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Another long time lurker & our story.


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Hi All,

I am another long time lurker, since April 2003, so it really is about time that I came out and told our story (sorry for the length, but this is 6 months worth of story!)...

My Dad was diagnosed 3/6/2003 with Stage IV BAC after being in the hosipital for several days with a case of severe pneumonia. As is the case for most people, this came completely out of left field since my Dad has never been sick a day in his life. We had been chalking up symptoms to the fact he had quit smoking in January and had been doing quite a bit of travel in Asia - so his lungs were clearing themselves of 45 years of tar and crap and he was wicked jet lagged, right? Unfortunately for my parents (who are in Connecticut) the first oncologist they saw in the hospital walked in to give the diagnosis and told him (and my mother swears there was a smirk on his face at the time) that my Dad had 4-8 months to live. :evil: We fired that oncologist :evil: Our surgeon became a ray of hope as he said he had seen worse and cured it was his jobto get my Dad from age 60 to age 80. We liked that prognosis MUCH better and held on tightly to what he had said, even though I know the first prognosis haunts my parents to this day .

At the time of diagnosis the cancer was confined to his left upper and middle lobes, and one node on the left side had some microscopic cancer cells. We were sent to start chemo first and began 6 rounds of carboplatinum and taxotere. Fortunately he had nothing in the way of side effects right from the start. Even though we prepared with a very cute military buzz cut he didn't even lose any hair during his chemo treatments. The CAT scans we had after the second round in May showed that the chemo was being somewhat effective, the tumors hadn't grown at all, and it looked as if they were becoming necrotic. The chemo-resistant cancer was getting it's a__ kicked. But then, BAC is a funny thing.

Our surgeon had planned to perform a pneumonectomy after chemo, and after a battery of tests (MRI-empty head, PET- nothing out of the lung, scalene lymph test - negative) in June we were excited to head in to surgery. However, a broncial washing the surgeon did pulled some cancer cells from the right lung and surgery was ruled out. We were absolutely devastated. Since the beginning I have taken on the roll of family researcher, I read _everything_ I can find. So I decided it was time to head to Sloan Kettering to see Dr. Vincent Miller - who came out with those positive results about EFGR blockers like Tarceva for patients with BAC.

The meeting with him was fairly positive, he gave my Dad the hope he was needing after getting the bad news about the surgery. Dr. Miller was exteremely helpful answering the many many questions we had. He didn't recommend the Tarceva trial for my Dad since he found it works better in patients who were not smokers, and of the smokers it seemed to work better for women. He also didn't suggest Iressa at the time since our current regimine seemed to be working. Plus there were a bunch of new drugs which looked promising against BAC that were "months not years away". We went away feeling better than we had felt since before the surgery news.

With the blessing of our CT oncologist, my Dad picked up a light travel schedule again (but just in the US, no more 20+ hour flights to Asia for him!) And things seemed to be going so well.

We had CAT scans last week and the results (and this is the first time I have not been with my parents for any major result meetings) this morning looked not so great. The tumors in his left lung are growing and the several lymph nodes on that side are looking "angry". We are again, devastated. Now I am worried that headache he had last week wasn't just a headace... and while part of me knows that we are lucky cause he has been feeling great (well maybe not emotionally great the whole time =/ ), has been able to continue working at a job he absolutely loves.. and that we should just pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and move on to the next kind of treatment... I am just so SO tired of all the bumps in the road.

Today is my Mom's birthday, and they were supposed to come up here to Boston to see me and my brother and celebrate, but that now appears to be off. I am fortunate that my employer has been extremely supportive of me through all of this, so not only have I been to almost all of my Dad's weekly chemo appointments, I know I can walk into my boss and tell him I will be in NYC on Tuesday to see our onc. at MSKCC rather than at my desk.

Well now that I am starting to ramble.. I guess I will pick myself up dust off and head into the next phase of treatment.


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Welcome but sorry you have to be here. My husband is the same age as your Father. He has stage IV because of mets to brain. But they have told us from the beginning they are working towards a cure.

So far he has had no evidence of cancer since his lung surgery 12/3/02. Our next scans are not until late Sept.

Tell you Dad there is always hope.

Ginny D

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Welcome aboard. I speak with a Boston accent, so every one tells me. Perhaps because that is where I learned to speak. Hope you find the support you need here with us. Again, welcome Donna

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