September 2008


Some may know I celebrated my birthday on the 11th. Birthdays become more precious when you are less sure about how many more you may have. Each year, whether difficult or joyous or both, is a precious gift. The more you accumulate, the better. So, welcome those birthdays with wide open arms!

As for more info on the CT results… the main tumor is about 50% smaller than in my last scan in early July. It’s also much less dense looking. The lymph nodes in my chest are back to normal size as is the surrounding tissue. The tumors in my vertebra and ribs were not particularly noticeable and are presumed under control. It is all much better than I expected or hoped. I am feel like I can make some plans again… like traveling and taking sailing lessons with Ken. 

I am feeling well other than tiring at the end of the workday. My little aches and pains are minimal. That encourages me, too. I am still not managing my stress levels well or getting much exercise – but working on it. With my medication, Tarceva, working so well I feel more hopeful in many ways. I know I am fortunate to have such great response and with minimal side effects. My rashes are gone, having run their course. It’s possible they may or may not return. The mouth sores are healing and under control. Biotene rinse has helped – a lot. Now have a case of acne reminiscent of high school days. My scalp is pink and tender and, sadly, my hair is thinning. Thankfully, it’s not in the typical chemo way, in clumps. It’s still another challenging thing to cope with. I am also dealing with dry hands and cuticles and tender finger tips. These are all among the typical side effects. It’s hard to complain, since the medicine is working so well.

Local San Diego volunteers are putting together a 5K walk for March 8. It’s about awareness of lung cancer and fund-raising for research. If you are interested in learning more about it, the link is http://www.SanDiego BreathOfHope.org. Ken and I plan to participate.

Friday morning I had my first CT scan since being on Tarceva (and the clinical trial drug). In the afternoon we got a phone call from Dr B. with a preliminary report. I am responding better than expected. The main tumor is at least 50% smaller and the lymph nodes in my chest are dramatically improved. This response is expected to continue, too! That’s the typical trend. We are ecstatic and a bit stunned. We get the full report on Tuesday, but get to start celebrating now!

Friday morning I had my first CT since starting Tarceva (and the clinical trial drug). Dr. B called with a preliminary report in the afternoon. The response has been better than expected. The main tumor is at least 50% smaller and the lymph nodes in my chest look normal. Needless to say we are ecstatic. We get the full report on Tuesday. In the meantime, we get to start celebrating early!