trying out Tarceva
I'm new here. Stumbled on to the site and thought I'd give my 2 cents.
I was diagnosed this time last year with stage 3B NSCLC. It's an adenocarcinoma. I have a couple of tumors and a lot of spreading in the lungs. If you looked at my PET scan, instead of the usual distinct tumor, it was spread out as if someone had spray-painted on the resulting pictures. That meant it was inoperable.
So they started me with the most aggresive treatment - Taxotere + Cisplatin. Once every 3 weeks. I was wiped out that first week. But then recovered well enough to work from home the next 2 weeks. I did this for 3 months (5 cycles). They took a CT scan in May (2006) - no change.
So my doc switched me to a better tolerated treatment (Carboplatin + Gemzar) so that I can work. I was on this regimen until December. Added bonus was that my hair grew back. In August, my doc got me on Avastin (added to my treatment) even before it was FDA approved for lung cancer. Only real side effect was minor bleeding in the phlegm I'd cough up. Nothing major. I still worked about 40 hours a week.
I took a month off all treatment mid-Dec to mid-Jan to visit my brothers and other relatives on the other coast. My PET scan (Jan 10) showed no significant change either. Which was extremely disappointing since I have practically no signs of disease.
My aunt has been pushing me to try out Tarceva for months. She knows someone who benefited from the drug being a young, non-smoking asian female. (I also fall in that demographic.) My doctor was not very enthusiastic about it. She says there's not enough evidence to back up Tarceva. But since we have tried other regimens and it has been a year, she finally gave it to me. Now, I'm on Tarceva and Avastin. (And hoping for the best. Please pray for me.)
I started Tarceva last week. The rash in my face has just started to form. My face stings. (Any suggestions anyone?)