Jan 5 2016
My first post-treatment CT scan came back last Thursday. I got a dramatic improvement. Almost all the lymphadenopathy has gone, except one suspicious 1cm lymph node, which my oncologist did not consider it abnormal. The mass in situ has dramatically shrunk. The pericardial and pleural effusion has resolved too.
Both my oncologist and I are happy with this good news. But I know it is a very long-term battle with lung cancer. Good news only count for present.
“It would be too sad to think about the past, and it would be too nervous to think about the future”, some lung cancer survivors said.
It is right. I should live in the present, enjoy the present.
Having lung cancer doesn’t mean a dead end. My husband keeps comforting and supporting me by saying that the scientific research in lung cancer is progressing rapidly these several years. He also said “It is very possible that scientists will find a real cure in the near future. And I will try my best to find out the true molecule mechanism of the initiation of cancer, which would help them to find out the cure.”
He works very hard. He is planning to construct a tumorigenic mice model with the same gene mutations as me. I am very grateful to have such an amazing husband. And it is him that brought me to Seattle last year so that I can receive the most optimal therapy .
On the other hand, I can sense the rapid progress in the research field of lung cancer. I am very appreciated to the scientists who found ROS1 and Pfizer who found out the target therapy for ROS1ers. Basic scientific research, translational medicine and medicine research are all very important. It is all these researches saved me!
I used to consider “cancer survivor” as one has achieved NED(no evidence of disease) . However, stage 4 lung cancer is considered to be incurable currently. NED does not mean cured. The examination methods nowadays, even PET-CT, can’t detect a very small amount of cancer cells, especially the quiescent cancer cells. So, it is very difficult to verify if the cancer is cured. As a result, I change my understanding of “cancer survivor”.
I am a survivor as long as I am alive, as long as I am still breathing!
Living with lung cancer may be boring. I am not sure what should I do can prolong my survival time, apart from keeping in touch with my oncologist and learning about the new progress.
In my daily life, I try to exercise regularly, try to develop new hobbies.
Would cancer change a person?
Well, cancer can definitely change one’s life style. But it can hardly change one’s personality unless it destroys the brain area related to personality. I am still introverted. I still stay at home mostly rather than go out to make some new friends.
I used to be a very tough person. Everything under my responsibility represents my ability. They have to be done as well as possible.
I have been studying for USMLE(United States Medical Licensing Examination) right after I came to Seattle. I studied hard, even though I felt tired easily(Now I know it is because I have lung cancer!). I was so tough and stressful that sometimes I would blame myself of having cancer on my toughness. However, I am still tough and stressful now! I can’t change my personality in a short time or even in the future. So, I chose to avoid things that make me stressful. As a result, I chose to be a housewife rather than a student for USMLE. I gave up USMLE after 9 months full-time study !
As a non USA resident, I have language barrier and culture gap living in Seattle. I hardly speak English as I don’t have many friends speak English. As you can see, I am not good at blogging in English. But I try to keep updating this blog. I think this helps to improve my English.
It is 2016 now! Hope 2016 would be nice to me and my family, and you!