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New Caregiver-28 year old NSCLC


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Hi all, I'm sad to be here but glad to know how much support I can find. My boyfriend John was diagnosed in January with Stage IV Adenocarcinoma. He's EGFR positive with the Exon 19 deletion. Started out with bone pain, to persistent cough, then fatigue and weight loss. A couple visits to the doctor for antibiotics and on 1/7, they told us he most likely had lymphoma or leukemia. Clearly those are the obvious choices for a 28 year old, non-smoking male. A bone biopsy and two weeks later, we find out that it's non-small cell. He has a 2cm mass in his upper left lobe of his lung, extensive osseous metastases throughout his spine, pelvis, upper femur, ribs and shoulders, mediastinal and left hilar lymph node involvement and four small mets (largest is 1.5cm) in his brain. He's being seen by Dr. Nathan Pennell at the Cleveland Clinic. He received Gamma Knife radiation for his brain on 2/4, had palliative radiation to his left hip for 5 treatments and started 40 mg of Gilotrif on 2/5. We live together and we were planning on getting married in the next year but life always finds a way to throw in some hiccups. 

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I'd rather not be welcoming you to our site.  Folks your age are still in the spring break phase of your lives, not the lung cancer treatment phase.


The Cleveland Clinic has a superb reputation.  My reading of Gilotrif suggests it produces very good results for those Adenocarcinoma folks with EGFR and Del 19 presentation.  I had a similar drug in my early treatment (Tarceva) but at that time, doctors didn't really understand why it worked.  As it turns out it didn't work on squamous cell, my form of NSCLC.  It has two similar side effects - diarrhea and "skin rash".  I took a pill once a day and the diarrhea was a nightmare.  The rash came on later and, well, message me and I'll tell you about the rash.  When I went on line and asked for help with Tarceva's diarrhea, a fellow survivor suggested in have a bowl of plain steamed rice in the morning about 15 minutes before I took my pill.  My diarrhea laughed at Imodium but respected the rice.  Go figure!


Strap in, lock and load and prepare for a wild ride.  Lots of us here have experienced the ride and are still strapping in.  If I can live, so can John.


You'll have plenty of questions and we'll always try and provide answers.


Stay the course.



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Thanks for the welcome! I saw the summit in May, I'd love to come and get back to DC (I went to college there), but we have a wedding that month, so probably won't make it. John got his first blood tests done after starting Gilotrif and it looks like he's starting to respond and his body isn't reacting poorly to it. Just hoping for improved scans in April!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi there,


I hope he is still having good reaction to the Gilotrif with little to no side effects!! I look forward to a good update this month! I hope there was some info about "scanxiety" in the reading you have done. Basically, it's VERY normal for you both to get nervous about the upcoming scan. It could make him go through several emotions, some that he tries to hide. You may have some nervousness as well. There is no predicting how either of you will feel as the scan nears, but hopefully expecting it will make it easier to deal with.


God Bless.


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