Teri Schrul talks about how clinical trials restored her and her husband’s hope for the future after a lung cancer diagnosis, and the importance of getting more patients into trials.
Our lives forever changed when my husband, Bill, was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in 2012. At first, we couldn’t believe the news. Bill always lived a healthy lifestyle — eating right, exercising and going to the doctor for annual physicals. Lung cancer just never seemed like a risk. Unfortunately, it became our new reality.
The doctors told us that Bill’s first treatment option was a targeted therapy drug, Tarceva. But they warned us that targeted therapies tend to become less effective after about a year, and said that clinical trials would be Bill’s best chances for future treatment.
When the Tarceva had become less effective last December, we were worried. We knew Bill’s options were limited and we didn’t have a lot of time before his health would worsen. So when Bill was accepted into a clinical trial at Massachusetts General in January, we felt incredibly lucky. Our hope had been restored.
If not for this clinical trial, Bill’s only other option would have been chemotherapy. We are sure his prognosis and quality of life would not be what it is today.
So far Bill is doing well on the trial, which has allowed him to live a relatively normal life. Still, living with the uncertainty of lung cancer isn’t easy. Bill and I have to hold out hope that treatment options will continue to be available when he needs them. I want Bill to be able to see his children get married and start families. I want the chance to grow old with him. He is my hero, and a wonderful and loving husband and father.
I’m writing this post requesting your support of Free to Breathe because the need for lung cancer treatment options is so urgent. With less than 3% of lung cancer patients participating in clinical trials, many trials struggle to find enough patients to continue. This has to change.
Free to Breathe is rolling out programs in 2015 that are focused on doubling the number of lung cancer patients in clinical trials so patients can benefit from new treatments. Bill and I know from experience — those treatments may be someone’s best chance at life.
Please consider making a donation today. Your donation will support these critical programs and help more families like mine get their lives back. Together, we can make sure surviving lung cancer is the expectation, not the exception.
Originally posted at CLINICAL TRIALS GAVE MY FAMILY HOPE