Shining a light on lung cancer


I’ve been a bicycling enthusiast for
years to be able to get further in nature is really what got me into
mountain biking because you can get so much further in the trails and you’re
doing it in a way that’s quiet we have this respiratory virus that
neither my wife Jenny or I could shake and she seemed to get better and then I
needed to go to Gundersen and and see Danielle Bakewell who was a great doctor
and really looked at me closely and thought that you’re in good shape and
you just have you know a virus and then it didn’t go away and ended up with the
chest x-ray which showed some abnormalities follow that up with the
cat scan and then the cat scan revealed that it was most likely a non-small-cell
lung cancer so then that started the tumbleweed across the desert of PET scan
and then finding out that yeah that it was a malignancy and then in
bronchoscopy and a biopsy that did show it was squamous cell carcinomas just
call myself cancer when a patient hears the Big C word when you hear cancer
everything shuts down and you’re really not likely to hear anything from the
doctor having a cancer experience with my mom and being her caregiver I
probably was in a better place and was able to kind of take this all bit-by-bit
after the biopsy and we first had a consultation with dr. Adel and dr.
Conway and and they had seen the results of the biopsy as well as seeing the
images from the PET scan and a cat scan having the clear MRI was nice knowing
that it hadn’t spread and the PET scan show that hadn’t spread but based on the
size of the tumor in the location they weren’t overly hopeful but then when we
walked in and and met them and I think they realized that I was a pretty
spirited little guy and and I wasn’t gonna let this be too fatalistic about
it and they decided you know that there is a curative potential that that we
needed a different plan any time I was in the infusion waiting
room or in the radiation room try to go around and meet people and you know let
him know that we’re all in this together and and it just kind of was enjoying
kind of having fun you know having fun with the nurses meeting
learning about them and their families in their lives they sang happy birthday
to me too in the middle of an infusion during for a chemotherapy infusion all
the nurses came in and saying happy birthday come on him and it was great
three weeks into the the radiation and the chemo therapy the wheezing my lungs
went away and I was showing him I was like listen I can use it I can engage my
lungs again and and they were just amazed and I think that exercise was
really important continuing to pedal on my trainer even if it was for 20 minutes
I’d go downstairs and get on my bike and just turn those pedals for a little
while after our cat scan checkup seeing many of the lymph nodes that were
involved are totally resolved there they’re fine they’re gone and the tumor
is shrunk an incredible amount dr. Conway was just shuffling through the
cat scanned images and he’s like there’s there’s nothing there this looks great
there’s no reason to do anything else the carrot Gunderson was fantastic not
only the physicians all the staff dr. Conway dr. Edward fantastic oncologists
I mean they they took a risk with me and thus aggressive treatment and I’m here
as a result you don’t have to be entirely negative that there’s a way to
see the light and see light past this diagnosis and then if you’re in bike
race it’s the same thing you never think about your tires flatting or think about
being in the end you just take off and just have a good time and see what where
you end up at the end of it next year I’ll be racing and not probably not in
the Tour de France but I might be in a local mountain bike race or maybe a
gravel bike race and I’ll be in the over 50 old guys class but I’ll be out there
and spinning the wheels and be in the wind that’s the important part be on
earth you