Cheryncp123 Posted July 15, 2015 Share Posted July 15, 2015 I have only been recently diagnosed (3 months ago) with stage 4 metastatic non small cell adenocarcinoma of the (right) lung. I tested positive for the ALK gene and am taking Xalkori an oral medication. At this point (nearly 3 weeks in) I have had no side effects from this drug (thank goodness). I will see my oncologist on Aug. 7th to follow up. I do not smoke nor have I ever been a smoker so this was a surprise to me as I was under the mistaken impression that only smokers or people exposed to toxic carcinogens were at risk.( I was exposed to second hand smoke for 35 years, my ex-husband was a heavy smoker). Since I have been diagnosed I have been trying to get the word out that this is a deadly misconception. I was seeing my PCP for shortness of breath, tightness in my chest, hoarseness and a persistent cough. I was diagnosed with bronchitis/asthma and given an antibiotic (to no effect) and an inhaler for several months before I became so short of breath I couldn't walk across the room and I decided I would make an appointment with a pulmonologist who on x-ray found that I had a pleural effusion. I was sent for a thoracentisis to drain the fluid (1.5 liters) and have it analyzed. It came back positive for malignant cells and I was then sent for a CT scan which showed a tumor on my right lung. I had a PET scan that revealed the tumor was contained to the right lung. I underwent a VATS procedure to drain (2 liters) and seal the pleura and biopsy the tumor. They did a genetic marker test on the tumor and it revealed a defective (ALK) gene. Up until this point I have had no serious illness in my life. And that is my story. Tom Galli 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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