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Vancouverite Completes Several Cycles Of Alimta

74 year-old Jane Doe has lived in Washington State all of her life. She and her first husband raised four children, started their own company, and together built the home that Jane still calls home.

Jane enjoyed a healthy lifestyle. She never smoked tobacco or imbided in alcohol. “I never found either of them interesting.” Some of her friends would accuse her of being “no fun!”, but Jane was always quick to state “my idea of fun is fishing!” She and her current husband own a pop-up trailer they keep at home and take on weekends to go fishing and on camping trips. When they find time, they also travel to the coast where they have an RV.

Jane was never afraid of picking up a shovel, axe or broom. She would regularly load her pickup truck with a load of firewood, take it home, unload and stack the wood. She regularly made all the meals for her family. Jane and her husband are raising two of her grandchildren, which she really enjoys. She loves taking them on trips, including to Florida and Disney World and to Yellowstone National Park.

In June of 2010, Jane’s life took a reverse. She began to feel unusually rundown and short of breath. She thought she may have been suffering from asthma and went to her family physician. She was prescribed an inhaler. After a few weeks, her condition did not improve so she returned to her doctor.

Jane then underwent a pulmonary function test. Several chest films were also taken. The films revealed a mass on her left lung. A biopsy was performed and the pathology returned a diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma.

When Jane saw her x-rays she was struck by how much they resembled first husband, whom she had lost to lung cancer in 1986 after 30 years of marriage. She recalled that he had fluid drained from his lungs, but his doctors had never mentioned mesothelioma.

Jane was referred to thoracic surgeon Dr. Alexander Farivar at the Swedish Cancer Clinic in Seattle, Washington. Due to the size of her tumor, Jane was not a candidate for the extrapleural-pneumonectomy (EPP) surgery. Dr. Farivar instructed her to complete multiple rounds of chemotherapy in the hopes that the tumor would shrink and make the surgery a possibility in the future.

In September of 2010 Jane began chemo treatments utilizing Alimta and continued receiving treatments until July of 2012, and while the tumor did not increase in size, it also did not shrink. She is due in for a CAT scan in January of 2013 to monitor the tumor and to determine if she will begin a new chemotherapy regiment.

Jane is glad to be off of the chemotherapy, “I feel so much better, and while there are days, overall I have improved quite a bit. I take my vitamins and make sure to eat five foods every day: broccoli, celery, beets, red apples, and carrots."

Jane recently purchased a bicycle and has been riding the paths near her home. She hopes to eventually be able to ride all the way to the beach, with her grandchildren chasing her the entire way.

*** Posted on November 20, 2012 ***