A little story about news magazines, in this case, Newsweek. Several months ago, a long, in-depth article about lung cancer appeared in that magazine. I was warned not to read it (thanks Amy, et al), but I could not resist. Although I was aware of much of the information, and recognized many of the physicians quoted in the article, including the oncologist from MD Anderson who is part of my own medical team, it was distressing nonetheless. When I mentioned my concerns about the article to Dr. Dubovsky, he admonished me for relying on Newsweek's version of the current state of lung cancer and its treatment. Well, it happened again. My brother pointed out an article about personalized medicine in the December 15 issue of this magazine. In a concise and informative explanation of targeted therapies for cancer, the magazine identifies Iressa as a targeted therapy for lung cancer. The problem is that except for patients already taking this drug with resulting positive benefits, Astra-Zeneca ceased marketing Iressa in the US as of September 15, 2005. It was replaced by a drug that was proving to be more effective. That drug? Tarceva.
Speaking of Tarceva, the most common side effect is an upper body rash that appears in 8 to 10 days, specifically on the face and scalp. My rash didn't want to wait. My face and scalp have already been invaded, big time. It is unsightly, it is uncomfortable, but it may be a sign that the drug is doing its job. No complaints here.
Instead of languishing as I have for months, I finally feel like I am moving forward again. I plan to enjoy some quality family time in the coming weeks. I mentioned some time ago that the Winter Solstice would be a turning point for me. Turns out I could have been on the money.