My name is Denise Drasga, and at age 53, I was diagnosed with stage IV EGFR-mutated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with R lung nodule and oligometastasis in pathological fracture of acetabulum. As an oncology nurse practitioner with a spouse who is a medical oncologist, I needed a care team that would respect my knowledge and be willing to share with me the specific details associated with every step of my journey.

The team that took care of me did an excellent job educating me about new advances and being super prompt in sharing results to decrease the anxiety caused by waiting for findings. They honored my choices regarding treatment changes and consultations. But more importantly, the team continued to work together remotely via the internet, sharing their thoughts and ideas regarding the best approach to take for me. All team members, even after a job change for one which resulted in a new physical location, worked together to ensure that I felt comfortable with my course of treatment.

And lastly, they just practiced good medicine; I’m a walking testament to four-and-a-half years of survivorship with this deadly diagnosis.