Kathy’s Story

Site created on May 7, 2018

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. Thank you for visiting.

This past April I was diagnosed with stage 3B lung cancer. I am fortunate to be treated at M.D. Anderson, one of the countries most highly ranked cancer treatment centers. I have an excellent doctor who has started me on newly approved therapy.

Prior to my diagnosis, I had been having chest/neck fullness, burning sensation, and dry cough. Eventually imaging studies were done which revealed the enlarged lymph nodes and nodule in my left lung. A biopsy of a lymph node indicated it was cancer and it originated from my lung. Additional testing of the cancer revealed it had the ALK + gene. This is found in approximately 4% of lung cancers and more often in non-smokers like me. There are medications that target these mutations (called target therapy – some call it chemo in a pill but it is not really chemotherapy). I take 4 capsules twice a day. I have been on the target therapy for one week. The medication does not have many side effects. I feel a little more tired, but that is about it. I still have discomfort from the cancer, but it is lessening. 

I will go back to M.D. Anderson in 3 more weeks and again in another 4 weeks at which time I may start radiation treatments. They would be done every day for 6 weeks. I am very fortunate to have family in Houston and will have my own private sister-in-law nurse. 

This has been a shock to me, but it is what it is, so forward I go! I am blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family. All of you and my faith in God give me comfort.

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