As many of you know, five years ago I was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer that head spread to my brain. At first, I thought my fate was sealed, brain cancer! In that moment I couldn't imagine I would be writing this email in April of 2022.
Quickly, I found out it wasn't brain cancer, it was non-small cell lung cancer (NSLC) that had started in my left lung. Still dangerous, but better than my first thought. My neurosurgeon, Dr. Lee Tessler at NYU Langone, removed the tumors, relieving my immediate symptoms. Next, my oncologist, Dr. Nouneh Gostanian, ordered what is known as Foundation One pathology to search for protein and genetic markers that would determine my course of treatment.
I'll never forget the moment she burst through the exam room door happily waving the pathology report. I asked why she was smiling. Her response, 'Your a candidate for immunotherapy'. I really had no idea what she was talking about, I had already prepared myself for chemotherapy and all the deleterious effects it would wreak on my body. Dr. G informed me that chemo was not necessary in my case as my tumor was deemed treatable with Keytruda, a leading immunotherapy drug known for fighting non-small cell solid mass tumors.
Five years on I'm still receiving treatments every three weeks. The tumor is barely a shadow of itself and with the aid of an occasional cyberknife radiation zap, everything is stable or regressing! Now I know why she was so happy with the pathology results.
Sadly, not all patients with my disease are so fortunate. Only about 25% of NSLC patients are eligible for this life saving treatment.
That's why I'm riding in this year's Empire State Ride to End Cancer. Every dollar raised and matched goes directly to scientific research to expand the range of available treatments and to make those drugs work for a larger cohort of patients.
I'm training every day so that I can ride from Staten Island to Niagara Falls. When I think about the ride, I get a bit nervous. But then I remember how fortunate I am just to be able to ride down the block and my motivation returns.
I know there are many causes you can support, from COVID to Ukraine. But cancer touches us all one way or another, and medical science is on the verge of even greater breakthroughs.
Please donate what you can. You'll feel fortunate as well!
With love and gratitude...
P.s. Feel free to pass this along to anyone you feel may be inclined to help. And look for future posts as I train for the ride!
My Personal Blog
In just over three days of fundraising we're halfway to our goal of $6,000! Thank you to everyone who has contributed thus far, and if you haven't feel free to whip out the credit card right now.
I'm doing my best to get ready for the ride. As weather permits I've been hitting the road to get my miles in. I'm looking forward to some good weather later this month. I'll add a photo of my rides to the home page so you can see for yourselves.
Thanks again to all who have donated. It's truly inspiring. And believe me, I need the inspiration!
by Doug Field on Thu, Mar 03, 2022 @ 3:29 PM