BY CAROL SEE
Every woman has a story about her path to a LAM diagnosis. My story actually began with a diagnosis of mononucleosis. In late 2011, I was feeling so tired and weak that I could barely stand up. After a series of blood tests, my doctor sent me to the hospital, but the ER sent me home after the mono diagnosis. At age 48, jokes ensued.
But my doctor was convinced something additional was wrong, and after further testing and consultation with an endocrinologist, he diagnosed me with adrenal insufficiency, aka Addison’s disease. The abdomen CT he had ordered showed some lung nodules that he wanted to re-check in three months.
BY JEFF SWIGRIS, DO, MS, LAM CLINIC ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL JEWISH HEALTH, DENVER
I don’t need to tell you what it’s like to live with LAM (or live with someone affected by LAM)—you’re the experts on that topic. Drawing on that expertise has created the underpinnings of my research program: go to the experts to try to more fully understand how a chronic respiratory disease affects patients (and their loved ones). It is only through such understanding that we—as clinicians and researchers—are able to try to devise strategies to lessen the negative effects these diseases have on how patients feel and how they function.
The FDA-approved sirolimus for use in patients with LAM on May 28, 2015, almost exactly 20 years after The LAM Foundation was founded. The informal tag line for the Foundation back then was ‘an effective treatment in under a decade’, and the Board’s tongue-in-cheek position was that we could ‘use our own discretion’ to decide when the decade started. I am still not sure when the start date was, but I think we can assign the end date for the first effective treatment for LAM as May 28, 2015.