Libby LeVau

First post: Feb 21, 2017 Latest post: Jul 11, 2018
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Liboria (everyone calls her Libby) was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer on 17 Feb 2014.  She was given Tarceva initially which restored her from having less than 50% lung capacity to greater than 80% in 6 weeks.  Thank GOD for modern medicine!  After a routine CT scan 9 months later (we had to do them every 6 weeks) the doctor saw some new growth and decided to switch medications.

She was placed on a Phase I clinical trial for a medication (ASP-8273) that specifically targets a mutation that arises due to the tumor becoming resistant to the first drug. Again, some incredibly amazing medical technology to be able to make a drug that is that precise).  In September 2015 she complained of headaches and symptoms similar to vertigo. An MRI revealed that it had metastasized in her brain.  She underwent 14 sessions of whole brain radiation therapy which worked on the cancer, but also caused much trouble with side effects.  We battled those for 2 months.  Things got back to as close to normal as can be expected for the situation up until about the beginning of Feb 2017.

On 15 Feb I returned from an errand and found her awake, dressed, and on the couch, but she had cognitive difficulties (to put it mildly) and was incoherent.  I had to call 911 to get her to the ER, her heart rate was 177 bpm, and she became increasingly agitated.  After 5 days, and 4 rooms at UNC Hospitals we found that the cancer had returned to her brain.

So now we are trying a couple of approaches with medication and hoping that we won't have to do the radiation again, because as bad as the first time was, the second time will be worse.

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