Something Huge To Be Grateful For

Mon, 03/01/2021 - 21:04

I was diagnosed with a 9 cm Pancoast tumor in October 2020, a rather rare form of lung cancer located in the apex causing indescribable shoulder pain.  The first Pet Scan showed destruction of the 2nd and 3rd rib with a fracture of the 2nd.  My first treatment plan was radiation five days a week at the same time with chemo, Taxol/Carboplatin, once a week.  After the third radiation treatment the pain disappeared overnight.  

Five weeks into radiation I was suffering with burns and my blood counts were dropping from the chemo drugs.  My Oncologist decided I needed a month off treatment to recover.  Last week he put me on a chemo immunotherapy Keytruda treatment once every 21 days.  At this time I asked about the possibility of another Pet Scan.  He agreed and made the appointment with radiology.

Today I met with the Radiologist for results.  He handed me a copy of before and after scans and the tumor is gone except for one tiny speck on the scan..  He said “The only way I can describe this is as an absolute miracle”.  

I live alone but I came home and told my dogs I may just out live them preventing them from becoming orphaned.  They seemed especially glad to see me so I suppose they understood.

Here is my advice...Everyday I found something to be grateful for...I am so glad I am not nauseous, so glad I am not suffering with joint pain, so glad my radiation burns are healing, so glad I have confidence in my doctor, etc.  DON’T ever allow yourself to anticipate anything negative.  

So many who post are caregivers of loved ones.  Please encourage positivity.  My thoughts and prayers are with everyone fighting this terrible disease.

JanineT Forum …

Congratulations Dee!  That's so exciting to have such a good response.  With immunotherapy, you're adding, even more, curing power.  I'm sure I told you about my husband before, he had a similar scan report and he is now almost 12 years from diagnosis and 9 years from treatment. 

Best of luck,


In reply to by JanineT Forum …


So encouraging!!!  Nine years post treatment.  I saw my Oncologist yesterday.  The radiologist had given me a copy of the before and after scans so when the oncologist walked in I said "If you haven't already seen this I want to be the first to show you".  He pretended to be surprised but then admitted he had seen the scans.  We have always worn masks during appointments and sometimes an elbow bump but yesterday he gave me a great big bear hug, lol.  He said we will stay with the Keytruda for probably a year which is fine with me.  Tell that husband congrats from me.  Dee

JanineT Forum …

I can't find the article right now but I've read that pancoast tumors are showing higher cure rates than just 20 or so years ago when they were rarely cured.  They chalked that up to radiation treatments have gotten more accurate, surgeries more sophisticated, tumors are found earlier than most lung tumors because of the pain, and now immunotherapies are providing a leap in cure rates for unresectable nsclc.  You have the added bonus of having few adverse effects from the tumor or radiation.  Yours is really a great story!   My husband's oncologist is still excited to see Don cancer-free after having such a difficult time.  We get to see the proof of how lucky we are when the oncologist is still excited to have and tell the good news.  Unfortunately, it's also proof that they don't get nearly the successes we all need.


Congrats Dee!