Ronda Beaty

First post: Jan 15, 2017 Latest post: 7 hours ago
I am a mother of two beautiful girls, Megan (27) and Madison (23).  I have always been a person that exercises regularly.  Over the past several months I found it difficult to climb stairs and go for a nice walk (or hike).  I just thought that since I had taken some time off from the gym, I was really out of shape!

In November for the Thanksgiving holiday, I was on a camping trip with my fabulous boyfriend, Adam in Southern Ohio.  We went for a 4 mile hike.  It was really difficult for me to keep up!  I hadn't experienced that before.  I was used to being the one in the front, at the top of the hill waiting for everyone else.  That evening I was in a lot of pain and was coughing like crazy.  The next day, after visiting family in the area, I went to urgent care. 

An X-ray revealed I had pneumonia.  The urgent care facility gave me a prescription for an antibiotic, an inhaler, a shot of an antibiotic and a shot of steroids.  The next day I felt a lot better.  As a few days went by, I noticed I wasn't feeling better any more, I was feeling worse.  I went to my family physician (a FANTASTIC MAN and friend), he believed the antibiotic they had prescribed for me in Southern Ohio wasn't adequate, and gave me a much stronger one.  In a few days, I felt better. 

Well, after completing the round of antibiotics, after a few days, I felt bad again.  Doc ordered my X-ray from the urgent care facility and had me have another x-ray for comparison.  Something was off.  He ordered a CT scan.  It has been a blur since.  Everything happened so fast.  I had my CT scan on Thursday, December 22nd.  Doc called and asked me to come to his office that day.  I did.  He had sent my CT scan results to a Pulmonary doctor, and the next day, December 23rd, I learned the CT scan revealed 2 masses in my right lung and also showed some lymph nodes that were suspicious.

I was supposed to leave December 24th for a cross country road trip to visit my oldest daughter in California.  The doctors encouraged me to continue with my plan and go on my trip.  So, I did. 

Adam and I returned to Ohio on January 8th, 2017.  The following Wednesday, January 11th, I had a biopsy.  They took 2 lymph nodes, and did a bronchoscopy.  Friday the 13th (I know, right??), I received the word that, yes, I do have lung cancer... Stage 4.  It has spread to my adrenal gland and my lymph nodes.

On Friday, February 3rd, I had my first round of chemotherapy.  It was really scary.  I'm doing well, and grateful to finally be implementing the "plan of attack". 

Update 3-3-17
I have had two rounds of chemotherapy to date.  This Monday, I have an appointment with my doctor.  I have had a bone scan and a CT scan done and Monday I will find out if my treatment is working!  I feel like it is, so I'm really hoping the news is good.

Update 3-7-17
As of yesterday, my "mass" has reduced by 25%.  My lymph nodes are either the same or reducing!  This is all good news.  Moving forward with current treatment.  2 more rounds of friendly drip, then my team will decide my new course of action!

Updated 3-25-17
I have a new Oncologist!  Insurance required, but definitely has turned in to a good match.  My new Oncologist is Dr. Manisha Nanda.  She is fabulous.  She is personal, direct, informative and works with me as a whole.  I am not just numbers on paper.  I see her at least once every week and sometimes twice a week.  She is very involved in my treatment on a personal level.  She treats me like a friend when I'm there, and doesn't sugar coat anything.  I am a believer that everything happens for a reason.  I am where I need to be now.

Update 4-13-17
I like the new Oncologist a lot.  They are very thorough.  I have at least one appointment with them every week.  They like to lay eyes on me and not just have a follow up on the phone.  Each week, I get an additional drip for nausea and fluids.  That has been a great help in how I feel in general.  Awaiting my PET scan on the 24th of April.  That will give us the direction of where we will go not for continued treatment.

Update 8-15-17
My PET scan showed things hadn't improved with my chemo treatments.  Now I am on Opdivo.  I had a real scare and was in the hospital for a week.  My team of doctors did an emergency radiation treatment, followed by two additional treatments.  They have worked well.  Unfortunately, we discovered my cancer has spread to my brain.  I have had one Gamma Knife treatment to zap 11 spots in my brain.  It worked well.  BUT, they found another spot.  I have another Gamma Knife treatment tomorrow.  Hopefully, they won't find additional spots, and it will be one and done.

I have two more Opdivo treatments, then will have another PET scan.  Dr. Nanda says I can do the Opdivo for as long as it works.  I have some side effects from it, but none that aren't manageable so far.  I feel so much better, I think it is working.  I hope so.

Update 10-26-17
Good news.  The Opdivo appears to be doing its job.  I'm feeling better and more "normal" every day.  The chemo brain is still a problem, and my joints hurt all of the time.  I will take the joint pain over the alternative any day.  I am blessed.  I have become a believer in God as my higher power.  He certainly has answered many prayers.  Thank you.

My journey has been challenging.  I have support all around me.  I am grateful for everyone.

Update 11-19-17
I'm feeling good.  I've had some side effects from Opdivo that have caused a delay in treatment.  Working on getting the side effects addressed (appears to be successful) so the Opdivo drip can begin again.

In just a month, I will reach my one year mark of diagnosis.  It's stressful.  I'm so grateful I'm still here.  I'm working hard.

Update 5-25-19
I'm still here!  I'm beating the odds.  I am grateful!

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