Monday, December 7, 2015

Birthday Blog

     Three years ago, on December 14th, I was in an ER trying to make sense of the words I had just been told..."We see that you have metastatic cancer, and we don't know where it started from. We'd like to admit you into the hospital."  On that day in the ER, I was 54 years and one week old, and I had no idea what having metastatic cancer meant.

     During that hospital admission, we didn't get much in the way of good news. The imaging scans I'd had showed cancer in my lung, liver and bones. One positive piece of news was that I did not have mets to my brain.  (More on that in an upcoming blog.)

     Today I celebrate my 57th birthday.  Frankly, I'm astonished that I am still here.  If it weren't for Xalkori, (my targeted oral chemotherapy,) I wouldn't be. I've been on it, off-label, for 33+ months now.  I recently heard that FDA approval of Xalkori for ROS1 mutation-driven lung cancer is expected very soon...maybe even by the end of the year.

Lorlatinib...what a gift!
     It is a known fact that Xalkori won't work for me forever and, until recently, the next promising medicine wasn't known.  But, I got an early birthday gift a couple months ago. A Phase 1/2 clinical trial opened for the next new targeted chemotherapy called lorlatinib. I've been following a few fellow lung cancer ninjas with ROS1 mutation-driven disease, who developed drug-resistance to Xalkori, and who are now taking lorlatinib under the clinical trial protocol.  Get this...they're doing well!  Their scans are showing tumor suppression with few side-effects.  Wahoo!

      Now that I know what it means to have metastatic cancer, for this birthday, please join me in celebrating cancer researchers and the brave souls that enter into clinical trials...these are truly the pioneers that have allowed me, and others like me, to enjoy another year of life.


Matthew Ireland said...

Have a happy and blessed birthday Luna. Cheers

Stacy Pettit said...

What a great blog. Hugs

Chloe Bird said...

My husband is another ROS1er and has recently joined the Lorlatinib trial. Good to hear that you've heard of others doing well on it.