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Hi everyone!  I’m Melissa and I live in Baltimore. I was diagnosed with Stage IV Adenocarcinoma in July of this year after having a nagging cough that would not go away. I have been on Tagrisso and as of October my scans showed the tumors have shrunken by 50%. I am so thankful to be living in an age where Tagrisso is even an option!  

I have an amazing support system of husband, family, friends and colleagues who have gone above and beyond with help and this has gotten me through 2020. 

I had lost my job due to COVID about 5 days before my diagnosis so it was a real double punch for life changes. I was so uncertain of what to do next and what I should be doing with myself. My husband and I were ready to find our dream home and I really loved my job. All at once, it felt like our future was ripped away from us. I did make the decision to keep working and was SO fortunate to find employment at a wonderful organization. This has also allowed us to begin the search for a home again. I’m terrified of making such a huge commitment since I don’t know what my next scan holds but I try to read the stories of other survivors and believe that I have many years left. 

I decided to reach out to the support group because up to now, i haven’t talked to anyone else with my diagnosis and I want to hear stories from people who share my experience. I also feel the need to give my. Are takers a break from my every worry that I have about my health because I know they worry so much too. 

Thanks for reading my story!!

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Hi Melissa: I am glad you joined our group.  We hope we can be part your amazing support system and share our experiences with you.

Glad your tumor is shrinking and we have few patients here on Tagrisso and hopefully you will hear from them.  It sounds like you have a good medical team since they discovered that you have a mutation. Can you share how many scans you had so far while on Tagrisso?

It is also great to know that you have a job that you like and it is as important that you  plan  ahead with your life as usual. We can't stop living while we are being treated for cancer. There is always hope if you keep trying. Again great to have you join and please feel free to post any question you might have. One of us might have the answer. I wish you the best.

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Welcome Melissa,

Life continues despite our diagnosis and treatment and provisions must be made to address the essential aspects. If I had your diagnosis, and a new job, and a complicated viral pandemic, I'd put off the decision on buying a new home. 

I'm nearing 17 years of surviving lung cancer including right lung removal, surgical complications, 5 recurrences after "successful" treatments.That tenure suggests if I can live, so can you. Here is something that might help with the mental preparation to beat the beast.

Add us to your support system. We are particularly valuable for fielding questions.

Stay the course.


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Hi Melissa

Welcome to the Lungevity group.  Your story is not unfamiliar.  I was 51 at the time of my diagnosis, with a persistent worsening cough.  While I was on short term disability, my company closed the division & I lost my job.  As the primary breadwinner, it was very overwhelming.   I didn’t want to spend a dime on anything because of my “what happens if” syndrome (including a new pair of Crocs).  

It’s been over two years & Ive managed past those fears with new deck  & now dining room furniture arriving in the Spring.   One of our Lungevity friends just bought a brand new dream house.  

The first year of adjusting to the diagnosis is filled with ups, downs & uncertainty.  It does get better in time.  In this new age of lung cancer, diagnosis is not prognosis.  

There’s also a vibrant EGFR community on Facebook where you will also find many long term (five plus years) survivors.  

Welcome aboard!


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Hi Melissa and welcome. I certainly understand trying to make financial decisions in the middle of treatment. Right before I was diagnosed, my husband quit his job to start his own company. We then found ourselves staring down the barrel of a stage 4 diagnosis and the possibility that surviving on disability might be in our future. Whew that was a time but it all worked out. It took us about 2 years to make a big financial decision but now we are finally comfortable making (most) decisions without considering my cancer future. 

Good to hear you have an awesome support system and medical team. We're always here for you. Happy Holidays!

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Hi Melissa, 

I realize that I'm late to the party, but I was away a few days.  So glad to hear that you're responding well to treatment.  As Tom already explained this is a tricky disease and can put up quite a fight but we have some great examples of survivors here.  I'm not sure about looking for the house now or not, but my criteria would be; if it is something that makes you happy more than stressed then go for it.  But, sometimes in my experience, shopping for, buying and then moving into a new house can put some major stress on a person.  Regardless, you'll do what is best for you, but make sure you take time to rest, refresh and recreate with your loved ones.


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