JulieG Posted June 27, 2017 Share Posted June 27, 2017 Hi everyone, After lurking around the site for a couple of months reading posts, I decided to join and become official. I was diagnosed with NSCLC, Stage 4, in November of 2016. The cancer was initially found in my bones, after I finally saw my doctor about pain in my left hip radiating down my leg. I'm nearly sixty, and it felt a lot like sciatica which I had experienced a couple of times in the past, so it took me a couple of months to speak to my doctor about it. Blood work led to a bone scan, and then all heck broke loose. My family doctor quickly referred me to an oncologist, who ordered CT scans and MRIs to find the origin of the cancer. At about that same time, I had begun experiencing shortness of breath, which became quite bad by the time of my chest CT scan. That revealed my left lung was filled with fluid and partially collapsed. I had the first of several thoracentesis procedures, and the fluid was malignant. I started chemo (alimta and carboplatin) the week before Thanksgiving and had four cycles. Before the 2nd cycle, we learned I had the EGFR mutation. My oncologist felt it was better that I complete the course of chemo rather than switch, since I was tolerating the chemo very well. I started Tarceva at the end of February of this year. I just had my first set of scans last week since starting Tarceva, and will learn the results tomorrow. I'm a bit anxious, but hopeful that the Tarceva has been working. I've had very mild side effects with that as well. I'm married (my husband has been my rock since this all began) and have two sons in their 20s (telling my sons was the hardest thing I've ever done). I'm actually feeling good, so I've been able to maintain my normal routine, go to work go walking, yard work, cook, shop, clean the house, etc., etc. which has helped my sons see that I'm not imminently dying. I know the realities of this disease and the long-term iimplications, but I'm determined to make the very best of things especially while I feel good. Although I was a little reluctant to really delve into researching treatments and such at first, I'm now ready to learn more about the EGFR mutation and what some other options will be for treatment when Tarceva stops working. I also meant to mention, in early December I had a VATS talc pleurodesis on my left lung, which effectively stopped the constant accumulation of fluid. I still have some numbness and occasional discomfort around my lower ribcage as a result, but it sure beats a weekly thoracentesis. Getting a cancer diagnosis is sure a kick in the gut, but i'm up for the fight (and if it had to happen to anyone in my family I'd rather it be me instead of my husband or, heaven forbid, one of my kids). I'm looking forward to learning more from the rest of you who are also on this journey. Julie Susan Cornett 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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