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Janet B

Time to join in

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Hi! I found this board a few months ago – it has given me much hope, many answers and several tears. I have felt funny about joining in – almost like I am butting into a conversation - but it’s about time I did – hopefully I will be able to help someone else, the way you have all helped me. I am 49 years old, married for 25 years to my high school sweetheart. We have 3 children – 19, 20, and 22 – all in college – they are my life. I teach preschool. I never smoked. I have had no health problems. On December 22, 2006 I went to my doctor for a bad pain in my back. I assumed I had hurt it at work playing with the kids. The Dr. thought it was a herniated disc and sent me in for a CT and MRI. I got a call to go right to the ER, she wouldn’t tell me why. There the ER doctor told me I had Lung Cancer – Stage 4, spread to my spine in 3 places. They wanted to admit me immediately, but since they told me right there that I probably wouldn’t see another Christmas, I checked myself out to return after the holiday. I spent a week in the hospital, first for a biopsy, and then the plan was to try surgery. However another MRI showed Mets to the brain and surgery was canceled The oncologist assigned to me at the hospital wanted to treat me “the way he treats all his patients” That didn’t sit well with me so I went for a second opinion at Yale and a third opinion at Sloan Kettering – they agreed on a treatment plan for me – not, “all their patients”. I chose Yale. I had radiation to the spine and brain in January and February and have taken Tarceva 150 since February. I get Zometa infusions every month. I have had PET scans and MRIs every 3 months since diagnosis. Test results have been shrinkage, stable and then the last test which was done almost a year from diagnosis on December 17 2007-

No Evidence of Disease!!! I actually made the doctor repeat the words! I believe in the power of prayer, God’s goodness and second opinions!

So – I HATE this disease, I hate that I might not see my kids graduate or get married, I hate that I might never get to be a grammy, I hate that I will not be here for my kids when they need me, and that they will have to see me in pain, I hate thinking of my husband all alone and I hate that every little ache sends me into a panic. But – I am loving life and family and friends more than I ever had. I have been reminded that life is a gift – and all in all – it’s been a pretty good year.

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Janet-

I am glad you came out of lurker land and joined in here. Congratulations on such a remarkable report. Tarceva can be a miracle drug when it works.

Rochelle

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Rochelle - I want you to know that you and your family have been in my prayers. You have a strength and a giving heart that I could only hope to achieve. So many of you board members I have been praying for and crying with and celebrating with as a lurker - it was about time I came out of the shadows and tried to help too. The Tarceva is working for me - and I know it might not last, but it did get me another Christmas. I should add that I had the Deletion 19 mutation which Tarceva seems to respond well with as a first line treatment. (my first oncologist had no intention of checking for it) It has not been easy - the side effects can be grueling - but I am willing to do anything to stick around awhile :D

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Janet,

What a great story. It should encourage everyone. It's certainly a good example of searching for an Onc. until you find one that is truly interested in your situation. You're lucky.

Glad you stopped lurking. You have so much to contribute.

Muriel

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Wow is right! I am glad you joined in. You have given me even more hope in what otherwise has been a very challenging week for me. It took me a long time to "join in" too, so I know what bravery that takes. Seems like so many of you here know each other so well. You are so welcoming to us forest dwellers none the less.

Keep up the good spirits....you have been a very positive inspiration to me. Thank you

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Stories of hope are SO welcome here, Janet, and yours is one of the best. New folks coming to the board need to see that there are good results from tx and hope for the future. I appreciate your enjoying 'another' Christmas. I was not to enjoy flowers in the spring of '05, and here I am awaiting the flowers of spring '08!!!!

Please stay and extend your hand and heart to those who are in need. Glad to have you join the family.

Kasey

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Welcome Janet, I am SO sorry you had the need to join us here. That in itself SUCKS! But, I'm glad we're here.

Your story sounds like so many other's I have heard over the years. I have a lady in my support group here in Minnesota that is a Stage IV lung cancer survivor and I want you to know she is a 7 year SURVIVOR and she is NED. So, PLEASE don't ever give up HOPE and I too have learned on this journey that we never say NEVER!!

It's a crap shot, but hey, we have to go for all we can, and hope for all the best and I've seen good things come to many lung cancer survivors who did just that.

I hope you'll stay around and offer support as well as recieve it for many many moons to come. :wink:

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Janet -

Welcome!!

On a day when I am worked about into an anxiety attack due to CAT scan tomorrow, do you have any idea what it is like for me to read that you are also Stage IV and now NED!!! You have no idea how thankful that I am that you picked now to come out of the shadows and join this forum.

May you continue to do well and be an inspiration to others on this board.

God Bless You - Patti B.

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WOW!! What a lucky lady you are. :mrgreen: CONGRATULALTIONS ON BEING NED! We love NED on here (you to Ned from Hawaii :D )

Your story certainly is an inspiration to so many newcomers who may have also heard the same diagnosis and didn't think of going for a 2nd or even a 3rd opinion.

Kudos to you!!

We hope you can stay and help others who may feel they have no hope.

Welcome here Janet!!

Maryanne :wink:

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I just want to thank everyone for such a warm welcome! I am not usually a joiner, this was a big step and you all are making it very easy!

Patti B. my prayers will be with you for your test tomorrow. I find that if I say a prayer during the tests and them scream in my head as loud as I can ( without actually screaming out loud!) for the cancer to be gone - it makes the test go by quicker!

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