New Direction – Feb. 17, 2008

A message from at 5:28pm about Dad, Lung Cancer.

The second-line medicine of chemotherapy apparently was not working very well. Shortness of breath and cough continued to worsen through January. Eventually, temperature went up again on January 27 and I had to be hospitalized again. The same old story repeated, i.e. they checked everything they knew or wanted to know and nothing was positive. They ended up giving me a strong dose of antibiotic and sent me home. Before they sent me home, they tried to persuade me to sign up for Home Hospice, i.e. they threw in the white towel.

Their attitude forced us nothing but seeking for a second opinion. Through the coordinators, we were able to see a doctor at Froedtert within a week. After reading my records and examinations, the doctor kindly said that he could help and offered a different type of treatment, the so-called targeted treatment. A medicine called Tarceva, blocking a specific protein on the surface of cancer cells which sends growth signal, will slow or stop the growth of the cells. This medicine works for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in an advanced stage or metastasis, and has to be used after failure of one previous chemotherapy. It is particularly effective for a non-smoking Asian man with NSCLC. The direction appears to be right and timing is perfect. So, we give a shot and hope the change is for good.