I’m You.

Clinical Trial Blog, Post 5, Katherine Bensen.

So, this just happened. I woke up Saturday morning with a rash of pimple-like sores so dense and inflamed that my entire face looked like it had swollen to about three times its normal surface area. I didn’t even recognize myself in the mirror! To make matters worse, it hurt and it itched. And the more I itched, the more it hurt. The more it hurt, the more I itched. So, I spent the weekend trying to relieve my new side effect from this clinical trial by covering my face with lotions and suave – an attempt to relieve the itching, swelling and pain.

My best friend kept telling me to stop “trying to tough it out” and “please contact your doctor.” I am so glad I finally listened to her. My doctor prescribed Prednisone immediately and within a couple of hours I was feeling better. My face isn’t quite back to normal yet, and it is completely exfoliating, like a snake. Unfortunately, this is something I have experienced before from previous cancer treatment drugs. And, it really makes my skin look aged – I look about 10 years older right now. But I will take the aged appearance ANY DAY, as long as I can stay alive. I’m even happy to share these before and after pictures of one of the many possible side effects from cancer treatments because today, I am alive because of the new treatments discovered through research and clinical trials.

My experiences and the side effects from this clinical trial are being shared with the pharmaceutical company that produced the drug as well. This allows others to learn from my experience and work to improve the treatment.

I’m hoping this side effect (or something worse) doesn’t happen again after my next treatment, but if it does, I will call my doctor sooner! A side note: as much as I don’t like taking steroids, they did make me feel good enough to go to the gym today with my son, Henry. Being with family and being able to go to the gym makes most anyone feel better!

Research matters. Clinical trials matter. I’m you.

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