A Stage 4 Lung Cancer with brain mets DX is the great white shark of medical diagnoses … its one single minded objective is to kill me.
Hope and awareness rumbled by my DJ/MC tent Saturday morning as nearly 500 runners and walkers participated in Pennsylvania Lung Cancer Partnership’s 2013 Free ToBreathe 5K on City Island … stretching a 3 mile living ribbon of lung cancer awareness across the Susquehanna River into Harrisburg and back … empowering!
Most important last year 7 survivors were in attendance … this year, 11 were registered though only 8 are pictured. … More, more, and more … inspirational!
Since last summer I searched for ‘survivors’ and finally this past Spring connected by an oncology nurse, while I was still Stage 1, the woman to the far right shared she was told she had 4 months to live 4 years ago DX’d with Stage 4 … her advice to me was “take control” of your treatment … surrounding her in the chemo lounge were three more 4 yr+ survivors and a 10 yr lung cancer survivor all of whom shared similar original prognoses.
… WE are not statistics ... WE are people fighting to outlive lung cancer
The young woman to my left was DX’d at age 19! … young women are the fastest growing subgroup … it’s an increasingly toxic world out there from radon to diesel to pollution … if you have lungs you can get lung cancer … KNOW your body
I had an opportunity to hug Dr. Troy Moritz, my thoracic surgeon who cut the primary tumor out of me in March 2012. Knowing the importance of spouse caregiving to me I was out of the hospital on the third morning and just 6 weeks later pushing my wife’s wheelchair around City Island.
Those were the Stage 1 days and my world turned upside down 4 months ago when my DX jumped to Stage 4 Lung Cancer with brain metastasis. …
10 whole brain radiation treatments and 12 weeks of aggressive chemotherapy I returned to DJ … with the help of my daughter … I danced and pranced, DJ’d and MC’d, hula hoop contests … and oh yeah Stage 4 DJing needed to sit down a couple breaks to finish smashing some stigmas.
PS Thank You! Tom Wingert of Lucky Shot photography