This past New York Times-Sunday Review had an article, written by Paul Kalanithi, a 36-year-young, non-smoking neurosurgeon diagnosed with lung cancer. It's entitled, "How Long Have I Got Left?" Although Dr. Kalanithi doesn't specifically say what type of lung cancer he has, he is being treated with an oral medication that has allowed him to return to work. It's a poignant and well written article and I relate to so much of what he writes about.
I suspect this blog entry is for a narrow group of readers...probably my fellow non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) Ninjas, cancer genetic counselor friends, friends and family that are medical doctors, and cancer nerds.
Today, a dear friend and fellow genetic counselor sent me a link to a newsletter-type article from Mayo Clinic Laboratories. This newsletter, called "Communique", has an article about testing for biomakers (DNA mutations and immuno-histo chemistry) in some types of lung cancers and the new medications being used to treat them. It's a little technical, but I'm posting the link because over the past year, or so, through this blog, I've been contacted by other Cancer Ninjas that have a lung tumor mutation, [EGFR, ALK or ROS1], who are on a targeted oral chemotherapy. (Some even have the same ROS1 mutation I have and are taking Xalkori.)
I believe this article was written to share new information, but also to profile the testing that is available at Mayo Clinic Laboratory, (ie soft advertising). It's a nice review article for those of us who are interested in knowing what medications are on the horizon, and how well they are working for those taking them. So, it's probably not so interesting for most...
It's been a little over a year since I was diagnosed with stage IV adenocarcinoma of the
lung, a diagnosis I will now deal with for the rest
of my life. In the past 13 months, I have been an enormous benefactor
of new research gains in treating my cancer. Although lung cancer is
not rare, there is much to learn and research in all areas of cancer
will benefit folks like me. Last year, I was not well enough to ride,
so my husband, Wynn, and our children, Nathan and Nina, rode for me. I
am stronger now and will ride this year because I want to help cancer research to continue.
year my family and friends were over-the-top in their generosity and
it's difficult for me to ask you to donate again. I am only able to so
this because the treatment I'm on, the one that has kept my cancer from
getting worse while allowing me a relatively good quality of life, is
only available because of the type of research this fund raiser
realize that you are probably hit with donation requests as often as
Wynn and I are, and it's not possible to donate to all of them. If you
can add Cycle for Survival to your charitable contributions, I would appreciate it. If not, I understand and know that you will be
with me in spirit as I ride.
Thanks for your time and consideration :)
Today, in an effort to get 2014 off to a great start, Wynn, Nathan, Nina and I were joined by our niece, Becca, and Wynn's cousin, Neill, and his wife, Margaret, for a wonderful afternoon of cross-country skiing. The snow fell lightly the whole time we were out and the snow conditions and temperature were perfect. I hope it's a sign for the year to come!
Margaret, Becca, Nina, Wynn, Neill, me, and Nathan. There is nothing better than nordic skiing with folks you love on a beautiful winter day. It's a great workout, and the biggest bonus of all - I don't feel sick when I'm out on the trails. My fingers are crossed for a great skiing season... tons of snow and temperatures in the high 20's.