week will be month 2. So my question is...is this going to help him to have quality of life, or just prolonging his life? Can this actually cure or stop the cancer? Even though they said it is incurable. 💔🙏

    Also since I am new. Is this the correct way to respond on a post? *Were it says quote 🤔

    It also seemed to spread quickly. More modules showing up, and one found in his lower back.

  9. On 8/14/2018 at 9:15 AM, Steff said:

    Hi all,

    Since my other discussion thread was getting quite long and it's been 1 year since my mom started Keytruda, I decided to start a new thread here, where it might be better seen by those who are looking for information on immunotherapy.  

    So, the 1 year update on my mom....she survived and lived to talk about it!!!  She got her CT results yesterday and it was all good news....area around the cancer is stable and may look better (inflammation-wise).  We have not been able to see the mass on the back of her trachea since October (2 months after beginning chemo + Keytruda).  It still could be there, but it is not causing any problems.  I don't know if the term NED will ever be used with her since we cannot get a perfect picture of where the mass was, so we are just using the term "stable".  So, for us, "stable" is great news!!!  There is a "shadow" that is showing up in her left lung that appeared out of nowhere.  Her pulmonologist thinks it is most likely some inflammation or infection - he will keep an eye on it, but is not alarmed by it.

    Her shortness of breath still persists, she has 1 more heart test to do to see if that is the problem.  If it is not, we are to the point where we will likely accept shortness of breath as a new normal for her.  Luckily, her pulmonologist does not believe that Keytruda is the culprit, so we plan to stay on it as long as possible.

    Keytruda side effects: severe itchy skin - it drives her crazy especially at night.  She currently takes Benedryl at night if itching is out of control and she has also found an Aveeno excema cream that relieves itching for a bit.  Although the itching is bothersome for her, she would rather deal with it than cancer.  Other side effect, but it is controlled by meds is her thyroid.  She had a slow thyroid to begin with. It got slower, she just increased her meds and it is now controlled - no big deal.  Docs keep an eye on it and increase/decrease thyroid med dose when needed.

    This time last year, I felt hopeless.  My mom's lung cancer recurrence was a punch in the gut.  I was heart broken when we were told that due to the location of the mass, it could not be surgically removed, nor was it recommended for the first treatment attempt to use radiation (some of the mass was in the original radiation field from her previous bout of lung cancer).  So came the recommendation of Keytruda + Alimta/Carbo.  I was unhappy and scared of this new "immunotherapy stuff".  But this"immunotherapy stuff" is the best thing that has happened for my mom's lung cancer.  If you are a newcomer to lung cancer and/or immunotherapy, do know there is hope.  My mom has more hope now of surviving cancer than when she was originally diagnosed in 2015.  And it is all due to continued lung cancer research and development of new treatment options.  

    My main take away from this last year is: 1) My mom is tough as nails, 2) Even in the darkness of a lung cancer diagnosis, there is hope.

    Take care,

    Steff

    What was your Mom's actual diagnosis? Surgery was never an option given to my Uncle. But we found out he had it after going to the ER because he was having difficulty breathing, and started coughing up blood. They did treat him for pnumonia, but after an MRI they came back and said he had cancer ☹️ the mass was on his airway. Later we were told it was stage IV inoperable, and the only thing they could do was to try and treat it. So radiation came first. Which did help lift the mass of the airway and he was able to breathe without oxygen eventually. Now he is doing the 2 different Chemo's with Keytruda. He goes every Friday. Next week will be month 2. So my question is...is this going to help him to have quality of life, or just prolonging his life? Can this actually cure or stop the cancer? Even though they said it is incurable. 💔🙏

    Also since I am new. Is this the correct way to respond on a post? *Were it says quote 🤔

  10. On 12/28/2018 at 9:55 AM, LaurenH said:

    Hi, Tashia. Just wanted to check in and see how you're doing? Please feel free to share an update or ask questions. We are here for you.

    With gratitude,

    Lauren
    --
    Digital Community Manager
    LUNGevity Foundation

    My uncle is still going through treatment. 2 kinds of Chemo and Keytruda. It is really kicking his butt ☹️ Today on his Birthday he has a 5 hour treatment. It doesn't seem to be helping him. He is in an angry stage (which I can't really blame him) and can't do anything. He has no energy at all. He has lost weight and the hair on his head. But thankfully no vomiting. He has 4-5 more treatment's for this round. The next treatment will be the 2 month mark. They are planning on doing another scan to see if the treatment is doing anything for him. Has anyone had the same experience, or had any success with this combination? It is all so stessful and depressing to see him this way. He is normally very active, social, and has a great sense of humor. It is very hard on my Aunt as she is his primary caregiver, and gets the brunt of his anger. I wonder what is next, after these treatment's are done. Keep hoping and praying for miracles! He has no quality of life at this time. It is hard to watch him feeling this way 😢

  11. Also, Thank you for your advice regarding my own care. That is very kind of you. I also try to make sure my Aunt has help when needed, she is very independent and doesn't ask for help much. So we offer stuff constantly. She needs her rest, she is not in the best of health either. So we worry about her. She is now his caretaker. Very tough job. We check in with her daily. My Mom ( her Sister) and myself. I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving ☺

  12. I have not spoken to the doctor. I would like to, because I always do lots of research and want to help as much as possible. But it is my Uncle, so I don't want to cross any boundries, you know? I do tell my Aunt about things I have researched. But she is so overwhelmed. So I am hoping my cousin, the one that goes to all important appointments is asking questions and doing research himself. My Sister has told me I need to kinda step back sometimes ( take a break, as you said) I just want to help as much as possible, and be there for any support that is needed. That's just how I always am. I hate to just sit here and think about it. I feel I have to stay busy, be proactive. Today was a rough day for me emotionally, just makes me so sad, and I feel helpless 😞 But as for the rest of the evening, I am trying to relax and turn my thoughts off about it. Very hard to do. Thank you so much for your responses. They are appreciated 😊

  13. Looking for any advice or any hope. My Uncle's Squamous NSCLC has spread already since October. We are being told it is inoperable 😢 He is now doing radiation 5 days a week, had a new scan today to check his brain. This is so devastating to our family. We are not sure of his exact prognosis at this point, but he has his appointment with his Oncologist on the 28th of November. Anyone with this same diagnosis? Looking for input and hope! 

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