Sunday, April 30, 2006

Live Strong...

I woke up this morning feeling really scared for the first time. I looked in the mirror and I saw Doreen. You know her...she's a wife, a mother, a friend... She eats healthy, is active, loves to cook, you'll find her at every sporting event, thinks she's funny, loves flowers and music and life.... And then I remembered the "C" word. I rembered how 11 days ago I was just living a normal life then it all changed. It must be for a reason. Certainly not because I smoked or was around smokers. Hopefully, not because I was mean or hurtful to anyone. I don't know the answer why. We never will. But what I do know...Is that I will NEVER stop fighting this disease. I'm going to participate in my life everyday and I'm going to LIVE STRONG.

Thank you for all your love and support.


Saturday, April 29, 2006

Isn't life funny sometimes?

Hello my friends...Yesterday my insurance company denied paying for my new "miracle medicine - Tarceva". It's too expensive and I haven't had chemo yet, so they've decided I'll need to try something else first. This drug was originally designed to be given after a Stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer patient had tried chemotherapy and failed. However, due to this lung cancer being classified as "rare", my amazing team of doctors have decided to treat me unconventionally.. hopefully without making me really sick in the process. Regence Blue Shield thinks differently. I just opened my appeal case yesterday with the manufacturer of Tarceva and I have a few new "best friends" who are working diligently to change the minds of the insurance company. I thought we had a rough road ahead of us with lung cancer, but it appears our biggest rival might be the insurance company. I'll learn the appeal outcome later this week and keep you all posted. "DREAM BIG" All my love, Doreen

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Day 2 of the miracle drug.....

Ok...Here's the deal...

Oddly enough, I feel like a blessed woman. My family and friends are the greatest gifts I could ask for. I live in an incredible community with more love and support than one person deserves. Thank you for the hugs, cards, phone calls and well wishes.

No RASH yet but we're rooting for one soon.

With all my love,

P.S. Do they sell good lungs on E-BAY? Just wondering.
P.S.S. If you don't smoke, never start. If you do, put a photo of me in your cigarette case. You have a choice. I didn't.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

New Meds...

On 4-26-06 Mom got her first bottle of Tarceva, or what we like to call the "miracle drug." She will be taking a 150mg pill each day. The goal is for the Tarceva to interrupt the growth of the cancer and hopefully shrink it. The Tarceva does not have quite as harsh of an effect on the human body so she should not lose her hair or get sick to her stomach like she would with Chemo treatments. The side effects are mouth sores and itchy, rashy skin. The Oncologist said although itchy, rashy skin sounds bad... it will mean that her body is likely having a reaction to the drug on the inside as well. So, according to Dor.... "Bring on the Rash!"


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Day One.

Well, this was not the news we were hoping for but nonetheless it is the news we were given. It's easy to cry. Easy to get angry at the world and ask why. What's not easy is accepting the fact that one of the greatest women to walk the face of the earth has been diagnosed with Lung Cancer. I get frustrated when people look at me and say, "Your mom smoked?" Let me tell the world... SHE DID NOT SMOKE... HAS NEVER SMOKED..... and HAS NEVER LIVED WITH A SMOKER. Bad things happen to good people sometimes.

Here is what we know. Good things first. We know that my mom loves her doctor, Julie Wood, and refers to her as her "new best friend." We know that the cancer has not spread to any part of her body other than her lungs. We know that her blood work looks good and her attitude is as optimistic as ever. She is also loved more than anyone I know, so that can't hurt. Those are the good things.

The challenges that we face are: the lower lobe in her left lung is 70% infiltrated with cancer cells. There are little traces of cancer cells in her upper left lobe as well as lower right lobe. Although the cancer cells in her right lung are not abundant... they exist, and that means the cancer has spread from one organ (left lung) to another (right lung). Her cancer is considered to be in Stage 4. It may sound bad, but I think the fact it is in Stage 4 will just make her survival story that much more impressive.

She will get a chest x-ray every month and a CT scan every 2 months to see how the cancer is reacting to the treatment. Her treatment will likely be Tarceva, a new drug that reacts to her kind of cancer (B.A.C.) the best. As long as the Tarceva is working, it will likely be the only treatment she does for now.

More to follow....


You can reach Doreen at