In August, Wynn and I made a trip to Denver, CO for the CancerGRACE Lung Cancer Patient Forum for EGFR, ALK, and ROS1 driven disease. Like other patient education sessions we have attended in the past, we learned so much. The most meaningful information I heard is that there are now 7 new medications that are either in phase I or II clinical trials, or will soon be, that I may be able to try when Xalkori stops working for me. This news, literally, made me teary-eyed. Since starting on Xalkori over 3 1/2 years ago, there has been no "next drug" for me to access. I'm on the latest and greatest thing, and I have worried that my cancer will become resistant to it before there is something new to try. Now I can worry less.
|ROS1-ers unite in Denver|
The best part about attending patient forums is seeing my lung cancer buddies...and YES!...seeing them trumps the new information I got. I first met many of these folks in Fall, 2013 at a CancerGRACE forum in Boston. As I hugged Andy Trahan I said, "I want to cry I am so happy that we are all healthy enough to be here." Andy's response, "Amen." - with his usual big, warm smile.
In this group photo, those of us with lung cancer are holding up fingers indicating the number of years we have been thriving with lung cancer, (not just surviving with), since our diagnoses. NOTE: In the first row, second from the left is Linnea Olson - who doesn't have enough fingers to show us that she's been thriving for 11 years! Her son, August, had to help out.
After the Patient Forum Wynn and I drove to Rocky Mountain National Park for a few days of R-and-R.
We got in two great hikes...
....and definitely want to go back.