I’m You.

Clinical Trials, post #2: Katherine Bensen.

Today at the hospital, a 27-year-old girl with lung cancer is lying in her bed just a few floors above me. She will take her last breath in the next couple of days. She’s been on my mind all day as my own cancer mid-infusion drug slowly drips. It’s not fair. She’s so young…so much more life to live. Unfortunately, the drugs just are not working for her. She only had a year to say goodbye. She needed more time, time for researchers to find better treatments or a cure for lung cancer. Research matters. It is the hope of hundreds of thousands of people fighting this disease right now. She could be you. She might be me. Maybe I’m you. If you have lungs, you can get lung cancer.

Lung Cancer is the world’s #1 cancer killer. It kills more men and women than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined, yet it receives less research funding per cancer death than many other cancers.

433 people will die today from lung cancer. That’s a jumbo jet going down every single day in the USA! Why aren’t we more alarmed?

I’m reminded again of how grateful I am for the gifts others before me have given by enrolling in clinical trials that provide research that leads to new treatments and extended lives. I’m still alive today, four years longer than expected because of those brave souls!

I was miraculously given four years to make more memories with my husband and children, family and friends. It’ll never be enough, but we are grateful for our time and hope for more.

Research matters. The five-year survival rate for lung cancer is less than 18%. As I approach my five-year anniversary December 31st, it feels like I am watching a glass sand timer slowly emptying its sand.

A fellow stage 4 lung cancer survivor and friend messaged me today. We are enrolled in the same clinical trial. I’m so saddened to learn that she will be taken out of the trial today because her cancer has progressed, and the treatment didn’t work. She gave herself to research and to those who come after her. I’m so proud to know her and continue to believe that we both have more options to give us more time!

Research matters. We need to invest in it and encourage the powers that be to make lung cancer a high priority research area. 433 people dying each day – that should be all the incentive anyone needs.

This day has been long and hard. I’m hopeful and positive for whatever outcome my participation in this trial will provide for others and I believe it will buy me more precious time as well.

Clinical trials matter. I’m you.

#Katiewins Living with Stage 4 Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer EGFR Exon 19, Erbb2, T790M & Met ~ Diagnosed December 31, 2014.