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Crystal DesRochers: She's a 1der

So my journey started in August of 2021, although I believe it started a couple years prior to the official diagnosis. I started to have quite a bit of pain in my lower right side rib, so I booked an appointment with my family doctor. Upon examining me, she felt it was most likely my Lupus causing the problems. So I was told to take painkillers, use ice and heat and to take it easy. A month later the pain started to go through to my lower/mid back and into my left rib. Again I made an appointment with my family doctor. This time she agreed we should get a chest X-ray.

During this time I should note, I had lost my appetite completely and had lost 20 pounds without trying and I was very short of breath. Well the chest X-ray revealed a shadow on my right lung and so another one was ordered to confirm this. Within a week of that 2nd X-ray I was booked for a CT scan of my chest, which revealed several nodules and lymph nodes that looked suspicious. A week after this discovery I was in for a brain and abdomen Ct scan and also a mammogram. All came back clear. I was also ordered a Ct lung needle biopsy.

Once the “dust” settled it was discovered that I had Lung Cancer, but I didn’t know how bad it was. Fast forward a month and a half I finally got the chance to speak with my oncologist. It was at this appointment I was told it was stage four as all three of the lobes in my right lung were filled with innumerable amount of nodules and the lymph nodes were effected as well. It was also discovered I had the ROS1 gene mutation and so I was prescribed Crizotinib as a first line treatment. Since starting the treatment I have gone to see a colleague of my oncologist, who has been absolutely amazing. She has gone above and beyond in my treatment and I am so thankful to have her on my team.

So for now I wait and I see if the treatment will be successful. Next month I will be having new scans done to see if I’m responding to it.

A couple years prior to my official diagnoses I was very sick. I had pneumonia 2x and bronchitis. I also was in the hospital for a month summer 2020 as I was experiencing terrible migraines that were game changing. My take home throughout all of this is to trust your gut instinct.

If you feel something is off, try to get to the bottom of it. Who knows, it may just save your life.

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