It had been almost a year since I had last visited pioneering cancer researcher Gordon Freeman in his office at Dana-Farber. On this blustery fall day I was using a cane, hoping that the reason for my limp and sore thigh was tendon and tissue strain, not new cancer or complications from treatment, recent surgery, and radiation.
The security guard in the lobby printed me a temporary ID card and pointed the way to the staff elevator that would take me to the fifth floor.
“You’ll have to swipe the ID once you get in the elevator,” she said. “Otherwise you won’t be able to get up there.” Continue reading Immunotherapy researcher Gordon Freeman takes stock
Dr. James Mier called me two days before Thanksgiving to tell me I had two new brain tumors. He delivered the bad news as gently as possible — the tumors were extremely small, they could easily be zapped with high dose radiation, and if all went well, I’d be cancer free once again.
But still, two new brain tumors? I felt I had made so much progress fighting cancer over the last four years, but once again reality was intruding on my plans for healing. I did the best I could to take him at his word, but a question kept nagging at me — does my immune system work in the brain, like it has been in the rest of my body? Continue reading 1. Rube Goldberg on a Drunken Bender, or How I Hope my Immune System Fights Cancer
For a Stage IV cancer survivor I’ve got a lot going for me:
— Clean brain MRIs for more than a year; cancer free from the neck down for more than two.
— My older son is getting married in a few months. My younger son, who graduated last May, just got word he’ll be teaching in Austria next year on a Fulbright program.
— My wife and I support each other, and we’ve weathered the storm of a Stage IV cancer diagnosis, surgeries, radiation treatments, forced semi-retirement, and the uncertainty of a cancer diagnosis.
Despite my good fortune at being a complete responder, so far, in a clinical trial that I am fortunate to be part of, I can’t shake feelings of unease.
Continue reading Beating the Worry that Comes with Cancer