When It’s Time To Switch Treatment

After chemo and radiation, I started on my first targeted therapy (Xalkorie) and it took care of the cancer. The only side effect I had was constipation. This drug was a miracle drug for me, and I was hoping to be on this TKI forever, but forever came too quickly. Three months exactly and had to switch to the next one because of progression.

Switching to Zycadia

After my run with Xalkorie came to an end I switched to Zycadia. I was told Zycadia was rough and yes it was. I started off taking 5 pills a day, at first, it seemed going well but started feeling sick. It was reduced to 4 pills a day and started feeling better. While on vacation with my family in Costa Rica I started feeling sick.

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I emailed my team at the University of Chicago Hospital through MyChart. When I returned home, I had blood work done and my liver and kidney enzymes were extremely high. They then reduced my dosage to 3 pills a day and the only side effects I had was diarrhea and occasional nausea. I was on this TKI for 6 years and 8 months until I had progression again and has to switch to the next TKI.

Onto Alecensa

Now I’m on Alecensa and it has been a rough one with this TKI. Thankfully the side effects aren’t the major ones, but I’ve dealt with constipation, severe muscle aches, prune hands and feet, coughing, fatigue, can’t be in the sun without getting a bad sunburn, and a weird taste in my mouth. I might have had more who knows, but it hasn’t been fun.

Adjusting treatment is an ongoing process

Switching TKIs was rough for me. I was on Zycadia for so long, then to switch and start all over again with new side effects really did a number on me mentally. But I knew that it had to be done because of progression. We discussed SRS (Stereotactic Radiation or Radiosurgery) when my brain mets were stable. But after my brain mets started progressing my Radiation Oncologist took it to the tumor board and they decided switching TKI was best for me.

I wasn’t happy that my relationship with Zycadia came to an end but knew it was necessary to move on to the next. At the same time, I was very thankful and happy that I had another TKI. So, I could continue to live and have more time with my husband, kids and granddaughter, and that I was going to be here to meet grandbaby number two. I was very nervous and afraid to start on Alecensa because of what I had heard about some of the side effects. But happy to report my brain mets are pretty much gone.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The LungCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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