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Hi everyone,

My name is Rita, I am 57 years old and I am originally from Southern Italy. I have lived in the UK, near London, on and off since 1977. I have stage IV Non Small Cell Lung Cancer. It all started in October 2014 when I went to my doctor because of a persistent cough and, thankfully, he sent me for an x-ray. This followed various scans and a biopsy which showed that I had a large (11cm) NSCLC adenocarcinoma in my right lung, which wasn’t operable. I had 3 cycles of chemotherapy (Cisplatin and Vinorelbine), which didn’t work well and because I also had an allergic reaction to it - I was in and out of the Accident & Emergency - my oncology thought it was safer for me to continue my treatment with radiotherapy. The radiotherapy shrunk the tumour from 11cm to 6cm, which was good news, however, the scan showed a couple of lesions -1cm and 3mm - in the other lung. A biopsy showed that the cancer had metastasized in the left lung. I had organised to go on holiday to Sorrento, Italy on 18th September 2015 for a week with my sisters, which I hadn’t seen for 2 years, and I started chemotherapy treatment after my holiday, at the end of September (docetaxel and nintendanib).

After 3 cycles of Docetaxel, which made me lose all of my hair, but it did not cause me to have any bad reaction to it, my oncologist decided that the small tumour in the left lung was a primary and not a metastasis, therefore, he suggested I had it removed. I had 2 segments removed from my lower left lung mid December 2015. The operation went really well and the pain was managed well, too. I went back to work after Christmas.
The CT scan at the end of February this year (2016) showed that the primary cancer on my right lung had very little activity and my oncologist thought the activity might even be due to the radiotherapy and not the cancer; my left lung was cured after the operation. However, the spot in my right kidney, which, originally, they thought it was just a cyst, grew to 4.2 cm.
A biopsy on the 12th April confirmed it was a metastasis and a PET scan showed a few more tiny lesions in the left lung.
I am now stage IV with Kras mutation.
In May, I started 4 cycles of Carboplatin/Alimta with very good results and I am now on Alimta maintenance.
I take things as they come.
Good luck everyone.
Rita x

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Hi, Rita,

Welcome to LCSC. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you will make many meaningful connections with other patients and survivors on this site. Please continue to keep us updated and feel free to join in any of the discussion threads or start new ones. Let us know if you have any questions or if you're looking for resources on a specific topic. In addition to LCSC, LUNGevity has peer-to-peer support mentorship programs as well as a wealth of educational materials available in print and online.

LUNGevity's President Andrea Ferris is a member of the Stand Up to Cancer Lung Cancer Dream Team, which was created in 2015 to address treatment options for patients with KRAS-mutant lung cancer. There is more information about their work on this website: http://www.lungcancerdreamteam.org/

We are here for you. Let us know how we can help!

With gratitude,

Digital Community Manager
LUNGevity Foundation

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