So in a nutshell, here is what is going on:
On December 1st, my buddy Christian Lloyd, a pulmonary specialist in Wilmington, went Gap Band style and dropped a bomb on me. I have Stage 4, non-small cell adenocarcinoma. Lung Cancer. The most common type. My first word was “Fuck.” Most likely a similar reaction you may have had when hearing that you, or someone in your world, had a serious diagnosis. After some scans, it was determined it was secluded to my left lung only. All considering, this was good news.
On December 8th, I underwent a biopsy at New Hanover Regional, so they could send my tissue off for some testing, and a procedure called a Pluerodisis. Basically glued up the area where all this fluid was building outside my lung wall, with a form of talc powder. This fluid is what tipped me off that something was wrong. Was coughing and not feeling well for months. They took two liters of fluid out of me prior to this surgery. Still not sure how my skinny frame had that much floating around in my chest. Wild. Got my first experience of staying in a hospital. Order the salmon and broccoli if there! The folks at NHRMC took good care of me. Many thanks to Dr. Cortina and the team of nurses that cared for me.
Fast forward – after getting some test results back, which determine what kind of treatment you can receive, and a few meetings at UNC and Duke, and I’ve decided to get treatment at UNC. Many reasons for this. To name a few…I really like the doctor there – here’s a video of Dr. Stinchcombe. It’s also in the center of my support universe. Dad and JoAnn live in Chapel Hill, I have family in ATL, Pinehurst, DC, and a large percentage of my MOJO WARRIORS (will explain this big picture concept in a separate post) are in NC. I’ve talked to many folks battling cancer, all have said that being near your support is very important.
December 30 I am going to do one more biopsy at UNC to see if I can qualify for a drug therapy called PD1, a form of Immunotherapy. It basically jacks up your immune system to fight the bad guy cancer cells. It’s a pill, and doesn’t have the wacky side effects that chemo does. If my tissue doesn’t jive right with that, then I will start chemo. Either way, it will be sometime in mid-January. Planning on some homeopathic methods as well – diet, exercise, acupuncture, meditation etc. will be in the mix.
A MASSIVE THANK YOU to everyone that has been involved so far. I’m not going to name anyone just yet, but you know who you are. I can’t even explain the level of love and care that has come from my family and friends. My MOJO WARRIORS are what are going to help me, and others, fight and win.
Oh. To answer a few questions:
Can I just get my lung taken out? Nope. The bad guy cells are outside of my lung wall and in fluid floating around in my chest. So that isn’t an option.
Why chemo? Because what I have is a lot of little tumors, kinda buttered along the wall of my lung. Radiation is very targeted, say to one big tumor. For the same reason, they can’t just take the tumor out. It’s not like it’s one big golf ball size in there.
Where did it come from? How?? Believe me, I wish I knew. Who the fuck knows. I don’t smoke. Never have. Have certainly puffed on a few things in my time, but nothing amounted to causing this. Cancer in my genes, my Mom and Dad are living examples of the good fight. I think it’s a bit of DNA, and a bit of shit luck.