These are our team mates and friends who have suffered from cancer and now they are willing to share their story with others in hopes that we can all learn about cancer prevention and awareness. Team Evesham’s premier ride this year is the ACS Bike-a-thon. Almost every member of Team Evesham has been impacted by cancer, if not themselves, then family, friends or co-workers. To bring home the impact we are showcasing; “The Faces of Cancer”
41 months ago, I got this scar. 41 months ago, an incredible team of doctors removed 1/3 of my stomach & 13 lymph nodes. 41 months ago, my body, my diet, and my life changed. Because 42 months ago, I was diagnosed with Stage IIIB carcinoid cancer.
You never think it’s going to be you. Cancer is something that happens to other people – especially when you work in the field. But when you get the news, your world stops and then restarts, spinning on a different axis. And I lost things. Lost the ability to be a 25 year old. Lost a job with a group of people who had become my family, because the executive team treated me like I had done something wrong by getting sick. Lost some friends who I just couldn’t relate to anymore. Lost 20 pounds & the abs that I had worked hard for.
But I was also so incredibly lucky. Lucky to have caught the cancer before it spread. Lucky that I didn’t need chemo or radiation. Lucky that I didn’t have complications after surgery. And so unbelievably lucky for the people who are a part of my life. To my amazing family, my wonderful friends, my incredible partner, and my phenomenal care team from Capital Digestive Care, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Pennsylvania – there are no words great enough to thank you.
My life will never go back to where it was before August 1, 2014. I don’t want it to. And who cares if I only ever get 85% of my abs back? I’m starting 2018 the same way I started 2015 – cancer free.
Note: Jason passed away on December 17, 2017. A life taken too soon by cancer.
I have always wondered how cancer patients tell their family, friends, and loved ones that they have cancer. It’s actually easier than I thought, but in no way shape or form enjoyable. A few weeks ago, I found out that I have a rare form of Lymphoma (Heptosplenic T-Cell lymphoma). After a summer of up and down health issues and many bone biopsies, it was almost a relief to hear the news. Knowing why I was having health issues finally allowed me to be calm and at peace. In fact, when the team of doctors came into my hospital room to tell me the news, I immediately said, “You are all terrible at your job, because by the look of it, you have bad news.” After the doctor visit, I had my first moment of sadness while thinking of my best friend in the world, my son Finn. In that brief moment of sadness, and, of course others, I have primarily been positive and trusting God. This is in His hands, not mine. There is no need to worry, be depressed, or have any type of self pity. Between trusting God, having a awesome medical team, and a huge support system of my family and friends, I’m more confident than I have ever been about anything in my life. What will be, will be. So what’s next? I will receive an aggressive form of chemotherapy called “ICE” every 3-4 weeks during which I will be in the hospital for 3-4 days at a time. Then I will go home, recover, and repeat until the cancer is gone. I will then pursue a bone marrow transplant. I will continue to coach and delegate health consulting duties and continue to live a somewhat normal life.
So there you have it. I have cancer.
What I didn’t know! How easy it is to be tested for prostate cancer, it’s a simple blood test. One in six men have prostate cancer, it’s the number two killer in men and your chances increase over the age of fifty. How it changed me, I’m a lot more thankful for everyday and the people who make up my life. Someone told me to go ride a bike after my recovery and that’s what I did, that’s one reason why the my first ACS ride meant so much to me and it still does.