Clinical Trials, post #1: Katherine Bensen.
Have you ever thought about what life will be like for your family if something took you away from them? I mean really, close your eyes and think about what you would do if you knew you were going to die and it’s not a matter of if, it’s when.
I’m that mom, dad, brother, sister, child sitting next to you at the basketball, soccer, lacrosse, hockey game, choir concert, school play, or on an airplane with kids in tow on spring break. I’m you.
I was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer four years ago on New Year’s Eve, 2014. I was 40 years old. Anyone with lungs can get lung cancer. Since 2014, I have learned that lung cancer claims more lives than any other cancer but it receives less research dollars per cancer death than other cancers. Research matters for lung cancer too, just like research matters for breast, colon, prostate and other cancers. Research leads to new treatments and a better chance of survival.
It’s 10:35 am March 5, 2019. The infusion timer just started for my first phase 1 clinical trial, first in human, open label, dose escalation study of a new treatment, a human bispecific EGFR and cMet antibody in subjects with advanced non-small cell lung cancer.
I genuinely believe in my medical team and know that clinical trials in today’s world are not just for the future of humanity, but there is hope that I will also gain some benefit from it in the here and now. Living with cancer for four years after a prognosis of less than one year has been a gift to me from other men and women who have gone before me and participated in other important clinical trials. The four Targeted Therapy drugs, Immunotherapy and Chemo Therapy that I have exhausted over the last four years were clinical trials before they were tested and approved by the FDA.
I’m never going to be ready to leave my family, friends, John my husband and our kids Henry, Anne, Millie and Sadie. I’ve said from day one of my diagnosis that I wanted to participate in any and all clinical trials available. Now that day is here, and I couldn’t be more grateful that my body is still holding up and I qualified for this trial. Cancer gives a new meaning to the word patience.
Thank you to everyone who has given their time to precision medicine and thank you to all those who have gone before me. Your courage has given me the strength to do what you were so brave to do and enter into a world of unknown outcomes. I plan to share my journey to encourage others to consider participating in clinical trials.
Research matters. Anyone with lungs can get lung cancer. I’m you.
#Katiewins Living with Stage IV Non Small Cell Lung Cancer EGFR Exon 19, Erbb2, T790M & MET~ Diagnosed December 31, 2014.