This isn't my first rodeo. I've dealt with lung cancer progression before. Actually, four times since my original lung cancer diagnosis. In the last six years, I've had radiation two different times and switched my meds two times to control lung cancer progression in my lungs and chest.
How to handle
You would think I would have a handle on dealing with progression by now. I thought I did. I have dealt with it and just went on with life without thinking much about it in the past. This time around, I did well for most of the day after talking to my oncologist to discuss my latest CT scan and need to change up my treatment plan. A friend even commented about how well I was dealing with the progression and need to make the treatment changes.
Alone with my thoughts
Then, that evening, I was home alone and trying to relax. My mind started wondering. My thoughts were of hope. I have treatment options available to me now. There is Plan A, adding a new (to me) iv chemotherapy to my current targeted therapy pill. Plan B, a different iv chemo if the first isn't the answer. Whichever one we go with, the ultimate plan is to keep the cancer under control and keep me alive until a med that targets all three of the mutations that are driving my lung cancer is available.
Waiting on the science
I am confident I will qualify for and be able to enroll in a needed clinical trial when it opens. This is the same clinical trial I heard about in 2020 from another EGFR Resister with my same rare triple mutation. Allen Lee, co-founder of EGFR Resisters, posted how human trials were in the works to begin the first half of 2021. But Allen ran out of treatments to control his cancer and ran out of time while waiting on the clinical trial to open to humans. COVID-19 delayed the start of the clinical trial. Now it sounds like they may start enrolling participants by the end of 2021.
I think what I'm feeling is survivor's guilt about the possibility of enrolling in this clinical trial and fear of running out of time. Allen didn't live long enough for that chance. But at the same time, the one person I want to share this news with is Allen. I've been thinking of him often as if he were still alive and excited and anxious as I am for this trial drug.
Then my thoughts went in a different direction. The universe has given me so much to be grateful for over the last two years. I closed a long and painful chapter and found the person I want to live out my life with. And I need that future to be as long as possible. I'm planning for the future. Now, I want and need more time for my, "And she lived happily ever after."
What do you resonate with most, when it comes to advocating for lung cancer?