[MOL] Out of the Closet [01111] Medicine On Line


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[MOL] Out of the Closet



Hi Lillian,
 
    Haven't been on this list all that long.  Am on two others that tend to keep me pretty busy, so have been lurking here.  Time to "come out" I guess.
 
    I have non-small cell lung cancer, adenocarcinoma, stage IIIA.  Dx'd 3/99.  Had surgery  for removal of the primary lesion 4/7/99 at MD Anderson (Garrett Walsh, Surgeon and WONDERFUL!)  They took the upper two sections of the upper left lobe.  They found mets to two lymph nodes when they went in, so that "upped" me to IIIA.  Surgery was followed by five weeks of radiation.  No chemo since, with surgery to remove it, there was no tumor to follow and no way to measure effectiveness.  I completed radiation Houston on 6/14 and came home to Nevada (60 miles east of Reno).
 
    I also have severe COPD -- seriously enough that they weren't going to operate at first.  Then they ran pulmonary function tests on me and I knocked their socks off.  Despite my severely reduced lung function, my exercise tolerance in their testing was 90% of what would be predicted for someone with normal lung function.  That made me an immediate surgical candidate.  I'm so glad that I had been exercising RELIGIOUSLY -- an hour a day -- on the treadmill at the time I got the cancer Dx!  And I am a fanatic about the benefits of exercise. 
 
    I was back on the treadmill the day after I was discharged from the hospital.  I asked the surgeon for a referral to rehab following surgery and was shocked to learn that they had no such thing for thoracic patients at MD Anderson.  (That's about to change!)
 
    The radiation oncologist told me I might exercise through the first couple of weeks of radiation but there was NO WAY I would be exercising beyond that.  WRONG!  I had very minimal side effects with the radiation -- just a bit of a sore throat for maybe 2-3 days.  Exercised every day through radiation.  By the end, the docs told me after what they'd seen with me I'd made believers of them.  They're now instituting a pulmonary rehab unit at MD Anderson!!  
 
    At one point  in my Internet wanderings I found a study they'd done in Europe on hospitalized chemo patients.  Half the group was randomized to exercise for 30 minutes a day on an ergonometer (pedal machine) in bed.  The other half got no exercise.  To a patient, those who got the exercise suffered fewer, or no, side effects and almost no mood alteration with the drugs while the non-exercising group had the usual side effects and mood alterations.   Their firm conclusion was that we needed to look at exercise for cancer patients much more seriously.
 
    I had some adjusting to do when I came home to 4000' from sea level in Houston, and they'd told me it was an experiment to send me to altitude.  I seem to be doing fine although scarring from the radiation will reduce lung function some over the next few months, and I won't know until November or so whether I can stay here at this altitude.  In the meantime, I'm going everything I can to enhance lung function and offset the effects of the radiation.
 
    Sorry this is so long, and maybe that's probably more than you wanted to hear.  But I'm now "out of the closet" and will keep my posts shorter and to the point in the future!!
 
Hugs,
Mary -- NV 
-----Original Message-----
From: Lillian <firefly@islc.net>
To: mol-cancer@lists.meds.com <mol-cancer@lists.meds.com>
Date: Friday, July 30, 1999 10:04 AM
Subject: Re: [MOL] Tests called near on turmor-starvomg drug!

Thanks Mary:  What stage lung cancer do you have?  How long have you been with us quiet as a little mouse?  Is your onc. at MD ANDERSON?  Are you going to go into this trial?  Thank you so much for speaking out, your friend, lillian
----- Original Message -----
From: mreid
To: mol-cancer@lists.meds.com
Sent: Friday, July 30, 1999 7:38 AM
Subject: Re: [MOL] Tests called near on turmor-starvomg drug!

      The trial I'm aware of at MD Anderson is being planned by Dr. Roy Herbst and is for lung cancer.  That's about as much as I know.  He's my medical oncologist and mentioned it to me when I was there last week.
 
Mary -- NV
-----Original Message-----
From: Lillian <firefly@islc.net>
To: mol-cancer@lists.meds.com <mol-cancer@lists.meds.com>
Date: Friday, July 30, 1999 3:53 AM
Subject: Re: [MOL] Tests called near on turmor-starvomg drug!

Mary, thank you so much for letting us know about the trial.  It came just in the nick of time, I have a friend leaving for MD Anderson today and this is exactly the animunition she needed.  How can I ever thank you enough and by the way, welcome to our wonderful forum.  Your friend, lillian
 
     MD Anderson is also in the planning stages for an endostatin trial -- Probably November.
 
Mary