I was 60 when I was diagnosed on January 13, 2017. I remember, it was a Friday.
I was diagnosed with non-small cell adenocarcinoma, with ALK and EGFR mutations, which at the time I had no idea what that meant.
It started off with a cough that lasted a long time, so I went to see my doctor. We thought it may have been due to allergies, so I was to try Reactin for two weeks. I went back to the GP when the symptoms did not improve and we tried another antihistamine for another two weeks, but to no avail. I was then told I needed to see an allergist. The allergist carried out several tests to determine what I might be allergic to, but oddly enough the test results did not reveal anything positive. We tried a breathing test in his office and it was okay, but he thought I should have a more intense one at the hospital. I had the test and still, the results were in and my breathing was fine.
It was then suggested I should have an appointment with an ENT specialist, which meant more waiting time for me. When I finally got in, he asked me why I was there, so I told him my story. At this point, my coughing was getting worse to the point I was wearing depend pads at work.
The ENT specialist examined me, again to no avail, nothing found. I was then sent to the infectious disease clinic in case I had TB, which was another dead end. Then, I was scheduled for a broncoscopy at the hospital after another physician thought I had complicated pneumonia. I thought, great, we are almost there. All of this testing was over a period of about 9 or 10 months. Then one day, my doctor called and asked “when did you have a chest x-ray?” I said, “Well I have never had a chest x-ray before”. I had the x-ray done, she saw something and wanted me to have another one. After reviewing the x-rays with the lung specialist, he advised my doctor to send me to the cancer assessment center.
And that was the start. It was only then I received a possible diagnosis and I had a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. It was LUNG CANCER.
I started treatment straight away. I was placed on chemotherapy. I had six cisplatin and pemetrexed infusions, every three weeks which was then switched to just pemetrexed every three weeks. I also had 15 treatments of radiation therapy as well as two CyberKnife treatments on my spine.
I had my last treatments in December 2018. I recently had a CT scan and I am still NED (no evidence of disease).
I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH STAGE 4 TERMINAL LUNG CANCER, AND GIVEN 12 TO 18 MONTHS TO LIVE. SO FAR, SO GOOD.