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Back after a lengthy absence

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Hello to all. It has been at least 6 weeks or so since I've had access to my computer (my college-age daughter had to borrow it temporarily...). Anyway, I have spent a couple of days reading posts since my last visit! There are some new people on since I posted last, so hello to you all, and consider the following my "introduction".

As some of you may remember, my sister, who recently turned 48, was diagnosed in July '02 with Stage IV NSCLC. First symptons were the mets to the brain, she had surgery then radiation to the brain, and the radiation has continued to improve those metaseses, even as recently as last week. Four months of cisplatin/gemzar shrunk the lung tumor significantly, then due to weight loss and depressed blood cell counts, she has not had chemo for several months. Last week, a complete restaging was done, showing the primary tumor has grown quite a bit, and there is a small spot on her pelvic bone, but no other new metaseses. Even three months out of chemo, her blood counts are so low that her oncologist doesn't recommend further chemo at this time. She will be prescribed Iressa as soon as MD Anderson recieves the shipment in their pharmacy. We, of course, are praying that this will be the miracle for her.

I am so worried about her, her husband and son, and my mother (who moved in with her 10 months ago). I live five hours away and I get down to see them as often as possible (about every other or third weekend). I am an educator, so with summer coming I will up my pace of visits. We are all having an extremely hard time coping with this disease, as lung cancer was probably the cancer we "feared" the least -- no family history and she is a non-smoker. I am not asking for advice or anything, I just wanted to vent some, and I knew that anyone reading this post could relate. My sister's only thread of hope is the 10-20% chance of Iressa "doing something" (her onc says great things can happen in 10%, and 20% show some level of improvement). She absolutely is not ready to leave this world, and I can hardly blame her. Her son is 18 years old and needs his mom. And WAITING for the Iressa to arrive at the pharmacy and then the WAITING to see it's effect is so frustrating!

I am so sorry for each of you in a similar situation. I pray that more discoveries are made by researchers to enable our loved ones to once again thrive. I pray for all of your loved ones in their struggle against cancer and for each of you as a caregiver. After I finish "catching up" on recent postings, I will again participate on the forum. Thanks for "listening", or more accurately, reading.....


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