Amie’s Story

Site created on October 27, 2017

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. 

My story begins with a persistent unproductive cough in April of 2017.  I went to the walk in clinic in May and being a healthy, young non-smoker, the doctors thought it  might be allergies.  Allergy treatment didn't improve the cough, so I went back to my primary care doctor in June and we tried another of the three main causes of persistent cough in healthy non-smokers: adult onset asthma.    The inhaler got my through my Ragnar relay race in July, but the cough was still there and not improving.   A repeat trip back found me on drugs for reflux, the third main cause of persistent cough.   A few weeks on the drug didn't seem to improve the cough, so then I headed to a specialist, had an endoscopy and a study with a chip implanted in my esophagus and a device I wore and pushed a button each time I coughed for 48 hours.   The results of that study told us that yes, I had mild reflux, but the refulx events were not aligning with my cough.  This was September of 2017, I'd started back to work for the 2017-2018 school year, and I found myself missing days of work.   By Friday or even Thursday I'd be so tired and nauseated I couldn't function.  My primary care phyiscian schedule an appointment with a lung specialist and as a prerequisite for that visit, a chest X-ray was ordered.   That was October 9th, and I went in that day for the x-ray and that started a whirlwind of tests.  A CT scan, which led to my lung appointment being moved forward three weeks, then a biopsy that told us it was cancer.    It was still another week or so before I finally received my full diagonosis:  stage 4 adenocarcinoma of the lung.   This is a cancer that is increasingly being  seen in young female non-smokers- even what they call "never-smokers" like me.   The good news is that I appear to also have a gene mutation that is responsible for the abnormal cell growth called ROS1.   The mutation can be treated with targeted therapy.

I started treatment with Xalkori (crizotinib) targeted therapy November 4, 2017.   Initial scans showed reduction in all tumors, and have continued to show small reductions since.


Newest Update

Journal entry by Amie Parker

No doubt, if you read my updates, you're aware of the fundraising race we run each year, the Lungbuster 5k.  We run this race each October, the month in which I was diagnosed, each year.   With our non-profit being 100% volunteer-run, we have been able to maximize the funds that we donate to further lung cancer research.   Lung cancer kills more people in the United States each year than the next three cancer types (breast, colorectal and prostrate) combined, yet it receives only a fraction of the research dollars that the others do.   Suffice it to say:  we think it's important to try and make a difference in those funding levels.

We paused last year on the in-person event, for obvious reasons, but we are happy to say that the Lungbuster is on for 2021, this time with your choice of formats: 

You can join us in person on October 3rd at 9am and tackle the infamous Lungbuster Hill- where you'll get an idea of what it feels like when your lungs are impacted by lung cancer.   Huffing and puffing is part of the fun. 😏    


Or, you can sign up for our virtual option and complete a 5k (3.1 miles) on a course of your choosing during the week of October 3-10.

 

Finishers of the in-person event will have an exciting new award awaiting them:  A Lungbuster pint glass (see below) with a certificate from Tapped Mukilteo to fill it up.   Tapped has a great assortment of beers and even root beer on tap to choose from, as well as delicious food to munch on.

Finishers for our virtual event will be placed in a drawing for a gift card of their choosing.

 

Please visit https://www.lungbuster.org/registration.html to sign up today!   

 

Whether you walk, run, volunteer or donate to the cause you're making an important contribution to further lung cancer research.   

Cheers to your support!

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