——————————Guest Blog ——————————
In July of 2016 when I was first made aware that I had a nodule in my upper right lung, I was clueless about lung cancer.
I felt fine except for the sudden pain I had when taking a breath. I didn’t have a persistent cough or shortness of breath, classic symptoms that one would expect with a stage 4 diagnosis. As a never smoker, I also wasn’t eligible for a baseline CT scan, a must for those who have a smoking history.
Lung cancer took me totally by surprise. I shared my diagnosis with friends and family and a good friend suggested that I receive a second opinion from Dr. Ross Camidge at the University of Colorado, a lung cancer specialist. I made an appointment with Dr. Camidge even before I saw my oncologist at my healthcare center.
What I learned from my oncologist and from Dr. Camidge was that it was extremely important that my tumor be tested to determine what was driving my cancer. I chose to have a core tumor biopsy done and my sample was sent to Foundation Medicine for Next Generation Sequencing testing.
Even though I was not eligible for a targeted treatment five years ago, recent clinical trials are now targeting my unique mutation and I am now participating in my second clinical trial at the University of Colorado. Dr. Camidge still weighs in on my treatment options and I know that I am receiving the best treatment available. This knowledge allows me to meet my cancer with the tools I need to address my cancer with less fear and more hope.