First-ever NCI Facebook Live for Lung Cancer Awareness Month 11/17 8 pm ET

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Hope you will join the lung cancer community tomorrow 11/17 at 8pm Eastern for the first-ever Lung Cancer Awareness Month Facebook Live event with the National Cancer Institute and the concurrent Lung Cancer Social Media (#LCSM) Chat on Twitter. We’ll be talking about immunotherapy and lung cancer clinical trials.

For more information, check out the Lung Cancer Social Media (#LCSM) Chat blog post for their 11/17/2016 chat.

 

In Remembrance of What Matters Most

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Today, people in the world may be shocked, sad, or grieving in response to events recent or remembered, people lost, and sacrifices made.

Having a terminal illness altered my perspective about what constitutes a disaster, and what matters most.

Stuff happens. We don’t control the universe. We don’t control how many days we have. We might not control where we live, who we live with, or whether others treat us well.

What we do control is how we choose to spend whatever time is given us.

Each day, I have another chance to feel (shock, sorrow, hope, compassion, whatever). Another chance to show love to family and friends. Another chance to use my body and mind as best I can. Another chance to laugh. Another chance to dream.

Another chance to use my unique set of skills, interests and resources to make a difference in the world.

Tomorrow is another day. How will you spend it?

Involving ROS1-Positive Cancer Patients in ROS1 Research

Hey ROS1ers: This is an IMPORTANT REQUEST!

We all want to find a CURE for our disease, right?

To do this, we need to know how many patients are willing and able to participate in research for cancer driven by ROS1 mutations. The results will hopefully motivate more patients to join us, generate more interest in collaborative ROS1 research, and attract more funding to ROS1 research.

PLEASE COMPLETE THIS BRIEF 10-QUESTION POLL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Just click on the link below to get started! It only takes about 5 minutes. Results of the poll will be posted on the ROS1cancer website, and the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) ROS1 website.

SurveyMonkey Poll: Patient Interest in ROS1 Cancer Research

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AND …

If you haven’t already, please complete the ROS1 patient survey on the ALCF ROS1 website. We need more responses–COMPLETE responses (all questions answered)–to have statistically valid data. It’s a long survey (might require an hour), but the length is necessary to accomplish its goals. The survey examines ROS1 patients’ diagnosis and treatment journey, family cancer history, patient exposure to toxic environments and materials, and other factors that might have contributed to the development of ROS1 cancer. A poster about the survey was presented at the IASLC Chicago Multidisciplinary Symposium In Thoracic Oncology in September 2016. The preliminary results of the survey will be presented at the IASLC World Conference on Lung Cancer in Vienna in early December 2016.

Let it begin with us

Our country has been deeply divided about genuine issues before. One time it caused a Civil War. Let’s not let it go so far this time.

Regardless of why people voted the way they did, we still have to live together. We all must move past hatred, anger, and fear before the country can heal.

Let it begin with us. 

Share views using words that demonstrate respect for others, even when you don’t feel it. When you disagree, take the high road no matter which road they choose. Seek first to understand before being understood.

Show each person you meet what compassion feels like. You may be surprised how good you feel.

Prayer for a time of transition


I pray for our country in this time, in this delicate time.

I pray we can peacefully agree on ways “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” (credit: US Constitution)

I pray all will hold these truths to be self-evident: that all humans are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  (credit: US Declaration of Independence)

I pray our federal and state governments shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. (credit: US Bill of Rights)

I pray the rule of law will continue to be upheld as our standard of justice.

I pray hatred and resentment will be replaced by compassion for all and a desire for community.

I pray all people, including those stricken by cancer and other health conditions, will be able to afford good healthcare.

I pray those who came to this country legitimately in search of a better life will not be forced to leave without good reason.

I pray no one will be ridiculed, bullied or threatened because of their disability, ability, appearance, race, gender, creed, religion, ethnicity, or country of origin.

I pray our leaders and citizens will carefully consider the long-term consequences of their actions and words, and will find rational, realistic solutions to the serious and complicated issues facing us.

I pray other nations will see this country as an example of best democratic and diplomatic practices, and a leader worthy of respect and emulation.

I pray one day we can all agree with these sentiments.

Four years on a cancer clinical trial, and still NED–yay for research and hope!

Four years ago today, I took my first dose of crizotinib in a clinical trial for patients who had ROS1-positive lung cancer. My first scan–and every scan thereafter, including this past Monday 10/31– has shown no evidence of disease (NED). Not bad for a metastatic lung cancer patient who previously progressed on two separate lines of combined chemo and radiation.

I’m very grateful for cancer research and the availability of clinical trials. We’ve had more new drugs approved in the past five years than in the previous five decades!

During November, which is Lung Cancer Awareness Month (#LCAM on Twitter), please consider donating to your favorite lung cancer research facility (one option is the Lung Cancer Colorado Fund at the University of Colorado) or a lung cancer advocacy organization that supports research. 

And for a bit of hope, check out the NEW LCAM website, which represents a partnership among 19 lung cancer advocacy organizations led by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC).

 
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HOPE LIVES! More research. More survivors.

A Natural Remedy for Cancer Scanxiety (Almost)

When basking in the wonders of volcanoes, rainforests, and oceans, I can focus on something other than cancer for a while.

When heading to a cancer center for brain and body scans, not so much.

Still, facing the possibility of progression is easier when I’ve been immersed in nature for a few days.  I suspect most cancer patients might benefit from a “nature break” to combat scanxiety before a scan.