I had an upper respiratory infection in early February, 2011. Over the last 1.5 years, my allergies and asthma have gotten worse. When I finally went to my primary care office in late February, she restarted more allergy meds. I did complain at that time of a clicking sound at end inspiration. It was a mystery to her as it was to me. She set me up to see her in follow up on March 2nd. I ended up needing a steroid 'burst' to get my asthma in check. I finished the steroids on Sunday, February 27th, and by that night, my lower back, bilateral hips, and bilateral knees were killing me! I tried ice, heat, icy hot, advil, nothing would take this pain away. I went in on that Wednesday, March 2nd, and told the PCP about this extreme pain I was in. She thought it was something that had gone systemic and recommended xrays then follow up with somone in the rheumatology department. Just as an after thought,I told her that my breathing still wasn't quite right. She decided to get a chest xray.
Before I could drive from the PCP office to my office, she called me and told me my right upper lobe was collapsed and I needed a CT scan of the chest. I complettd this as soon as I got to my office on the hospital campus. I sat at my desk looking at my other images that had been completed earlier. Back, hips, and knees just showed degenerative changes. I thought, I'm 46, okay I have arthritis. Within an hour my PCP called asking me to come back to her offie to discuss the CT scan. I refreshd my screen and my CT report was there in front of me. I went into shock at that point and have not returned to normal since.
The CT showed a large right hilar mass consistent with malignancy with multiple lytic lesions suggestive of extensive mets. I was directly admitted my the hospital then sent for MRI brain and CT abdomen pelvis. It would seem that I have lots of little “sparkles” that lit up over my entire chest and brain. I have spots on my liver and kidneys and right femur. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN SO QUICKLY?! I had my first round of chemo that weekend.
My life has turned into BC (before cancer) and AD (after diagnosis). I still am trying to figure out what the heck has just happened to me? Not sure how long this stage takes to sink in what is going on.
That’s my story so far. I hope to be writing updates for a long, long time!
2/8/11 Upper respiratory infection just like all my co workers.
2/16/11 Saw PCP and reported just not getting better, also had a weird "click" at the end of each inspiration.
2/27/11 Developed extreme pain in lower back, bilateral hips, and bilateral knees.
3/2/11 Went back to PCP and reported pain. She ordered xrays of back etc. I asked for CXR. Found upper right lobe collapsed. Doctor ordered CT chest. Dx with SCLC, extensive with mets through out boney thorax and brain.
3/3/11 Bronch confirms diagnosis. Chemo started with cistplatin and etoposide.
3/9/11 Discharged from hospital wondering "what the heck just happened?"
4/18/11- Scans to evaluate first 2 rounds of chemo. Good news! All tumors have shrunk or are no longer measurable! Continue with chemo regime. Next scans due May 31.
5/31/11 -Scans look good except brain mets slightly increased. Will start WBR.
6/9-6/28/11 -WBR. Back working full time.
7/11/11 -CT shows mild progression right upper lung.
8/1/11- CT shows right bronchus occluded again but no sign of tumor around it.
8/3/11- Started 2nd line chemo. Topotecan/Taxol. 3 days of infusions every 21 days. Had 2 rounds. Didn't work.
9/2011 admitted with potassium dangerously low! Decided to move home to IN so that my family can more easily help me with day to day living. Have new oncologist and am very happy with him! I can't help but feel that I have not been followed very closely, and that's a scarey feeling.
9/16/11 Started Gemcitabine weekly for 3 weeks, 1 week off.