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Hi, I am Dave and found LLL in August of 2010. My first entry was on 8/4/10. I had three bouts of pneumonia starting 3/1/10 and on 5/1/10 came down with my worst case of pneumonia where I was hospitalized for 17 days. I almost died as my fever spiked to 105.8 and was having more and more trouble breathing despite being on five liters of oxygen. Finally they had a refrigerated mat for me to lie on which helped break the fever but none of the antibiotics were effective. Ct scans and xrays revealed nothing other than the pneumonia in my right lung. On my third day I had a bronchoscopy of the right lung but still it did not reveal much and my pulmonary doctor decided to do a biopsy which saved my life as they found a tumor in my right lower lobe and all the crap in my lung was able to drain out which opened my breathing passages. I litterally thought I was goiing to die just prior to that biopsy! The doctor told me I was in stage 3B. I had a lobectomy of the lower right lobe a month later, and the tumor was 9.6cm! In August I started a regimen of chemco and radiation(37 visits). The chemo was a wonderful cocktail(of course I am being facetious) of Cisplatin and Pemetexed. I amazingly kept all my hair but had the typical nausea and fatigue and amazingly gained twenty pounds which I actually needed! I was finished with the radiation in Nov and in Jan 2011 had both CT and PET scans which revealed some nodules had grown in the right lung and a few in the left lung. All were under .5cm so we decided to wait until April for additional scans which revealed that more had grown and were now hot. I had a tough time as I lost my mother in February, had my fourth bout of pneumonia in March, and then just as I was about to start a regimen of Taxol, I came down in May with my fifth bout of pnuemonia, in both lungs but considered the least serious of all my bouts. Unfortunately it still caused me to go on oxygen which I still am on.
The Taxol proved ineffective and in August I was put on Gemzar and Avastin. I would get Gemzar once a week for three weeks and a week off and Avastin was given once during one for the three treatments for each cycle. I lost a lot of hair, nauea sometimes but extremely tired all the time. When my oncologist switched to the gemzar/avastin treatment he was not optimistic. Of course this saddened us but I was determined to fight this incredibly terrible disease! I do apologize for the wordiness of this entry!
Well, I had scans last Friday and yesterday we met with the doctor. I first had my normal visit with the nurse who drew blood from my port(best thing I ever did was putting in a port in my chest) and then telling her I was here just to go over my results with the doctor. Five minutes after she left the room, she came in with a big smile and told us she saw the scans and they looked great! I looked at my wife and said let's wait for the doctor to come in to make sure she didn't make a mistake! She didn't and the doctor told us that in both lungs, the nodules eithe disappeared and the remaining had shrunk! OMG! Tears flowed everywhere! The first good news since this whole journey started.
I am telling you my whole story as I want you to know there is hope! I am a very positive oriented person, a controller/cfo by trade(but always called myself an atypical financial guy with a sense of humor as well) and if you see my earlier posts from 2010, I was very determined to beat this. But I must be honest that of course there are days when I would get depressed. Who wouldn't? When I received news of my scans before going on the Taxol, the nodules had grown and were very hot. I have a daughter graduating high school in June and a 12 year old son. So many reasons to be here and see my children grow to adulthood!
So, as you or your loved one go through treatment and have your bad days, read about good stories, forget the statistics and hang in there. I don't know how long I will stay like this and I continue to do the chemo to try to knock out the remainging existing nodules, that is as long as my body continues to handle it and there is no plateau. But stay positive, try to laugh if possilbe, and take one day at a time. I know before even getting the news yesterday, that I finally learned to wake up and smell the roses, appreciating what I have. I am trying to teach this to my wife, who I am very grateful for keeping our family together. But you have to sometimes take a step back as tension and stress are always there. So G-d Bless to you all! Continue to fight the fight! I don't know how long this will last but I know as of Friday through today, although not cancer free, a little less cancer in my lungs and also nothing has spread! .....Dave
Thanks for sharing this. It's so good to hear that you have gotten some good news!
Outstanding Dave!!!!! Keep the faith and keep that little bugger running ............
So happy for you Dave! May you continue to have great visits and enjoy your family! Each day is a gift....
Congratulations to you and thanks for sharing.What a wonderful upbeat message for people that are struggling.
Excellent news Dave ! and thank you for sharing for 'Tis the Season .... and we can all use good news~!
Great new Dave. I hope everything stays this way for you. My husband is on week two of treatment. So far so good. No sided effects. 27 more treatments left if everything goes well.
Thanks to you all for your wishes. What a great time of year to get some good news for a change. Beverly, is your husband getting chemo or radiation? My prayers are with you guys!
Larry is getting both Chemo once a week and radiation 5 days a week. So far he has had 2 chemo's and 10 radiation's. So far so good . Nothing seems to be bothering him. Enjoy your holiday and best wishes to you. Beverlee
Very similar to my original treatment last year. I was on a cocktail as I mentioned above once every three or four weeks and also had 37 straight weekdays of radiation. Initially I was fine but everything accumulates so there will be some side effects. But they were manageable! Merry Christmas and a Happy and HEALTHY New Year to you and your family Beverlee.
Thanks for the info of what to expect. So far Larry is just having trouble sleeping. I think it might be the steroid that they give him with Chemo. Merry Christmas and Happy New You to you and your family. Beverlee
Beverlee ..... I actually plan around the chemo infusion. I am the energizer bunny for two days after and stay up all night. I play games and work on the computer ... just having fun. It took me a little while to realize I was all steroided up - but once you turn it into your advanage (and a game - as you are up when everyone else is asleep), it becomes quite manageable. Then, day 3 or 4 I crash! mekbride
That is excellent Mekbride! And Beverlee, the trouble sleeping is probably from the steroids. Since I have switched to Gemzar, the doctors have reduced the amount I am taking which is only when I get treatment. I still have about two nights after chemo with problems sleeping. Can't hurt and ask for a prescription of sleeping pills from the doctor.