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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
& 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