Treatment Update – Today is a special day.

This is a big day.

I completed my 6th and last chemo cycle on March 15 (following chemo on Feb 22), was PT scanned on Tuesday 22 March, and have just completed the consultation with my oncologist, Richard Sullivan. In short, the PT scan showed that I am in complete remission. I currently have no tumors in my body or measurable cancer activity.

This does not mean I am cured (medical science says there is no cure for my condition, but we shall see). However it gives me many more degrees of freedom around continuing treatment.

The plan now is to leave Tarceva (the drug that deals with the EGFR mutation that has shown up in my DNA and which an estimated 15% of the lung cancer population have) as my ‘next line of defense’ rather than making an immediate transition from chemo, as originally planned. I will get scanned on a three monthly basis such that, as soon as any cancer activity reappears, I will then go on to Tarceva.

The advantage of this strategy is that it plays to the high probability that, within the next little while (say 6-18 months), the next version of Tarceva will emerge on the market and/or that the rapidly increasing knowledge about my disease provides new therapies which enable me to manage my lung cancer as a chronic disease on an ongoing basis – very much like Glevic manages myloid leukemia as a chronic disease.

I am confident that my result reflects the combined outcome of my ‘integrated’ approach to my disease. My reorganised lifestyle, my disciplined approach to diet (I should say Maureen’s disciplined approach), meditation and visualisation (psychoneuroimmunology) are all based on good science and enable me to stay feeling as fit and healthy as I can remember.  I have little doubt that this approach is also re-igniting and boosting my immune system to take over the heavy lifting of managing my disease.

The last element in my armoury has been the healing impact of the wonderful support I have received from family and friends. Thank you all.

One other event over the past month has provided a huge ‘healing’ experience for me. My daughter, Emma, was married on 5 March to a wonderful young man, Luke Procter. This provided me with a few intense days of what I can only describe as one of the happiest and most enjoyable experiences of my life. When you laugh and smile that much, something else has got to be going on in your brain and immune system.

I continued to feel very well over the course of my last cycle, but experienced quite a lot more fatigue from the accumulated effects of 6 cycles of chemo and an unavoidably falling red blood count. All that has now gone and my energy (and undoubtedly red blood count) has come surging back. I am now regularly working out at the gym and doing yoga most days.

But this day feels particularly special.

Once again, thank you all for your wonderful support.

I will updating my blog over the next week or so on 2 topics:
- strongly recommended reading for cancer comrades
- health insurance (if you think you are covered for modern medical treatment of cancer you are probably wrong).

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65 Responses

  1. Chris Thelin says:

    An amazing day Rob . the bait is chilling ready for the onslaught.

  2. phyl says:

    yippeee!!!! Attitude bro!!! and you sure have that, Well done, you have worked so hard for the very best result.
    Love ya. Phyl

  3. Mike Wilkinson says:

    Absolutely amazing, Rob. You are a legend! Is there anything else to say?

  4. Ken Coveny says:

    Great news Rob

  5. Julia deVille says:

    Bloody great news Rob!!!
    I knew you would have a positive result.
    You are my hero.

  6. Geof Shirtcliffe says:

    That’s fantastic news, Rob. Very happy for you, Maureen and your family.

  7. Alison Hewett says:

    Fantastic news! I am so happy for you. Love Ali x

  8. Warrick Procter says:

    Sigh…
    What tremendous news!
    You have made us all very happy people.

  9. Kim Palsenbarg says:

    Fantastic news! The best wedding present Emma (and the rest of your family and friends) could have wished for.

  10. Linley Taylor says:

    Dear Rob

    What fantastic news, and what an inspiring journey.
    Thankyou fpr the inspiration and congratulations, congratulations on the news
    Keep up the good work
    Linley Taylor

  11. Marion Hulen says:

    We are so happy to hear your wonderful news. I subscribed to your blog but didn’t receive an update until today.

    Congratulations to Emma and Luke on their marriage.

  12. Paul & Sandra says:

    Fantastic news Rob. On the scale of possible outcomes it looks like a 10. We’re very happy for you Maureen and family. I hope your strict diet allows a glass of fine champagne. See you soon.

  13. Jill Kinloch says:

    Fabulous news Rob. Well done Maureen for all your support and wonderful cooking that has obviously helped Rob so much.

  14. Gunther Wild says:

    Awesome, amazing news Rob! – And well done Maureen, Mark, Dan, Emma, Luke and family for keeping you on track and (healthily) well fed! :-)

  15. Brent Wheeler says:

    Just extraordinary – great job.

  16. William Peet says:

    Great news Rob – a credit to the treatment and your approach to it. Take care and look forward to a catch up when it suits

  17. Gavin Kennedy says:

    I was amazed how well you looked when I met you at the Path lab, and this result confirms it.

    it may not just be the chemicals but your mental attitude. Its amazing how much the mind can achieve.

    Congratualtions

    Gavin

  18. Arron Goldman says:

    Heard the news through Emma and Mark. You are nothing short of pure inspiration.

    Arron and Lou Goldman

  19. Mark Wills says:

    Absolutely brilliant news Rob. Very pleased to get that wonderful news. Onward and upward.

  20. Mary Carlyle Smith says:

    What fantastic news Rob. I am so pleased for you. Have been following your progress and am in awe of your attitude. You are an inspiration to others. So pleased you were well for your special day wih Emma. I’m sure you felt very proud walking down the aisle with her. No doubt you have other milestones to look forward to. A grandchild?? Bill and I recently became grandparents to Vanessa. unfortunately she lives in London so we have only seen her courtesy of skype. look forward to catching up in the future.

  21. Grant Kemble says:

    Fantastic Rob. Absolutely-bloody-fantastic.

  22. anthony gibbons says:

    Congratulations Rob. An incredible, and unimaginable weight off everyone’s minds for sure. Go forth and conqueur! Anthony

  23. Dawa says:

    Wonderful news. Your approach is an inspiration Rob. So many theorise but your guts and enthusiasm show it’s true. Congratulations to you and Maureen – it’s been both your journey hasn’t it? I’m so thrilled for you and all your family. Yaaay! (ps – do I sense a book and speaking circuit coming on?) Lots of love, Dawa

  24. Esme says:

    What a wonderful feeling, you have told that cancer who is BOSS!! Well done you (and Maureen for all the healthy enforcing in the kitchen).
    Now to…. Dance like nobody’s watching; love like you’ve never been hurt. Sing like nobody’s listening; live like it’s heaven on earth!!
    All my love x

  25. Andy Morris says:

    Just heard the news Rob- just over the moon for you and your family! Fantastic, gutsy effort. Looking forward to catching up soon Cheers, Andy

  26. diane zwimpfer says:

    What an amazing 5 months! From the worst possible news to the best possible news in that short time. Who’d have thunk? What a great body of evidence you present for the theory that everyone knows about, but it is not until it is demonstrated in such a dramatic way that it makes such an indelible impact. I think you will be influencing a whole body of cancer comrades and their supporters, not to mention making your family and friends very happy people. xo

  27. Rod says:

    great new Rob!!!!

  28. Tracy W says:

    Wow, fantastic news!

  29. Matt Slatter says:

    Well done, Rob. The power of a positive frame of mind, sheer determination and guts! All the best.

  30. david rutherford says:

    Rob, Greatest news of the year. You are an inspiration – seeing Mark here in Singapore for our “brains trust” meeting with P&G. We will have a beetroot,ginger and tumeric juice in your honour. Yahoooooo!!!!

  31. Martin L says:

    Brilliant news! As always Rob, you are inspirational

  32. Mark Verbiest says:

    Great news Rob- the power of your positive thinking and action in motion.
    Catch you soon… Best Mark

  33. Dave Bleier says:

    Rob that is just simply fantastic news, it is a testament to your inspirational mental attitude. My best wishes to you and the family.

  34. Max Bradford says:

    Truly great news Rob…..and a tribute to your perserverance and determination.

  35. Rob, Great news, but sorry my response is 7 hours late !!

    Keep well,

    Robin S

  36. Janette Okkerse says:

    Woooo hooooo Rob.
    I’m delighted to hear this amazing news. You looked so well at Emma and Lukes wedding, it was hard to believe you’d been so unwell.
    Keep smiling, being happy and loving life.
    Love you and your family xxxx

  37. Douglas says:

    That is fantastic. You are truly amazing!!

  38. Phil Major says:

    Wonderful News Rob what a great outcome may it carry on. Congratulations on all the hard work attitude and perserverence. I am delighted for you and your family. With all this gym work you will be able to give a rousing Haka at the next HVHS event!!

  39. Paul and Marg le Gros says:

    dear Rob We are thrilled to read today’s news. You and Maureen have really taken on this battle on all fronts . Your blog is an inspiration and so very informative – always evidence of your positive approach. keep celebrating life. Xx

  40. Rachel Brown says:

    Fabulous! I love your reference to the intensity of emotion/connection you had during the wedding, thats the gift in this. What a great email to get from you to us all. xx

  41. Hilary Poole says:

    Rob, awesome news, laughter and love are the best medicines of all!!!

  42. Angeline and Adam Barnes says:

    Hi Rob, catch up with the Zwimpfers today and they shared your amazing news. You are amazing. Adam, Angeline, Millie, Alice and Esme Barnes.x

  43. dave birt says:

    Rob, great result; well done! We missed you at kina olympics, but you will be pleased to hear that the penninsular team won! Heard that Emma and Luke’s wedding was a great success…sorry we missed you then, but look fwd to catching up soon (there are still snapper in the bay, and fishing is, as you know, the best medicine..) love to Maureen, and from Pam. Cheers, Dave ps the rope broke at the tug of war resulting in lots of bruises, but a great story to add to the Olympics legend!

  44. Peter & Kathy Jones says:

    Dear Rob, Such wonderful news! We will warn the Port Levy whitebait “be very afraid”.

  45. franceska says:

    Hi Rob

    I was thinking about you today and wondering how things were going – great news. I have great admiration for your approach. We talk about you at the VIF office and will the very best for you. I will pass on the news. F

  46. Ian & Maureen Thomson says:

    Rob We have been quietly following your progress and couldn’t be happier to hear the latest result. Our love to you and Maureen

  47. That’s truly wonderful news Rob. Inspirational.

  48. Jenny and Tony Salter says:

    What a wonderful report. A result we all hoped and prayed for and you did it. Congratulations to you Maureen the family and all efforts that contributed to this wonderful outcome.

  49. redsfan says:

    Well done getting through this. I truely hope it stays away and you can get back to a normal non-treatment life.

  50. Craig Vanston says:

    Amazing news, so glad to hear it! Your approach has proven, without a doubt, the self-power that one can harness. Congratulations to you and kind regards to all the family.

  51. Howard and Kay Fancy says:

    Hi Rob Just seen your update and that is the best news. So great for you and all the family. All the best.

  52. Michael Sutton and Karen Gregory Hunt says:

    Rob – You have made our day. Karen and I are really feeling so good about your great news. ~~~

  53. sally Munro says:

    Rob, Maureen,

    Yay, yay, yay! And so glad you had a wonderful family wedding. Carpe diem.
    Love Sally and Pat

  54. Lilias Bell says:

    Rob. I have followed your progress and you are a fabulous example to us all. Organised, focused, positive and look at the result! Well done and best wishes for continued good health. Lilias

  55. Ron Pol says:

    Fantastic news Rob. I know from experience the road ahead will continue to have its own big ups and downs, so hold on to the fact it will be a long road, and likely paved with many more of those days of laughter and smiling than might have been the case otherwise in the lives of many hardworking types!

  56. Nigel Bingham says:

    Rob, that is fantastic news! I have been following your blog from time to time and it has been very inspirational seeing your positive attitude to your condition and the energy you have put into deeply understanding it. I always thought if anyone could beat the odds it would be you. Well done. Nigel

  57. Richard Palmer says:

    Rob, echoing the other response you remain an inspiration to many. Best wishes to you and your family.

    Richard

  58. Jill and Grant says:

    Rob, we are delighted to read the fantastic news. It sounds like it has been a great team effort with Maureen and the family as the best support crew. When you both feel like a few holes of golf, give us a call. Cheers Grant and Jill

    • Rob Cameron says:

      Grant,Jill
      Thanks for your comments and support.
      We will take you up on the golf offer-and I am in shape to do it.
      Just need to get ‘new normal’ better organised!
      Regards

  59. Pene Jeffery says:

    What fantastic news Rob. Have just caught up with your news. My love to you and Maureen. Shared news of your challenge with Gavin when he was back in NZ to give Rebecca away at her wedding on March 26th. Keep well and happy.

    Pene

    • Rob Cameron says:

      Pene.
      Thanks for your support-and for mentioning me to Gavin.
      Hope the wedding went well.
      I gave away Emma on 5March.Afantastic event.

  60. Helen says:

    Hi Rob …it’s really wonderful news that you’ve completed all 6 cycles of chemo …a big task!! I’m a friend of Pene’s and just wanted to say that I’m always full of admiration for chemo stars. I know it’s a hard, hard road and from reading your blogs you’ve done wonderful things with holistic medicines. I just wonder if you’ve read any Bernie Siegal. He’s the most wonderful oncologogist in the US and knows all about the mind-body connect. He wrote a lovely book over 20 years ago called “Love, Medicine and Miracles”.
    Best of good wishes to you and all the family who have shared this with you.
    Helen

  61. Helen says:

    This will help you I promise (better than Gawler as he uses a different approach):

    Dr. Bernie Siegel on how to heal yourself

    by Dr. Bernie Siegel, author of Love, Medicine and Miracles Dr. Bernie Siegel is a physician who has cared for and counseled innumerable patients. …
    http://www.shareguide.com/Siegel.html – Cached – Similar

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