Vicky Carwile

First post: Jan 16, 2020 Latest post: Feb 6, 2020
It has been over a year now and most people know I have cancer.  Will try to keep the beginnings short and hopefully keep up from now on.  It started in October 2018 when Patient First saw something on a chest scan.  In December 2018 I had a biopsy on my lymph nodes as the PET scan lit up when the pulmonary doc got the results.  There was a nodule on the bottom right and a smaller one on the top left of my lungs.  On 12/19/18 Dr. Giessel said it was non-operable lung cancer and I would have to do chemo.  I was sent over to the Virginia Cancer Institute to Dr. Gonzolas.  Because this was the kind of cancer that could spread to the brain I was sent to Dr. Sahni over at the Gamma Knife Center.  There were 7 nodules in my brain.  I was scheduled for the gamma knife procedure on January 10th.  They got all the nodules and none have come back to date.  I go every 6 months now for a brain scan.  Still have my brain - LOL.  So we started on dealing with the lung cancer.  The MRI and biopsy showed it was not in the bones.  I lucked out and had the markers where I could go the immunotherapy, Ketruda, route rather than cancer.  However, I had such bad side effects - legs swelling, could not eat, pain, etc.  that I had to stop that.  I was doing that every 3 weeks.  It did shrink things but the side effects were too bad on me.  I went thru hell through June I guess.  Ended up in the ER 3 times, had to get iron infusions, fluids due to dehydration and other fun things.   At one point they thought I had c-dff but it was colitis.  I worked during this time but was able to telework since I was in so much pain and my immune system sucked.

I started chemo on October 7th.  Went pretty well.  Was supposed to have chemo every 3 weeks.  After the second chemo, they did another scan and found a nodule on the adrenal gland above my kidneys.  A biopsy showed cancer cells.  So, they had to switch to a different, harsher chemo.  Had the first treatment on January 7th.  Been pretty sick but not like the Keytruda.  Today is January 16th and i am finally feeling almost human again.  I have my next one on January 27th.

So that is the quickie version to date.  I kept working until I retired on January 1, 2020.  We lost dad during all of this - February 2019.  It has been a long road but I am still kicking.  I have some hair thinning but still have some...more than some guys I know - ha ha.  This chemo is supposed to be a big hair losing chemo but we will see.  I did cut my hair short so I will embrace it if I get bald.  Everyone always said I looked like my dad.  :-) I will try to keep folks updated at least on a weekly basis from now on. 

I can't end this without saying how many friends and family have helped so much.  I won't list them as I don't want to leave anyone out.  You know who you are and i love you so much and would not have made it without you!
- heart