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Del Danaher : She's a 1der

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

In June 2022 I noticed a lump near my collarbone, I'd recently had my covid vaccine so I put it down to that, but when it hadn't gone by September I went to see my GP, he asked lots of questions, like was I more tired than usual, had I lost weight, did I have a cough, I explained I had recently started a new job as a kitchen assistant, I'm also a carrier for my mum, a wife and mother of 3 adults, I look after my daughters step-daughter, we have a smallholding, life is hectic, so it's no surprise I had lost weight and felt tired. I also have a cough, due to asthma, allergies and anxiety, or so I thought. He sent me for blood tests, an ultrasound and a chest x-ray.

At the ultrasound, another lump was spotted on my thyroid so I had two biopsies immediately. And there was a shadow on my lung. Suddenly I was scared. I week later I was told I had thyroid cancer with possible spread to the lung, but very curable. Then I had a CT scan, and two days later on 19th October, a thoracic doctor told me I actually have advanced lung cancer, I have a tumor behind my heart with spread to my lymph nodes and liver, and possibly my kidney and adrenal gland, inoperable and incurable but treatable, by then I was terrified, all I did was cry for weeks!

I had another biopsy, which showed a ROS-1 mutation, I found the ROS1ders Facebook group and I started taking medication on December 9th 2021. I was really scared before I started that I wouldn't manage the side effects, but I mostly do, I have loss of taste, constipation, weight gain and feel a bit wobbly when I walk, a small price to pay, for an otherwise normal life. I still get times when I feel overwhelming fear and panic, but I let it pass. My CT scans have shown an excellent response to the medication, with shrinkage and stability.

Just after my diagnosis my daughter announced she was pregnant, I didn't think I would meet my grandchildren (she later found out she was having twins!) but they arrived a month ago and I'm very much involved!

I'm 48 years old, I still feel "young, fit and healthy" and pray this wonderful treatment works for YEARS!

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