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  1. That's wonderful that he is doing so well. I want to know, did he have to get radiation treatment for the brain mets before doing Crizotinib? If so, how did that go? I am doing OK. I still need a nap every afternoon, and some of my symptoms still bother me. Most of the pain is gone and I am enjoying myself a lot more. David
  2. Got results of study tests today (Crizotinib). Blood tests good all around. CT and MRI imaging of head, chest, abdomen, are mixed with small changes in either direction. Doctor says he's encouraged and pleased with the results, so I guess I should be also. My complaints about my health seem stable. I am taking life easy, but I do get out and do things. Lots of company Sunday. About 30 people for a pot-luck back yard event for the gardening club and other friends. I spent a few days getting the garden in shape, cooking, whatever. It was a big success. People helped clean up and I had little to do. In fact, I fell asleep as soon as the guests left. I usually take an afternoon nap. It's a sign that I am not as strong as I once was, but things could improve. David / Chicago
  3. Hi, Judy. So where are the people taking Crizotinib? I hope you are feeling as well as you sound. I got in to see the doctor tomorrow. All concerns aside, I am feeling better than I was. Little pain, and I sleep all night. Today I fell asleep in the hammock. I am actually working some. Really very little, but it's nice. Sunday lots of company here.
  4. Ned, Thanks for mentioning that you are doing well on Navelbine, since I have never taken it, and will be seeing the doctor tomorrow. Stay well, enjoy life.
  5. ts, thanks for the note. I learned from the first link that there are drugs in development for people who are ALK pos but develop resistance to Crizotinib (AP26113, AP24534, ARIAD Pharmaceutical). It's always good to have something to hope for. David
  6. I want to hear your experiences with Crizotinib (PF-02341066) I started Crizotinib on June 9, 2010. I had an immediate response, very dramatic, but after 26 days (July 6), I started sliding backwards. It was worth it for the very brief recovery. I have not had my first CT on treatment yet. Next week. There is a thread on this at the Inspire web site here: https://www.inspire.com/groups/lung-cancer-survivors/discussion/any-one-on-pf-02341066-crizotinib/ Ned, It is good to see your posts here. My sig is kinda long, but I'll leave it in since I have not posted in a while. David, Chicago
  7. Good to hear from you too, Nick. I understand you are in Hawaii. It's really cold here in Chicago now. Single digits tonight, and windy. I hope you are enjoying life. I live for the days when I feel well and comfortable. Friends have shared those good days with me and given me more enjoyment. Take care. --David
  8. A cautionary tale. I had an issue with pain that I want to share. I have stage-4 NSCLC going on 6 years. During that time I used small amounts of hydrocodone or morphine when I had pain. (history- http://www.lungevity.org/l_community/vi ... hp?t=37828 ) Recently I had severe pain from a lung tumor pressing on a large nerve in my shoulder, effecting my hand and arm. I no longer had any response to normal doses of pain medicine. I apparently developed tolerance to this class of pain medicine. I could not sleep or eat. I was hospitalized with severe pain and was sent home with morphine 180mg per day. That is a lot of morphine! A few days later I went to the emergency room complaining of breathing difficulty. After a few hours I declined to be hospitalized and went home, feeling better. Over the next two weeks I often complained of difficulty breathing. I told my oncologist and the nurses, but they could not explain it. I soon could not go far from my house, for fear of getting out of breath. I felt panic about getting out of breath, when walking or sleeping at night. I thought I was gravely ill. I noticed that the pain was gone and I was accidentally late on doses of morphine. This led to the discovery that skipping a dose alleviated the breathing problem. I was also noticing effects of morphine on various muscles. I concluded that morphine was inhibiting my diaphragm muscles and inhibiting breathing. I began reducing morphine. I planned to reduce morphine slowly, but it was easier to breath if I took less and less. During this time I took walks outdoors, climbed stairs without panic, and generally felt better. In 3-4 days I went completely off morphine. Pain was only mild. That led to some physical changes, good at first, and then bad. Withdrawal from morphine lasted 5-6 days. I felt lousy and generally exhausted. The pain has returned slowly but not bad. I don't take any pain meds now. I have an option of nerve-block treatment if the pain becomes severe again. I managed to stay on my chemo schedule through all this. I am building my strength, getting lots of exercise.
  9. Judy, Checking in and I found your post. You signed Judy-in-Orlando instead of Key West. Next time are you going to be Judy-in-New-Jersey? I'm sorry to hear you are aching. I hope you are rewarded for you fortitude. I expect you will get "over the hump" and begin to feel a little better each day. I saw the doctor today and I'm getting by easy. I told the doctor that I'm spoiled. No treatment today. I don't know when I will have chemo, or what it will be. My energy level is pretty good. If I only work when I feel like it, and I always go out and work a half day or more, then I must be feeling well. In past years I did more physically demanding work and I've given that up. I have a problem with nerves in my left arm and hand and have to see a specialist. It's not a big bother (yet) but I have to take care of it. My fingers are getting numb. One result is that I had more tests, and the results have been good. The cancer is stable. The problem with my nerves could be collateral damage from cancer and it's treatments, and/or other things. I guess I judge my health not by what is wrong but what I can do. If I can stay awake, do normal things, work, and not be distracted by pain, then it's a good day. Also if I don't have to spend most of my time going to doctors and treatments. Lately it's mostly been good. David in Chicago
  10. This is a great thread and I bookmarked it. Those of you who know me already know that I'm 4 years, 8 months stage IV Adenocarcinoma, 48 years old at diagnosis. I really liked reading all your posts. We have so much in common. Recently I've been worried about new disease. Just recently I gave up on the Avastin, with it's ill effects. That was tough because I had to make that decision on my own. My Blood and urine and other tests were OK but I felt awful and thought I had limited time left on Avastin. Decided to move on while I could still recover from the 11 Avastin treatments. I have symptoms that include bone mets and often low energy, and am waiting to start whatever the next treatment will be. Today I am strong. Had a long day today. Felt good. I even went for a swim in Lake Michigan, where the waves were very big for some reason. Call doctor tomorrow. I am anxious. For one thing, I just realized the problem in my left hand is a new bone met in my wrist. I wonder what the doctor will say. ****9/30/08 -- I learned that I have a cyst in my hand and it's uncomfortable but nothing to worry about. I think I have a decent chance to find another treatment that works and is tolerable. Actually I have no idea, but 3 of the 4 treatments I've done were new and not available when I was diagnosed. Also 3 out of 4 gave me relief from symptoms and varifiable response. I wish you all the best. David in Chicago
  11. I'm checking in since it's been a while. For any who don't know me, I've been surviving "incurable" lung cancer and cancer treatments for 4.5 years. I don't have any complicating illnesses and I'm physically fit. I'm 53 years old now. Lately, Avastin has been hard to take. In fact, I only like it when I'm not taking it, because I skipped a treatment or was late. It seems to have slowly worn me down. The initial problems, like nose bleeds, don't bother me any more. Strange. What does bother me now is all my muscles ache, and not just right after a treatment. It's built up over time and it goes away slowly over time if I am off Avastin. I also get tired and need extra rest. I look forward to being a bad patient and not taking it again. Seriously, I hope to find out that there is a better balance between too much Avastin, and too much cancer. I've had 11 cycles. A lot of people here use the term "No Evidence of Disease," or NED. My doctor has never used that expression, and I'm not sure technically what it means. When I started Alimta in 2004, it was the first effective drug that I could continue taking seemingly forever. Before that, it was 4 cycles and then wait. Since Alimta, I was always on treatment, and still am. I wouldn't call it precautionary, I had cancer. I don't think the cancer went away, but just got under control. I was lucky that Alimta gave me few side effects. For the record, I've had 55 cycles. I'm new to the message boards, having arrived only a couple of months ago. I think reading your stories is helping me with some of the tough things about being a patient and facing an uncertain future. I try to read a few posts here each week, and Dr. West's columns on GRACE. I also occasionally check Medscape-Oncology/Hematology or just Google a few topics for news. Keeping up with the news has been easier with GRACE/OncTalk. Thanks for caring, and stay in touch. David in Chicago.
  12. My doctor was nice enough to say that my cancer was "not curable, but it's treatable". She gave me a booklet about lung cancer to take home. Somewhere in the booklet, it said "stage IV, life expectancy 6 months." At the time, it was actually a relief to know what was wrong, even if it was lung cancer. Things have improved some since then. Some new treatments have come out, which turned out to be very good for me. I was 48 years old then and I'm 53 now. From reading this site, it sounds like adding the drug Avastin (Bevacizumab) to first-line chemo is not yet common practice. I think it may be soon. Something to look into. David in Chicago
  13. Sharon, I'll start by saying the vacation was a smart idea. I think you will do well! Myself, I also need to know what's going on. I hope you have a doctor who can talk about medicine. It helped me to do some background reading. I had studied biology, but didn't know much about cancer. The biology from college was out of date just 25 years after I graduated. It was actually fun to read all the new stuff that had been discovered since I went to school. There is a good, short, 1988 paperback called "One Renegade Cell" by Weinberg, which was the first book I read. The same author recently compiled "The Biology of Cancer" (2006), a big and impressive work, got rave reviews, and requires some biology or chemistry background. Your reading may take you in a different direction, depending on your background and interests. I wish you many more happy vacations, and good health. David in Chicago
  14. I never heard of Leroy Sievers until I saw his obituary Sunday. A television news reporter who chronicled his cancer illness on the NPR web site. Obituary: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... d=92028479 I read the last 3 months of his weblog. It was very inspirational, and the saddest thing I ever read. http://www.npr.org/blogs/mycancer/
  15. Hi, Ned. I hope you are doing well. I describe bone mets as a migraine in my bones. Deep throbing pain. Moving around, standing, sitting, lying down, exercise, makes little difference. However, in the early stage, it always started when I wanted to rest or sleep. Usually in the evening. It was intermittent, leaving me alone for a day or two, then really bad for a couple of hours, then nothing for a day or two. Later, flare-ups often effected all the mets at the same time. The quiet periods got shorter and the pain more constant. A "bone scan" test confirmed the actual location of all the mets, and it precisely matched where the pain was. This is a whole-body radiology test that shows absorption of a radioactive tracer by bones. It shows any kind of bone disease or fracture as dark areas. It's painless and relatively safe. Joints, tendons, pulled muscles, do not show up. The first met, in the shin bone of my leg, was a little different. it started as a tender spot that was very sensitive and hurt badly if I bumped it. Later it throbbed like the others. Also, I developed some joint problems that were caused by the bone mets. That was totally exercise dependent. The throbing would sometimes start first, and the hip or shoulder problem would remain after. I've read that some people have reletively painless bone mets, until it causes some painful fracture or joint problem later. They would have quite different symptoms. Some people report relief from Zometa. When I started Zometa I could not tell if it was helping any. Later the chemo drugs helped, but did the Zometa also help? When I went off Carboplatin/Gemcitobine (the first chemo), but stayed on Zometa, all the cancer came back and bones hurt again. David in Chicago
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