Irma Galvan

First post: Apr 20, 2017 Latest post: Nov 17, 2018

Late July/Early August 2016, I noticed my neck was swollen. I went to convenient care but they simply said it was due to a common cold. I knew that wasn't true. I went to my primary doctor right away and made an appointment. My doctor quickly sent me for testing, I received an ultrasound, MRI, and CT scan. After going through my results with my primary doctor, I was referred to Loyola University.  

In October 2016, I become diagnosed the Stage 4 Lung Cancer.  When you hear those words "cancer", your life changes drastically whether you like it or not. It was scary, it was heartbreaking. Those words are unlike any other words that you ever heard before. Nevertheless, I knew that I had to be strong, and I had to fight this. They found a 10 cm mass in my right lung. They found a mass in the back and front of my ribs, a couple in my bones, and in back of my neck.

Treatment of chemotherapy started quickly at Loyola University, under the supervision of Dr. Stanley Borowicz, as that was my only treatment option available. Chemo took 6 hours and I went for treatment every 3 weeks. This continued for 6 treatments of chemo. After the 3rd chemo, a CT scan was done. The results were great! The tumors got smaller... about 3 times smaller! Amazing! It was pure happiness. Chemotherapy continued. Again, after the 6th chemo, a CT scan was ordered. The results were pretty good, nothing new! Nothing got smaller either, which was upsetting but I was happy nothing grew! Thinking of the positives was what I knew I had to focus on. After the 6th chemo, my medicine  for chemotherapy changed. I was no longer able to receive the 6 hour long chemo because of how intense it was and the doctors didn't want it to damage my organs. So, they prescribed me a less intense chemotherapy that lasted around 2 hours. I also began a bone strengthen treatment. This was due to tumors that damaged my bones- but were no longer there. This treatment again was every 3 weeks and every third round I would receive a CT scan. The CT scan's continued to come out decent, nothing got smaller but the again, nothing got bigger.  Pretty good news, at least thats how I thought about it. 

In the beginning of April 2017, I noticed a lump on the left side my neck. It was small but became larger and then went down again. I called the doctor and he ordered an ultra sound and CT scan. On April 12th, we received news that chemotherapy was no longer working.   I was recommended to go to University of Chicago to undergo a trial option that was being taken place there.

Currently, I am waiting to see the doctor, Dr. Joyti Patel, at the University of Chicago.

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