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UPDATE 11/1/22: I got my results yesterday, still NED as I expected. I have now graduated to 4-month scans (previously every 3 months)! I've gotten to the point where I can tell which radiologist read my scans. Each one has a different writing style. For the first time, "a few" apical nodules in my right lung were called out, the largest being 6 mm. I was only aware of the large one, but these nodules are all stable and are not worrisome. 

ORIGINAL POST:

Three years ago today my primary doctor told me that an Xray showed a 6 cm mass in my lower left lung. Lung cancer. You hear those words and your head starts spinning. But, she said, it's not a death sentence anymore. I knew nothing about lung cancer and really didn't believe her. 

I was referred to a pulmonologist, medical oncologist and radiation oncologist in quick succession. On Halloween 2019, my pulmonologist performed a rigid bronchoscopy to take tissue for biopsy and biomarker testing. The results were Stage IIIB NSC adenocarcinoma. 

It took time for the biomarker tests to come back in mid-November, and they showed an EGFR driver mutation. I still didn't know what that meant. 

November 2019 was a flurry of activity, seeing both oncologists, getting a port placed, getting dental work done and getting a bulk Teflon injection into my left vocal cord, which was paralyzed by the tumor. 

On December 3, 2019 I started the first of 6 weekly infusions of chemo (carboplatin and taxol) and 30 sessions of chest radiation. These treatments were not without side effects, and if I were to do it all again, I'd get a palliative care specialist on my team at the beginning. 

In March 2020 I started on Tagrisso for the EGFR mutation and have taken it daily since. My side effects are common and manageable. 

I never thought I'd make it this far but here I am 3 years later and NED. I found LUNGevity months after treatments ended, while I was still recovering. I wish I had found this wonderful community sooner, but better late than never. 

Coincidentally, I had my regular 3-month PET/CT scan this morning and will get results on Halloween. I don't expect there to be any changes. 

For anyone just diagnosed, I hope you'll learn as much as possible about this disease and all the modern treatments that are available. My doctor was right after all. I consider myself very fortunate that I have a great medical oncologist (even if he is a fan of the Phillies and Eagles) and the support of my husband, family and friends. I could not have made it this far without all of them and you! 

Edited by Judy M2
Added 11/1/22 update
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Judy,

What a wonderful post! It is full of hope and really demonstrates the impact of newly introduced treatments. Isn't NED neat?

So I'm a die hard Phillies and Eagles fan. I was born and raised in Philly but stayed a loyal fan while the Army sent me here, there, and everywhere. I live in a Dallas suburb, and my neighbors do not appreciate my protestations of their vaunted Cowboys. So I'm in full agreement with your wise and learned physician. He's rooting for the right teams and teeing up the best treatments for you!

I'm betting your PET/CT Halloween reveal is a NED treat!

Stay the course.

Tom

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Thanks, Tom and Justin. I wanted to let folks know that there can be life after a diagnosis of lung cancer. 

Congratulations to your Phillies, Tom. After the Padres beat the Dodgers we were hoping for more, but sadly it was not to be.

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