New member (and New Zealander) Rikwood55 was diagnosed at age 58 with non-small cell lung carcinoma (stage 4), and he said he joined PatientsLikeMe in the hope of connecting with people on the same or similar lung cancer immunotherapy treatments. Rick took part in a clinical trial, and is now tolerating the immunotherapy treatment well. His scans are looking good, and he sums it up this way:
“Five rounds of Carboplatin Chemo was hard going, as it is for everyone. Now more stability has returned and with it, hope for the future.”
Read Rick’s interview below and share your own experiences.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, Rick.
I am Rick, and I was diagnosed at age 58 with NSCLC stage 4 metastasis. I am a New Zealand-born resident currently receiving immunotherapy treatment in a clinical trial every 3 weeks at Auckland Hospital. I have received 14 treatments to date. Scan results have been good and I am tolerating the treatment well. I have joined PatientsLikeMe in the hope of connecting with people on the same or similar lung cancer immunotherapy treatments. Please, no clinical specific info, which would in any way compromise study results. Let’s talk about living day to day…I think you’ll know what I mean.
You were diagnosed about 2 years ago – what went through your mind after your diagnosis?
Diagnosis day was a tough day. Mentally paralyzing. No soft landing. I dealt with it as best as I could. Fortunately my beautiful wife was there for me.
You’re a brand-new member of PatientsLikeMe – welcome! What do you think of the community and site so far?
Thank you for your ‘new member’ welcome to PatientsLikeMe. What I have seen so far, this site looks to me to be very impressive, I found the section on sleep very reassuring. Insomnia is a big issue for me. I see now from your research data that I am not alone in this.
On your profile, you’ve noted that one of your interests is in clinical trials. What about clinical trials makes you passionate about them?
I do not think I am passionate about clinical trials per se. However, I am very enthusiastic about the immunotherapy study treatment that I am fortunate to currently be on. It has given me hope. A sense of hopelessness was never far from my mind in the first year after diagnosis. Five rounds of carboplatin chemotherapy was hard going, as it is for everyone. Now more stability has returned and with it, hope for the future.
Finally, what is one thing you’ve learned over the past two years since your diagnosis that you’d like to share with the lung cancer community?
Maybe one small way that I can try and say thanks to the cancer researchers, biotechnicians, study administrators and clinical care staff is to show support and encouragement for the groundbreaking work they are doing. They deserve all the flag waving acknowledgment possible for giving me back hope.
To paraphrase Mel Bernstein/Harris Yulin in Scarface, (1983), “Everyday above ground is a good day.”
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