My name is Elizabeth Dessureault. In April of 2015, I was diagnosed with advanced stage non-small cell adenocarcinoma lung cancer. As an otherwise healthy, non-smoking young adult, this news came as a complete shock. At the time, I was 26 years old and pregnant with my first child. I was also told that my cancer was incurable and that I had less than a year to live.
As a teacher, newlywed and mother-to-be, I refused to accept the prognosis and had my tissue sent to the United States for genetic testing. At 5 months pregnant I began chemotherapy. I finished 3 cycles before giving birth to my beautiful and healthy son Jack, two months prematurely.
After giving birth, the test results came back positive for a ROS-1 genetic mutation (If you tested positive for the ROS-1 gene, join our Facebook group here). I was then able to use targeted treatments to try and shrink and stabilize my cancer. 3 rounds of chemotherapy, a targeted therapy, a clinical trial and a lobectomy later – I now have NO EVIDENCE OF DISEASE!!!
I am so thankful that I sent my tissue to be tested as I am certain that I am alive and here today because of it. I am truly grateful for my extraordinary oncologist, surgeon and medical team who have helped me to get to where I am today.
As for now, I will continue on with the clinical trial (why mess with a good thing?!) and if anything pops up in the future, we will deal with it then. I am grateful for each and every day and pray that this new “N.E.D” status will be around for a very long time.
Miracles do happen.
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