My name is Ria Holdaway. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer August 13, 2012. I was 41 years old then and I am now 45 years old and have been a survivor for the past 3 1/2 years. It was discovered that I have the ROS1 mutation after about the first month.
I was not feeling well for a few months and the doctor kept thinking that I had a sinus infection and possibly asthma. I was put on antibiotics twice which didn’t help at all. I continued to get worse. I couldn’t lay down at night and breathe comfortably due to the plural effusion. I even started having chest pains.
I went to the doctor for the third time and told them I wasn’t leaving until they could give me some answers because I felt so awful.
My doctor finally did a chest ct and an echocardiogram. These two test came back showing something was not right, at which time I was admitted to my local hospital. They still did not suspect lung cancer due to my age and non smoking history. They transferred me to University of Pennsylvania Hospital, where after about 8 days they were able to diagnose me after doing a lymph node biopsy. A part of that was sent to for further testing where we learned that my lung cancer was ROS1 positive.
I received about 6 months of chemo and have now been on Xalkori for almost 3 years.