Knowing that one day Xalkori will stop working and that my cancer may grow back quickly has always frightened me. Having the opportunity to learn what my options will be when that day comes seemed like something I couldn't pass up. So, this past weekend Wynn and I traveled to Boston to attend the Cancer GRACE's Acquired Resistance Patient Forum for patients with lung cancer due to EGFR, ALK and ROS1 mutations.
For as much as I was looking forward to this conference, the night before I wasn't able to fall asleep. I was awake worrying that I would sit through a day of lectures and at the end I would be told that there is nothing for me. That's not what happened...
|ROS1 mutation attendees|
Here are a couple of things I learned that I'd like to share with other Lung Cancer Ninjas:
1) The Bonnie Addario Lung Cancer Foundation has partnered with the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center at USC to study lung cancer in young individuals. If you were diagnosed at <40 years, please consider participating.
2) The next Cancer GRACE Patient Forum will be in Chicago on October 26, 2014. The focus will be Immunotherapy for the treatment of melanoma, lung and kidney cancers. Check out:
There's one last thing I need to mention. I met many incredible lung cancer patients, and those that love them: Tori, Beth, Craig, Carole, Andy, Kris, Nicole, Maria, Bernard. Their cancer stories were heart-breaking. Everyone I met, like me, is a non- or never-smoker. Some of the people I met were diagnosed in their 20's and 30's...one at age 18 years, a freshman in college. Sh*t....I thought I was young. The single risk factor we all share?...we have lungs. I learned that if you have lungs, you can get lung cancer.