New Game Plan.

This year’s Lung Cancer Awareness Month really took things to a new level of awareness. I have been INCREDIBLY fortunate to have felt SO well since my diagnosis but unfortunately this past month I have felt pretty unwell.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, there was progression of disease to both lungs. A couple of weeks later, we learned that it had also metastisized to some of my bones. To top that off, I also developed a few pulmonary embolisms (blood clots) in my lungs as well as some fluid in my chest to make things even more complicated… On the bright side, my brain scan was clear! (I’ll take wins where I can get them!).

Because of all of this, I have been quite ill and had to be in hospital. It also meant that I had to cancel a few events that I was supposed to attend – which I was disappointed about! I was due to speak on a panel for Foundation Medicine / the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation’s “Don’t Guess Test” campaign in Boston, at Pfizer Canada’s Headquarters in Montreal and to travel to the IASLC’s World Lung Cancer Conference in Vienna! Unfortunately I was unable to attend these events but felt so much love receiving photos, videos and messages from those at the events.

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#justbreathe bracelets spotted at Foundation Medicine in Boston!

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Pfizer Canada staff wearing their #justbreathe bracelets and sending well wishes!

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Thank you to my ROS1 friend for sharing this photo from the World Lung Cancer Conference in Vienna!

 

Last week, we travelled to Boston to meet with ROS1 specialist, Dr. Alice Shaw at Massachusetts General Hospital. My oncologists, Dr. Scott Laurie (despite being on “sabbatical”) & Dr. Paul Wheatley-Price helped to coordinate all of the logistics! I am so fortunate to have such an amazing team. Dr. Shaw was so knowledgeable as she explained to us what treatment options were available through their hospital and very reassuring by explaining that my healthcare team has now expanded!

 

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Dr. Shaw & Dr. Lin at MGH

 

We decided to go with traditional chemotherapy for the time being as this particular combination has been very successful for many ROS1 patients like myself! Before beginning chemo, I had 1 day of targeted radiation to two different spots in my bones as well as a Pleurx (chest tube) inserted to easily drain the fluid from my chest (which has really helped to improve my breathing!). For those of you in the lung cancer community, I began a combination of Carboplatin/Pemetrexed(Alimta) on Monday. It feels so good to be fighting back again! We are so hopeful that chemo will work (and for a LONG time). There are a couple clinical trials that we will look into in the future and always have hope for more research and new treatments that will become available soon.

 

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Despite the fact that I am no longer in a clinical trial, my clinical trial coordinators came and decorated my room as I began chemo! I’m pretty sure my face says it all (as well as the tears that followed shortly thereafter). My oncologist, Dr. Laurie, also came in to send well wishes! I felt completely spoiled!! 

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Michelle & Kendra – New Chemo Day 1

It has certainly been a long month but I truly believe that things will turn around again from here! I can just feel it. Thank you for your prayers, positive vibes and support.

I look forward to sharing GOOD NEWS ONLY in the weeks to come.

Wishing you all a VERY Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year. Enjoy every second of it.

Just breathe.

LIVING with Lung Cancer Lizzie xo

 

P.S. Thank you all who took the time to vote for my Blog! I was honoured to win Healthline‘s Best Health Blog of 2016 thanks to all of you! I won $1000 which I will be donating to Lung Cancer Research! 

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P.P.S. A couple of months ago I partnered with the Ottawa Hospital Foundation by sharing my story as part of a fundraising campaign. As of the end of November, my letter had already helped to raise over $130,000!! Thank you to those of you who donated to the hospital that means so much to me! 

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& last but certainly not least, a huge thank you goes out to all of you who donated to our patient-driven ROS1 Fundraiser through the Bonnie Addario Lung Cancer Foundation! As of today, $2,773 has been raised through “Lizzie’s ROS1 Fundraiser” to help support ROS1 specific research!! We are so grateful for research, hope and the future because of your generosity. THANK YOU! xo

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17 thoughts on “New Game Plan.

  1. Dear Lizzie~ wishing you well with your new plan. You attitude is what will change this around for you. I send you prayers too, and feel that news will be good. Your blog is outstanding!
    My son Mike, has stage 4 adenocarcinoma too. Diag last year at age 37. Neversmoker. Active. Healthy (?). He has 4 small ones. Afatinib first…effusion and growth and pleurX catheter (nice!!). Then Tagrisso. He has added IV vit C. Many NIH studies now on vitC, and it changed things dramatically for him. He feels well again. YOU WILL TOO.
    Blessings to you and your family this holiday! This is merely a bump in the road.
    XO Susan

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You will beat this Elizabeth. With your strength, the grace of God and the good work of your medical team you will continue your advocacy work around the world. Prayers for you. Merry Christmas and just breath☘❤️🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Lizzie…the chemo you are now doing is the same one I was put on when I went to stage 4 in June 2015. I had four of the combo and then went to Alimta every 3 weeks and I had numerous spots to what was left of my lungs,it was in lymph nodes in the mediastinum and hilar and I had found one in my shoulder clavicle,3 bone mets and pleura bottom right.I had my regular 3 month scan Dec.1 and it was great no sign of cancer anywhere and my scans have been like that for 12 months so I got a break for the month of Dec.You can do this..you’re young,strong and have a wonderful positive attitude! Merry Christmas😊🙏🍀🌹🎄🎅

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Liz, you are so very strong. Such a great inspiration to everyone that has been blessed to have crossed your path. You are young, strong with wonderful family and friends. You can do this!!! As I always say; “keep your eyes on that prize”. Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family. Hugs ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lizzie, you are such an inspiration to so many. Thank you for that gift that you give so freely. You have a wonderful team of medical personnel, friends and family members. You will get through this! You have the love and support and prayers of many of us and know that you are in all of our hearts always and especially this Christmas season. I wish you a Merry Christmas, hopefully spent with your son and family. And I will continue to pray that 2017 is the year that sees you become well and cancer free. 🎄

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Liz, I’d like to offer you and your young family the very best now and in the new year. I saw the picture where you celebrated Christmas early with your son. I saw how excited your son was with his new kitchen set that I went out and got Parker(Kathryn and Cory`s son) a little BBQ and he loves it. He bakes cookies with playdoh and feeds Elmo and Cookie monster. From what Kathryn tells me he also has a little taste, haha
    Be well Liz.
    Joanne Easey

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Lizzie-
    I’m so sorry you haven’t been feeling well, but I’m glad you were able to make it to Boston, see the specialists and sort out a new plan. I believe your strength, hope, determination, and family/friend support will help you through this very difficult time and difficult challenge. I do believe you will get better.
    You are in my thoughts and prayers, and so are Dax, Jack, your mom and dad, and all of your family.
    Thank you for staying so positive – you are truly an inspiration.
    Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas filled with love, joy and warmth.
    Love,
    Julie Ho Ho Ho (my Christmas sign off)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have been following your Blog . And praying for you. You are the strongest positive person. Enjoy your Christmas with your special little guy and family. Prayers for a better new year.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Elizabeth- I cannot tell you in words – they just see. Inadequate- how remarkable you are and how honestly generous you are to share yourself and your courage with so many. I have asked several patients – not just with lung cancer- to visit your blog and remember to believe and keep moving forward. You have an army of supporters on your case💕🍀👍

    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dear Elizabeth I read about your cancer progressing to your second lung. I didn’t write back then as I just did not know what to say. Liam came home from Father Mercredi last week and said that they had prayed for you. Tonight I read more and I am so glad you have another plan. You are always on my mind and in our prayers. Take care. Charlene Gibson

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Dear Elizabeth – my entire family is following your progress and remarkable story – you are an amazing woman and from a wonderful family with strength beyond understanding. We remember you Elizabeth in your high school plays – you have a beautiful voice. You are going into another period of care surrounded with so much love – whereever you look Elizabeth there are people who are praying for you, people you have never met, but people you have touched – get well, Merry Christmas to you and your whole family – give your mom a hug from me!!xo

    Liked by 1 person

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