Still here!

It’s been almost two years since I’ve added anything on this blog, and occasionally a guest posts a comment asking if I am still here. I am! I’ve been thriving with lung cancer for more than four years now.

Crizotinib (brand name Xalkori) continues to work its wonders. I’ve had one tiny spot of growth while on this medication, and my surgeon at Memorial Sloan-Kettering removed it last spring. The surgery was a bit of a beast: everything seemed to go as planned, but then I had complications with my recovery. Now, though, I feel fine and have had another long series of clean CT scans. I’m able to live a nearly normal life.

During my long hiatus from blogging, I’ve also been through a divorce. The everyday shape of my life is much different now than when I was diagnosed. Half the time I have my energetic daughter with me, and she’s growing up fast. Half the time she is with her other parent. I’ve continued to work on my dissertation and am looking forward to getting finished soon. One of the reasons I’ve been so quiet lately in the lung cancer community is that I realized I might actually stay healthy long enough to finish the dissertation, get my degree, and find interesting work! Those milestones feel much closer and more possible than ever.

I’m so pleased that folks continue to find this blog helpful, even when I am not actively updating it. I will try to update a little more frequently.

Also, I continue to be horrified at how anomalous my situation is. Friends, acquaintances, readers, and readers’ loved ones have been diagnosed with lung cancer and died in the four years and four months since my own diagnosis. We need to change this.

About Irene Elizabeth (Beth!) Stroud

Queer suburban mom, graduate student, lung cancer survivor, card-carrying United Methodist.
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11 Responses to Still here!

  1. You started your blog shortly after I started chemo and then Tarceva. You have shared any number of important and fun thoughts that I’ve greatly appreciated. So glad that you are doing well. But your writings HAVE been missed

  2. Gail says:

    Your comment about surgery while on Xalkori could be useful to many of us in the future. It’s interesting to me that your doc didn’t declare the drug as having failed you. My onc has little experience with Xalkori (I also have second opinion doc at Mayo.), so this was great to learn.
    Thanks, and much success with all of your goals.

  3. Beth, It’s so good to hear from you and I’m happy to hear you are thriving and accomplishing things you want to do! More and more people we know are being diagnosed with cancer and there’s a lot to know, much of which medical doctors do not tell you. Very important: do not eat sugar as sugar feeds cancer. And stay oxygenated (exercise, breathing) because cancer doesn’t like oxygen. I’ve read a lot while living with cancer since 2013 and I’m still here too!

  4. Kel says:

    Pleased to hear you are doing so well

  5. Betty says:

    Enjoyed ready about your cancer experience. I was diagnosed with lung and bone cancer in Sept 2016. Have been on tarceva ever since. So far things have gone very well for me considering I was told there was no cure but treatment. If I didn’t take treatment I would be lucky to have 4 – 6 moths to live. I took oncologists advice and took tarceva therefore I am still here and feeling good. Is anyone reading this article on tarceva and if so how long have they been taking it.

  6. Laurie Sweigard says:

    Beth, I think about you more often than you can imagine! Was just wondering how you are doing, googled your name, and voila! Sending wishes for continued positive intervention with the lung cancer and prayers for strength and that one day you will complete your dissertation and gift us with even more of your life learnings.

  7. P.B. says:

    My husband was diagnosed 6 weeks ago with nsclc stage 4 lung cancer with the egfr mutation. IHe has never smoked and was very physically active. He was finally just put on Tarceva after his blood tests came back. Can you provide any suggestions for us on support groups, etc.

  8. Betty says:

    Great to hear you are doing so well. I have been through all targeted therapy (Tarceva -tagrisso (great drug) afatinib then another go on tagrisso , however, progression in lung and back so no other option but chemotherapy which I didn’t really want (Carboplatin & pemetrexed) Will be starting this treatment on 11th March. I have been so lucky up to date. Best wishes to all cancer sufferers

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