LanaD Posted October 19, 2016 Share Posted October 19, 2016 Don't quite know what you mean by tags. So I put in the type of cancer I was diagnosed with. It's considered an "environmental cancer". Where I lived, if it was near factories, air pollution, and no one knows for sure. Had no symptoms, or pain just a persistent cough which they attributed to silent acid reflux which I still have. I went through 4 doctors (they were treating me for a fungal infection) until my daughter interjected herself into the mix; called the pathologist, got the results called me; told me to get down to UNC Chapel Hill NC and talk to the doctors there as they were the forefront in lung cancer treatments. She then called my pulmonologist (who had gone on vacation while I was waiting for the results) and informed him she was taking over my case. The treatment consisted of 30 rounds of radiation along with the 150 mg of Tarceva (a chemo pill) 5 days a week, and off on weekends. This also turned out to be something new for this type of cancer using both Tarceva and radiation. My doctor daughter was instrumental in getting the doctors to give it to me 2 weeks before the additional biopsy results were in so sure was she that it was the right thing to do! They dialed back the radiation amount so the Tarceva and radiation would "cooperate" to kill the cancer cells. it has been a resounding success. I no longer need oxygen but need to take the blood thinners ( I started 2 x day giving myself injections of Lovenox and after 6 months improved so dramatically, the blood clots disappearing and they decided to switch to Xarelto). I need to be monitored closely as Tarceva has a life/time span of 12-18 months and I am at the 1 year mark. Now comes the real test, where do I fall in the group where the Tarceva slowly becomes ineffective or the group that it continues to be effective. But I have been reassured that there are new drugs that can step in to help as well as possible clinical trials. Side effects are minimal in my case; diarrhea (immodium helped), nausea (Zofran- wonderful). Roseacea (rash on face and body-had a face medicine that my dermatologist prescribed). Drippy nose, an uncommon side effect. Lost quite a bit of weight (apx 30 lbs-have only gained 5-7 back). Appetite not fully restored, eat small and frequent meals and make sure you keep your protetin levels up as the Tarceva uses energy to fight the cancer. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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