I saw the medical oncologist yesterday for the first time and he is proposing a course of Cisplatin & Pemetrexed (Alimta) combined. Then, if this is successful at stopping the spread/growth then Alimata every 3 weeks 'maintenance' for the foreseeable future. When I questioned the requirement to potentially attend the hospital indefinitely I was told that this is the national gold standard treatment.
I have been diagnosed as having NSCLC Stage IV advanced locally, T4, N3, M1 although the small shadow on my liver has not been confirmed as being cancer, only likely in their opinion. The lung tumour is not operable or curable, but possibly manageable. I am not positive for Iressa.
My question is : Is the above the only treatment now available for people with this type & stage of lung cancer? Are there any others with my diagnosis that have been offered anything different? My reason for asking is I am currently well apart from an undiagnosed pain in my shoulder, I am not losing weight, all my vital organs are working well, my blood count & pressure are good, so the prospect of weakening my body with this treatment indefinitely is not a good one for me. Also, there is a history of Peripheral Neuropathy in my family which Cisplatin could trigger as a side effect - also not a good prospect. And, as an active person who enjoys swimming, travelling, work etc, the prospect of being tied down to a hospital month after month, as well weakened is not a good one. In my research & reading I had not heard of this 'maintenance' before - is it the norm now as that is what I am being told.