Allen began not feeling well in April. He had lots of tests to eliminate potential issues. The first possibility was problems with his heart, however, after stress tests and angiogram determined all was good except blood tests showed concern. His doctor followed up with an x-ray which determined he had pneumonia. Allen was taking a strong antibiotic for several weeks and was to follow-up with endoscopy and colonoscopy to find cause of his anemia. Tests came back normal. Next step was to return to General Practioner who scheduled another x-ray which showed continued pneumonia so was then sent to a pulmonologist. A CT scan was ordered and results came back with a mass in left lung. A bronchoscopy biopsy of the lung was performed which came back as Non-Small Cell Adenocarcinoma (lung cancer)(NSCLC). A PET/CT scan of lymph nodes (neck to thigh) showed cancer had metastasized to the lymph nodes (above collar bone and both sides of the esophagus), final diagnosis Stage IIIb NSCLC.
In July, Allen started a 21-day chemo cycle for two cycles to try and shrink the tumors so safer to do radiation. After 2nd round of treatment, a PET/CT scan showed no change, however, another hot spot in front of the heart. Treatment planned changed. 7 week protocol included 5 days a week of radiation and a 28-day chemo cycle (2-8 day cycles, 28 days apart of chemotherapy). Once this protocol is completed, another PET/CT scan will be scheduled (four weeks after completion of radiation) to provide information regarding next steps of treatment.
Currently, Allen is unable to work due to fatigue, neuropathy (legs/feet), and nausea; along with many, many daily medications which causes expected side effects. He has amazing support from family, friends, and work (Graphic Finishing Services owners and co-workers), along with lots of support from Denise’s employer (Dynamic Group, owners and co-workers). Allen has a very positive attitude, plans to beat this disease, and continues to hope and pray he will be a survivor. This is a tool of communication to help share information and keep updates as current as possible.
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