I was diagnosed with salivary gland cancer in 2014. Over two years, I had multiple surgeries to remove tumours that spread in my salivary and lymph glands, which developed more rapidly than my surgeon could manage. After the surgeries and two separate unsuccessful rounds of radiation treatments, my cancer had metastasized throughout my lymphatic system, lungs, liver, and kidneys. In December of 2016, I was given less than a month to live. Thanks to my wonderful doctors and research nurse at MD Anderson, I was encouraged to receive genomic testing and ended up testing positive for NTRK gene fusions. I enrolled in clinical trial for biomarker-specific treatment and still travel from Oklahoma to Texas each month to receive treatment.
I joined the NTRKers to train myself on the science and help others with NTRK gene fusions. I want to become knowledgeable about this cancer type and collaborate with the research community to improve understanding and broaden the available treatment options.
The impact of my diagnosis also weighs on my husband, Greg. He has endured so much along my cancer journey as my care partner. I am keen to always consider him, and I am excited to see how NTRKers can represent his voice and the voice of other care partners. The NTRKers provides us with an unparalleled opportunity to connect with fellow NTRK fusion cancer patients and spark hope for our community together.