Friday, May 01, 2009

Brief History 2009

I've updated my Brief History with the latest stuff...

In Dec 2005, I had a routine physical just coz I turned 30 that year. I was expecting a clean bill of health. But I did mention to the doctor that my father had a heart attack in his late 30's so they did an EKG.

Everything was fine except for the EKG. There were some abnormalities that they could not even determine with a sonogram of the heart.

Jan 2006 - So I saw a cardiologist. She did a CT scan of the heart. Turns out my heart was great. Although my lungs had cancer. So a pulmonologist verified it to be Stage 3B Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (Bronchio Alveolar Adenocarcinoma). It was inoperable since I had it in both lungs and it had spread thru the lymphatic system. (Usually a cancer grows in tumors. Mine had spread into thousands of tiny little tumors all over the lungs.) I started to see my oncologist.

I started treatment Feb 28, 2006. My first regimen consisted of Cisplatin and Taxotere on a 21 day cycle. I receive treatment at my doctor's office - Virginia Cancer Care in Loudoun county.

May 2006 - I had a CT scan that showed no change. My doctor and I decided to move to a gentler regimen so that I can work. My new regimen consisted of Carboplatin and Gemzar. Since the side effects were not too bad, I started to go back to work full time.

Aug 2006 - My doctor got insurance authorization to start me on Avastin.

Jan 2007 - PET scan showed no significant change. Again, we changed my regimen - Tarceva (since it has shown promising results on young, non-smoking Asian females) and Avastin. I'm not on chemo anymore. I'm on targeted therapy.

May 2007 - PET scan showed that the primary tumor has doubled in size. And that the spread of the cancer is now more dense in the right lung than before. We're changing the regimen again. Avastin and Alimta (chemo) every 21 days.

Jun 2008 - PET scan showed that the disease was stable.

Aug 2008 - Problem: Liquid in my lungs. Doctor extracted with big bad needle. (Thoracentesis)

Sep 2008 - Liquid in my lungs return with a vengance. Another visit to the doctor with the big needle. (Thoracentesis)

Oct 2008 - PET scan showed disease was growing fast. There are 2 things I needed to do. 1) Take care of the liquid in my lungs with a pleurodesis. 2) Change medication. After a year and a half, Avastin and Alimta had run it's course.

Nov 2008 - Instead of getting the pleurodesis, the doctor put in a PleurX Cathether.

Dec 2008 - New chemotherapy: Cisplatin and Navalbene on a 28 day cycle. Very difficult.

April 2009 - PET scan shows vast improvement in size and activity. Slight change in dosing: Instead of getting Cisplatin all in Day 1, it is split to 3 days so that I can be given more fluids to help with the side effects.