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fight

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Posts posted by fight


  1. Hello All,

    I just got the news about my clinical trial. I will be in a Phase I trial. I will be receiving 3 different medications. The first being the study drug and its called ZD6474. It is supposed to be similar to Avastin in that it blocks proteins that support new blood vessels in tumors to grow. It will be a pill and I will take it everyday. The second drug is Gemcitabine. Which is an established drug and is used in NSCLC. It will be infused once a week. The third drug is Capecitabine. This is also an established drug that is used in colorectal and breast cancer. This will also be given to me in pill form once a day. It seems to be a good fit for me seeing the ambiguity of my cancer. Initally it was thought that I had breast cancer but all the pathology pointed toward lung cancer. I think it will give me a good shot to back this beast down. I hope that I can tolerate these drugs as well as I did Carboplatin/Taxol/Avastin. My fear has always been the nausea. I will ask for an arsenal of drugs to help me with that. I need to be in Denver next Wednesday so they can do labs and scans. I will begin my new treatment on Feb. 1st. My attitude has been better lately although it scares the crap out of me to be a guinea pig. It is a leap of faith. I have never been a 000 type of person but when it comes to fighting for my life I will take all the chances I can get. Wish me luck! I will keep you posted on the results.

    Take Care,

    Rachel


  2. Hello All,

    I apologize that I have not posted in quite awhile. I have been having some rough days. I had a recent visit to my doctor on Dec. 28th and alas the fluid is back on my right lung. A bit concerning since I had a thorocentesis at the end of October. All other progression looks minor. My left lung still appears to be clear. My doctor says that I'm a dilemma. My cancer is progressing but at a slow pace. He gave me a few options. Either to continue with Tarceva for 2-3 more months and then begin a new chemo. The other option is to begin a new chemo soon. He mentioned either Alimta or Docetaxel (sp?). I also asked about clinical trials. By the end of the appointment I had decided that I wanted to pursue a clinical trial. My husband and I have since been to Denver to speak with another doctor about trials available for me. I am in the running for several trials. They will let me know soon which one I will be able to try. I am now off all treatment and by the end of the month should be back in the old chemo chair. I have to be honest and say that it has been really hard to get my head back in this game. I am so tired of playing this game. Not EVER going to give up but tired of being poked and under a magnifying glass! I am really trying hard to get on board with all of this. The mental battle is sometimes the hardest. I will keep you all posted about the trial I will be in. It will likely be an established drug that has never been used in lung cancer. Hopefully it will kick this cancer to the curb. It doesn't help matters that I just haven't been feeling as good as I used to. I wake up each morning and try to experience some meaning in each day. It's hard but I do the best I can. Sorry this is long. I guess I just needed to get this off my chest. Thank you all for listening.

    Take Care,

    Rachel


  3. Hello All I'm Rachel,

    I live in Grand Junction, CO. which is on the western slope of Colorado.

    I have a wonderful husband I have been married to for 13 years. Two beautiful children-Logan (Age 7), Maya (Age 3)

    I am a stay at home mom. I thoroughly enjoy volunteering at my children's school and working on scrape books in my free time.

    I was diagnosed with NSCLC Oct. 06' and have been fighting it ever since.

    We have two cats-Sempre and Snickers and a dog that is a yorkie mix who's name is Sparky.

    Rachel


  4. Mitchell,

    What a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing all your feelings-Last year vs. this year. I think we can all relate in the sorrow of not knowing what might happen next. Therefore the news this year of your mom being cancer free is so much sweeter after you have been in that dark place. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    Take Care,

    Rachel


  5. Hello All,

    I have been away from the boards lately but wanted to update you all on my latest scan. I had a scan late Oct. and the areas in my right lung are stable. My left lung is totally clear of any disease. I have a lymph node near my right breast that we have been watching. That appears to be larger? The specialist I see went over the scan with me and said "Your cancer's not doing much." He said that there is no way to know for sure if the medication I'm on is creating the stability or the cancer may just be a slow growing one? He wants me to continue my current treatment program. Taking Tarceva and receiving Avastin every two weeks. I was happy to hear this news. I was trying to prepare myself for starting a new chemo but just didn't even want to go there. I still feel "good". Although this week I developed a fever with an ear infection so I haven't been at the top of my game. I'm looking forward to having a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family. We are going to have it at my house this year. Last year was such a blur I don't even remember Thanksgiving. This year we are going to have a turkey and all the trimmings. A dear friend of ours from Brazil will also be joining us. I just keep on Keepin' on and look forward to the next event. I'm wishing all of you a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving as well.

    Take Care,

    Rachel


  6. Patti,

    I think you hit on a very important topic. I too see myself in your post. In the beginning the phone rang off the hook and people wanted to do anything they could to help. Recently one of the mother's at my childrens school said to me "I'm so glad that the cancer thing is behind you. You went through so much." I wanted to say "Hello!" I still have cancer." I don't remember what my response was but I remember being shocked. I think people automatically assumed that when my hair grew back in that the cancer must be gone. I guess I've realized that no one can really understand this unless they or someone close to them have been through it? Cancer is such a tight rope act. I try not to let the insensitive comments bother me. Just the other day a fellow mom from my daughter's pre-school came up to me and asked me about my cancer because she had just heard about it (my daughter just started pre-school this year). She wanted to know what kind and when I told her my story she cried and said "your children need you." And then she asked if there was anything that she could do for me. There are so many angels I have met along the way in this journey. They completely overshadow the insensitive people that I have encountered.

    Take Care,

    Rachel


  7. Tom,

    I also had what my doctor considered a moderate to severe rash and while he told me that he smiled. He said that's a good that and that it probably means that the Tarceva is working. He then told me to stop taking it for about a week to calm down the rash. I had it all over my back, chest, face and head. The back and head were painful. It was uncomfortable to lay on my back and my hair hurt. Anyway I stopped taking it for 7 days and started taking Minocycline and Clindamycin. All the above seemed to help. The rash went away and I haven't had as severe of a rash since. The rash does seem to come and go though. I've had spots showing up on my legs and arms as well. My doc also mentioned that if the rash contintued to come moderate then he would lower my dosage. I'm taking the 150mg.

    I also found comfort in taking a nice hot shower a couple of times a day and then applying vaseline to the trouble spots. Straight vaseline and not the lotion seem to provide the most relief. As Ned said it not about the way you look but about feeling good. I hope you get some relief from the rash and hang in there.

    Take Care,

    Rachel


  8. Jussi,

    Welcome! You will find so much support here. I'm sorry I don't know anything about the fever question you had but after diagnosis I lost 5lbs. right off the bat. I don't think it was from the cancer but from the sheer stess of everything that was going on at the time. I have since remained at the same weight for over a year. Try to eat as much as healthy as you can. I find that 6 small meals a day work the best.

    Take Care,

    Rachel


  9. Bobbie,

    Cry if you need to cry....it is so frustrating when there is not a quick solution to this problem. Especially when it has to do with your health. My diagnois was also ambiguous at first. It took what seemed like an eternity to figure out that I had lung cancer. Early on I decided to see a specialist and that's when the final determination was made on me. Seek out a second or even third opionion. Make sure you are comfortable with what your doctor wants to do. I'm not sure the differences between small cell and non-small cell but I do know that NSCLC is the most common. Keep us posted.

    Take Care,

    Rachel


  10. Lilly,

    Sorry to hear that you have another hurdle to jump. I'm not familiar with pericardial effusion. Try not to panic although I know to well how hard that is to do. Try to enjoy the weekend the best you can and deal with it next week. Sending lots of prayers your way!

    Take Care,

    Rachel


  11. Bucky,

    Ditto on what everyone else said. Focus on the moments and schedule things in future and look forward to them. I'm in the mind set that it's a chronic disease and although I have my down days I try my best to stay positive (Like our good friend Ernie always says).

    Take Care,

    Rachel


  12. Max,

    Sounds like an excellent report to me. Wait and see is what we all seem to do the best. Glad to hear you are doing well. My brother lives in Phoenix and last week told me the weather was starting to cool off to......95 degrees! Still a little bit to hot for this Colorado girl but in November the weather your way is beautiful. Enjoy.

    Take Care,

    Rachel

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