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Tue, Feb 19 1:01pm · SMART protocol for mesothelioma in Lung Cancer

Hi Helen,
Thank you for reaching out to me, and I am so sorry to hear that your daughter is battling this same terrible disease. I underwent the SMART protocol in August of 2016, and I also experienced numerous post surgical complications as well, including neuropathy. After trying many different approaches for pain control I finally found that duloxetine to be very helpful with managing this type of pain. I remained cancer free for over two years until this past November where it began to present itself again. My oncologist has recently started me on a 12 week course of chemo, and if we don't achieve adequate tumor reduction and growth then we'll probably try one of the immunotheraphy drugs such as Keytruda. The medical community is constantly making improvements to the treatment regimen for mesothelioma, and your daughter's young age and health will certainly be in her favor. Some patients have lived long, happy and productive lives following meso treatment, and hopefully your daughter will be able to do so as well. Best to you both.

Apr 3, 2018 · Newly diagnosed Lung cancer -trying to get to an accurate diagnosis? in Lung Cancer

Hi Cindy,
I feel your frustration and remember all too well. When my husband was in the process of being diagnosed with stage 3 mesothelioma it took the better part of a year with repeated ER visits, labs, scans etc etc. Treatment has been a convoluted path too, with many serious complications and glitches along the way. It sometimes seemed we were making no progress. But now 19 months since the start of treatment we can look back at the timeline and see the gradual steps forward that really add up to a huge amount of improvement. Miraculous almost!
It's not easy. It's dreadful! But keep plodding along. Try to focus on just the next step. Soon you will have come a long way, with hopefully enormous healing.

Mar 12, 2018 · Newly diagnosed Lung cancer -trying to get to an accurate diagnosis? in Lung Cancer

Hi Cindylb. I remember when my husband was being diagnosed, what a meandering path it was. They thought it was his heart, then acid reflux, then emphysema. The better part of a year later after many many tests and diagnostic surgeries, we found it was indeed lung cancer. Now 18 months after that point he is cancer free and slowly gaining strength. It is a wretched thing to go through and I'm pulling for you! Be strong! I kept telling myself, "I can eat this elephant, one bite at a time!"

Mar 8, 2018 · SMART protocol for mesothelioma in Lung Cancer

Hi Colleen, and no I did not have the immunotheraphy treatment as this came about after my surgery. I have heard however that Mayo is the only institution in the country that has begun a cryotheraphy clinical trial before surgery, again as a method of boosting the body's immune system, which sounds very promising. Surgeons are constantly tweaking the SMART protocol to help make it more effective with less risk of complications which bodes well for future meso patients. RichM

Mar 6, 2018 · SMART protocol for mesothelioma in Lung Cancer

Good morning Colleen,
Thank you for your response, and I would be happy to be introduced to my fellow mesothelioma members. Shortly after my surgery I experienced numerous complications, including kidney failure, heart twisting out of proper position, and infection, to name a few. Moreover, I have on-going post surgical neuropathy pain which has resulted in my having to quit my job, as well as abandon most of my hobbies. Needless to say, this has created a huge shift in my lifestyle and quality of life. While I am extremely grateful to still be alive at this point and cancer free, I continue to struggle with the emotional issues that these changes have brought. Regards, RichM

Mar 1, 2018 · SMART protocol for mesothelioma in Lung Cancer

After being diagnosed with stage 3 pleural mesothelioma I underwent the SMART protocol 18 months ago. At that time i was Mayo's third patient to do so. I am cancer free at this time, though do not feel at all like I had before treatment. Are any of Mayo's other SMART patients on this site? How are you doing?