I was diagnosed with stage 4 NSCLC in November 2010 and placed in Iressa in January 2011. By January 2012 my tumours had reduced by up to 60 percent. My scan in April this year showed that one of the tumours had grown from 8 to 13mm. The May Xray showed a fuzzy area at the base of my right lung.
The Xray at todays hospital appointment showed the fuzzness had reduced in area. My doctor is sending me for another scan prior to my July appointment.
He is keeping me on Iressa for as long has he believes it is dealing with the majority of the cancer cells.
Should the situation change, he says, there are two possibilities - one that is already approved for use in the NHS and one that is undergoing trials. He will submit for whichever he thinks as the best chane of success.
Individual doctors are at various stages on the Iressa learning curve. As my doc has attended seminars in the USA and Italy I'm happy to go along with his judgement.
I am very lucky in that, through posting my email (firstname.lastname@example.org) on the Health Unlocked blog, I'm in direct contact with Iressa users in Wales, Ireland, England and Spain who have become personal friends are are very supportive.
Two have told me of cases in which tumours began to grow and then stopped. I'm hoping it will be like that in my case.
If not, I'm grateful that I have had 32 months of life (so far) in which I have been able to achieve many of my bucket plans and for the email friends I have discovered.
Reading the blogs, and support I've had from the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, have also been a constant source of comfort.
There are so few of us Iressa users that it is important that we stick together and swap stories, both good and not so good.