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Introducing myself


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Hi there, just wanted to introduce myself to folks. I found this site through a link from the Onctalk forum and thought I would check it out. I'm here because my big sister was diagnosed in May with 3b NSCLC. I'm the youngest of a big family, but I'm also the one who works in the medical field. Working in oncology has been one thing, but now, well now it's personal. Whole new ballgame! Not that I haven't had to deal with cancer in my family before, but this time I'm right in the thick of things guiding my sister through this all. I'm grateful that I'm able to do this, but I also (half)joke with folks that I wonder now why I didn't become a CPA, then they'd only need me at tax time. :D I do think that I've been a lot of help to my family, even if I have been a bit of a pain in the doctor's sides. Just kidding, luckily as soon as I identify myself they speak to me as a colleague and don't mind when I add in my own suggestions. I think my major contribution though, has been being the one person she can say anything to. I told her she can't scare me and doesn't have to worry about my feelings, so I'm the one she can be completely up front with. And I think that really helps her. I have plenty of friends at work who all know what I'm dealing with, so I have an outlet of my own. But thought it may be nice to have another way to unload my own worries and fears. Hence my introduction here.

Right now we are waiting on a scan after my sister finished 5 cycles of carbo/taxol and 37 rounds of radiation. The hurry up and wait, we really have come to hate that period. Something everyone here can relate to. So our answer to the waiting, we figure we can go for a little trip, so several of us leave next week for the beach. :)

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Welcome. Your sister is so fortunate to have you as an advocate. We have an onocologist who helps us on this board because lung cancer is his specialty. You also would be a great help seeing it from a family member's view. I am a nurse and fortunately nearly a 10 year survivor. Under "My Story" I wrote a lot about what happened to me. Believe me this was a huge mountain to climb but now at the top the view is good.

Donna G

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I've read so many posts by Dr. West and I think what he is doing is nothing short of a God-send to those of us dealing with lung cancer, either as a patient or loving someone who has it.

I'm a Dr. of Pharmacology and work as a toxicologist with cancer medications. That is a world away from watching my sister take the medications. It has been a real eye opener. Luckily though, I've been able to prepare her for side-effects and I'm the queen of "take this drug" for any problems she is having. And usually, just "speaking the lingo" is a big help to everyone. I don't need the English-to-medical dictionary. :)

I was joking with a friend that no matter what I say, my sister then "checks out that I'm right by asking the Dr.". My friend said - or maybe she is checking out that the Dr. knows what he is talking about by seeing if he agrees with you. I like the way my friend thinks!

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Welcome to our family. My husband is also a stage 3b and had great results with carbo/taxol and radiation. The new drugs available for lung cancer are amazing and have been a miracle for my husband. He got an excellent response with Tarceva and Avastin. Let us know how things go for her -- it's great she has you to vent to.


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