RubyFaye's Journey with Non-Small Cell, Lung Cancer

Patient: Lung Cancer > Non-Small Cell

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: over 4 years ago, Female, Age: 72, Stage IV, EGFR mutation positive: Yes

  1. 1
    • RubyFaye
    • Experience with Non-Small Cell, Lung ...
    about 2 years ago
    RubyFaye's Avatar

    Lobectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had a partial masectomy 2002 but it didn't faze me much. Lobectomy was so painful, I could not believe it. I couldn't lay flat in bed for almost 3 months. I slept on my couch...Then I got a cough that would not stop. It was constant but doctors said a cough is normal during healing. After months, with help from meds, the cough finally went away. It has been 2 1/2 years now and I will get a coughing fit sometimes, but so grateful it isn't constant anymore.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    3 Comments
  2. 2
    • RubyFaye
    • Experience with Non-Small Cell, Lung ...
    over 3 years ago
    RubyFaye's Avatar

    Cancer has spread/Metastasized

    Oh No

    It was bad enough to hear I had cancer in my lung 9cm and had not smoked and the first thing everyone asks (medical and non-medical people) do you smoke? I had the cancer and lower left lobe removed 8/24/12. As they always do, they sent it to the lab for thorough testing. They ask if I would give the research dept to keep the cancer for research because it was large, they could get a lot of use out of it. I certainly didn't want it anymore:)) I was scheduled for my first radiation treatment in Sept. and then I would be just watched. At the appt. to map the site, I got the OH NO....My lab work came back and there was a hidden lymph node behind my left lung that had cancer. The cancer metastasized to my brain. There were 3 small spots. What a shock. I went from OH NO lung cancer to OH OK it is fatal back to OH NO they couldn't do anything except give me quality of life for 1-2 years. I am still here by the Grace of God, my Cancer Team and Tarceva. Next month are my scans again. One spot is gone and the other 2 are barely visible so I can say I am stable. I haven't heard of many people talk about whether the Tarceva has caused damage to different organs of the body?

    0 Comments
  3. 3
    • RubyFaye
    • Experience with Non-Small Cell, Lung ...
    almost 2 years ago
    RubyFaye's Avatar

    Should I have the spots removed from brain first or start Tarceva first?

    Decision Point

    My doctor felt it best to give Tarceva and if that did not work, then go to the Gamma Knife. The Tarceva did shrink them the first 6 months, then slowed down and is keeping them stable.

    0 Comments
  4. 4
    • RubyFaye
    • Experience with Non-Small Cell, Lung ...
    about 2 years ago
    RubyFaye's Avatar

    Many side effects.....

    Side Effects

    Mild nauseau, acne type rash on face,scalp and upper torso, awful diarrhea, chemo brain, fatigue, eye infections, fungus & bacterial infections under arms, painful joints, muscles, nose bleed (mild), digestive system problems, acid reflux, stomach issues.

    0 Comments
  5. 5
    • RubyFaye
    • Experience with Non-Small Cell, Lung ...
    about 2 years ago
    RubyFaye's Avatar

    Stable

    Celebration

    I was told I would not go into remission but I have been stable for the past 7 months so my onc said I could use the word remission.

    0 Comments
  6. 6
    • RubyFaye
    • Experience with Non-Small Cell, Lung ...
    about 2 years ago
    RubyFaye's Avatar

    My perspective of Miracle

    Celebration

    I prayed for a Miracle Healing. I wanted my scans to show "NO Cancer" but I feel I got a Miracle of Joy!! I feel having joy when dying is harder to accomplish than the healing. I feel so much better having Joy and I think it helps with a positive attitude and hope which if very important in my journey.

    0 Comments
  7. 7
    • RubyFaye
    • Experience with Non-Small Cell, Lung ...
    over 1 year ago
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    New spots

    Oh No

    I have scans every 3-4 months and everything has been stable until my last set. I have 2 new small spots in my brain. I had a terrible acid re-flux attack and ended up in ER because it felt like a heart attack. There was 2 new spots in my lung also, but they have gone down and it was possibly from the acid re-flux flare up and aspiration. New scans coming up.

    0 Comments
  8. 8
    • RubyFaye
    • Experience with Non-Small Cell, Lung ...
    3 months ago
    RubyFaye's Avatar

    Lost some ground.....

    Loss

    In August my scans showed a met in my brain was starting to grow, it looked like I was in progression. Instead of waiting 3 months for next scans, I had to do them in 2 months because things seemed to be changing. Another spot showed up in my lung and the one in brain growing was discouraging and scary. I thought the Tarceva quit working and now I was on the downhill slope. 3 months prior, I was anxious and busy making a move from my apartment to my daughter's and her family's home. My blood pressure looked like I had high blood pressure, which I never had before.

    0 Comments
  9. 9
    • RubyFaye
    • Experience with Non-Small Cell, Lung ...
    3 months ago
    RubyFaye's Avatar

    Not in progression!!!!

    Celebration

    At my 2 month scans, I am stable again and not in progression. I do not have high blood pressure, it was probably the stress of moving. I am back on the 3 month scan schedule. I seem to be more tired and weary, but I am still celebrating...

    0 Comments
  10. 10
    • RubyFaye
    • Experience with Non-Small Cell, Lung ...
    3 months ago
    RubyFaye's Avatar

    Birthday

    Celebration

    I forgot about this area and when I close, I will probably forget how to get here so I want to say how excited I am to be turning 72 on Dec. 30th. Oct. 2012 I was told I only had 1 year maybe 2? I did not think I would see 70 and I have been able to make more memories with family and friends. I am so thankful and grateful for everyday of my life even when I do not feel well. God has been good to me and I have a terrific cancer team.

    2 Comments
  11. 11
    • RubyFaye
    • Experience with Non-Small Cell, Lung ...
    14 days ago
    RubyFaye's Avatar

    I was stable for 3 1/2 yrs then progression.

    Oh No

    The spot in my brain looked like it was growing and also one in my lung.

    0 Comments
  12. 12
    • RubyFaye
    • Experience with Non-Small Cell, Lung ...
    14 days ago
    RubyFaye's Avatar

    Cancer is shrinking

    Celebration

    My Onc was very excited and kept looking at my CT chest scan and MRI brain scan and wondered what happened because it showed that I was getting better. I have been on Tarceva since Oct 2012 and never had itching but the last 6 months, I itch terribly on my scalp. We decreased Tarceva from 150mg to 125mg about 9 months ago and then scalp has itched really bad. Got 3 spots on left side of head about 3" diameter where all the hair fell out but coming back in now. I have been using different medication to stop itch and put creams and gels on scalp. I am finding that when my hair is super short (almost a buzz) there is little itch. I am suppose to use a c-pap to sleep with but when itching I just can't because my scalp cannot stand to have strap around it and I cannot lay my head down on pillow or lean back in a chair. I am happy regardless because it looked like the Tarceva may of stopped working and then it started working again. Onc ask me what I did and I told her "I do everything you tell me and I have lots of prayer" and she said 'keep doing it'!

    1 Comment