FROM THE GARDNER HOUSEHOLD

by: Alisha Allen Gardner, CEO of Easy Time Clock

As most of you may not be aware, my mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer in March 2016. It had metastasized to her bones with a large mass in her lung (about 6 cm). When tested, it showed it was a mutating cancer. Which is why I jokingly call my mom a mutant…

When we finally figured it all out last year, we had one option. To do an oral chemo called Irressa for about a year or so (hopefully) and then do traditional IV Chemo about a year or so (hopefully). Statistically at that point in time, people with this diagnosis had 2 years to live with 5% making it to 5 years. So, you certainly don’t want to use up the medication any faster than necessary.

The February 2017 PET Scan showed the main mass was growing back. It had grown at least a centimeter in mass or around or however you look at that. May 16 2017 scan showed the mass had grown another half centimeter all around.

Luckily, we got the year that the Irressa was supposed to give us. We were expecting to have to go to our only option left, IV Chemo.

Recently a new drug was released that was presented by a pharmaceutical sales rep in the last few weeks to our doctor. After reviewing mom’s PET scan, he called the rep to find out if mother’s circumstances are applicable.

To be applicable, her cells need to have developed an abnormality of a specific kind (I believe it has to have a specific protein but don’t quote me on that). If she is able to, she will be the FIRST for our doctor to use this drug.

In addition, due to the way her cells have mutated there is also a chance now, that we didn’t have last year, that she could be applicable for an immune therapy drug that boosts the immune system. We proceeded to do the biopsy to confirm what she was applicable for.

Thanks to the testing that was completed, my mother is eligible for an immune activator medication. She started her first treatment June 19th which will be via IV once every 3 to 4 weeks.

The cancer doctor has officially taken any amount of time left off of the table and mentioned several more options recently made available.

While we may have to keep changing medications over time, we are now relieved that we will be able to spend many more years together. 

In light of our good news we celebrated by watching Wonder Woman and sporting some WW shirts to show our Butt Kicking Cancer Girl Power!

My mom was told she was going to die in less than 5 years. A year into that we were placed with an infinite amount of time available. It is amazing what 1 year in today’s science world can make.

Here is an article that has an excellent explanation of what is happening right now-https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/06/08/health/cancer-drug-keytruda-tumors.html?_r=0&referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F

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