Many of you who hang out with me of Twitter and Facebook know that I have cancer. My posts here abruptly stopped on 12/19/14 because I ended up being diagnosed with what turned out to be stage IV lung cancer. It took the doctors awhile to figure out what was happening, at first after my initial CT they thought I had Lymphoma after a quick fine needle biopsy it turned out I had an squamous type of cancer. They weren’t sure where it started from but they booted me up to the Mass General Cancer Center. I got lucky and got Dr Farago as my Oncologist.
Fast forward a PET scan, a core needle biopsy of the rather mean 4.3cm mass in my neck and various staining tests and it turns out my cancer originated in my right lung. By that point I was getting pretty sick, my lymph nodes were loaded with cancer, night sweats, fevers, exhaustion were part of my life. The good Doc hit me with two rounds of Carboplatin and Alimta, sad news for me but I had a mixed response, one tumor actually grew. Oh and that big bad boy on my neck, that 4.3cm mess, it had engulfed my jugular vein! We will save the terrifying talk of the several mini strokes my brain MRI showed for another time. Thankfully tumor reduction & an aspirin a day has helped.
Enter Opdivo, the wonder immunotherapy drug, within a few days after the FDA approved the drug I was on it! Every two weeks I get an infusion, after four infusions I had a CT scan that showed big shrinkage! Nothing in this life is free and Opdivo is no exception, the drug took my thyroid out, I get mouth sores, overwhelming fatigue and other varied side effects but on the plus side one of those side effects is that I continue to live :)
As I head to the Cancer Center tomorrow for infusion number 32, I want to thank all of you who have been so supportive of me! Cancer isn’t fun to have and it isn’t fun to talk about but I felt I owe you guys an explanation about why this site had gone dark. Make no mistake, this cancer is metastatic, I will never be “cured” but I can cling to the hope that this drug will work long enough for me that I will then be able to jump to a 2nd generation drug, basically treating my cancer as a chronic illness. Cross your fingers for me out that one please :)
Cancer isn’t about fun or finer living and I’ll be damned if I give it it’s own special spot on this site but I promise to update you all as to what’s going on with my health.
Now let’s talk phones eh? :)
Seriously, if you have questions about cancer, feel free to ask me, if you are a caregiver needing support, check in, if you are a fellow cancer patient please, don’t be shy, check in!