By David Gobin

It is not easy but the trip is worth it. You get diagnosed with NSCLC in April 2008. You start with an operation to remove a tumor on your right lung and have a lobectomy (bottom two lobes right lung) only to find out you are stage IV. You follow that with radiation and chemo, followed by the discovery of another tumor on the right side plural chest wall along with the lesions on the lymph nodes still there and now a lesion on the liver. Follow that by a phase 2 chemo clinical trial, and then with an operation to remove the tumor and scrape the remaining top lobe off of the right lung from the chest wall. Now, follow that with more radiation, followed by another phase 2 chemo clinical trial. None of this worked – still have cancer, but the good thing is I am still alive and won’t give up!  Do not pity me, do not feel sorry for me; it is what it is. I still have HOPE! This took 2 years and 7 months that I would rather never repeat. I am fortunate because I should be dead. At least that was the rumor. I thank Chemotherapy for keeping me alive long enough for me to meet my new friend Immunotherapy. I don’t know if I have to start a new paragraph or not but I will.

traveling-hope-blanket-2

I was introduced to my friend Immunotherapy early Jan. 2011. It was a phase 1 trial with a drug (I hope I can call it a drug), called MDX1106. No name, now that invokes confidence! Immunotherapy and the trial were explained to me but I didn’t understand a thing they said…but kept that to myself. Told them I have nothing to lose so let’s get this show on the road. Much to their surprise I completed the two year trial. During that two years the lesion on my liver disappeared. Most of the lesions on the lymph nodes had shrunk significantly. Being male you don’t like hearing about ‘shrinkage’ but in this case it is a good thing. During this two year period MDX1106 was given a real name. You may have heard of it. It is called OPDIVO. I have been off of the trial without treatment now for 2 years and 9 months. No growth, nor spread – staying stable. By the time HOPE Summit arrives in May, I will be an 8 year survivor living with NSCLC stage IV. That my friends is how my lung cancer turned from fatal to chronic. Live with it.

I must thank the most important person in my life my wife Stephanie whom without I would not be here today, She is my will to live.

I thank my two Oncologists. Dr. Rosalyn Juergens who kept fighting to keep me alive with Chemotherapy until Immunotherapy arrived. I thank Dr. Julie Brahmer who never gave up in her belief in Immunotherapy in the early stages which makes her a true Pioneer in this fight. For that I am so grateful to her. From day one all I ever wanted to do was live long enough for the cure. Looks like I might do that.

HOPE is for me the strongest motivator to survive, to keep going from day to day. That is what this is all about. LUNGevity is the HOPE we need. Thank you, all of LUNGevity, for all that you do for us………………….Always remember “Don’t Give Up Don’t Ever Give Up”

Hugs to all. Signing off now.

David Gobin,

aka “Hug Man”