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Ed Cutler’s journey with lung cancer started in Fall 2012. After a recommendation from the AARP to get an abdominal aortic aneurism (AAA) test, he learned that there was a mass in his liver. He went to his primary care doctor to follow up with the results from his test. He then saw a GI doctor and was diagnosed with cancer, though not specific as to the primary location.
Ed then went to get a second opinion at Moffitt Cancer Center and underwent a biopsy, the results of which showed that he had adenocarcinoma of the lung, which had metastasized to his liver. Ed’s treatment journey started with standard of care chemo (Alimta, Avastin and carboplatin) infusions that lasted 8 to 9 weeks. Following that, he was on maintenance (Alimta and Avastin). After being on chemo for a total of 16 months, a new tumor was discovered and he was told he was chemo resistant. Ed then was accepted into an immunotherapy clinical trial, a Phase I trial that utilized the infusion of a combination of two drugs. During his participation in that trial, which lasted only 7 months due to severe side effects, the size of the primary tumor that was targeted reduced by 60 percent, and the other tumors became too small to measure. Ed’s oncologist subsequently recommended a new Phase I immunotherapy trial in which he qualified for participation This trial involved one oral medication taken daily. After 2.5 years in this clinical trial, Ed is stable and sees his medical team every four weeks for blood work, follow-up and replenishment of his meds, with a CT scan every 12 weeks.
Ed participates in a support group at Moffitt Cancer Center (and another virtual program with participants worldwide) to help put patients at ease about treatments, side effects, upcoming scans and other concerns. He encourages patients to “Be your own best advocate.”
Throughout his journey, Ed has continued to work full-time as a self-employed tax consultant. He’s been doing that for over 50 years, less two years spent on active duty in the U.S. Navy. He and his wife, Donna, a retired social worker, have been married over 50 years, with two children and three grandchildren. Prior to his diagnosis, Ed enjoyed playing golf and reading in his leisure time, as well as visiting his children and their families as often as possible. Since diagnosis, Ed and Donna travel as often and as long as his work and treatment schedule permit.. He feels that he is ready to get back on the golf course, time permitting, but has been waiting for cooler weather.