Home, 3/11/20

Mike Leary Bag of Crap

First post: Apr 11, 2020 Latest post: Mar 17, 2021
I don’t think this site will be similar to most other cancer update sites. I’ll do my best to provide normal updates, yes, but I’ll also use this to share extreme detail of my journey...details you may or may not find interesting or appropriate. I’ll share my thoughts, my fears, what's pissing me off, and what's making me laugh. 

Why am I doing this? I have several reasons, and I feel compelled to share them because I’m feeling self conscious about posting about my cancer:
1.) I thankfully have a lot of people to update and this way of updating is highly efficient. I don’t have time to talk to everyone individually and say the same thing over and over. Beside the monotony of that, I’d say about 25% of you I don’t want to talk to even when I’m healthy, which is especially problematic. BTW if you’re wondering if you’re in the 25%, you know what they say: If you have to ask...I’m just kidding. I love everyone. I’m sincerely grateful for anyone asking about me.  
2.) I’ve recently learned that some people have a morbid curiosity of other people’s cancer journey. My daugher Jane, for instance, knows more about cancer than my oncologist. What I’m embarking on is going to be awful, difficult, and life changing. The biggest challenge of my life. Who am I to deny this to anyone?
3.) Although I'm recently enjoying a much celebrated return to instagram, I don't see much cancer related content in there in general, so I think I'll continue to keep things light in there and funnel the cancer stuff to here.
4.) I plan on surviving this, and when I do, I want this to look back on so I don’t forget. If I don’t survive, that last sentence will be a little embarrassing. 
5.) I think I’ll find posting in here therapeutic. That’s probably the most valid reason. 

Either way, I’m here. I have the account. I have cancer. If the cancerous shoe fits....

My details: 
On Thursday March 19 I went to my primary doc to get a bump on my neck checked out. After numerous appointments, ultrasounds, MRI's and an ultrasound guided biopsy, it was confirmed to be cancer on March 31. On April 6th PET scan results showed the cancer hadn’t spread and the source of the neck tumor was a smaller spot on the base of my tongue. And on April 9 my treatment plan was confirmed to start chemo and radiation on April 20. 

I have squamous cell carcinoma stage 4. They say the staging of cancer in the neck is different, and my prognosis is good, but yes you read that right: stage 4. Holy shit. At first they told me stage 1. But now they say stage 4. Either way my docs seem optimistic, genuinely so, and repeatedly tell me my prognosis is good and this is curable. I’m going with that. 

I’m in for 6.5 weeks of chemo and radiation, done concurrenly.  What I have, where I have it - it’s not typical to do surgery because surgery in the neck is risky, especially where I have it, and the prognosis with chemo and radiation is good. 

I’ve been through some difficult things in my life, but this will be the most difficult. I’m ready. I know what’s ahead of me and I can take it. I will make it. Fuck cancer. I got this.  

BTW, “Bag of crap” is a reference to something from NYPD Blue, a cop drama tv show from the late 90’s. Detective Sipowicz used to refer to any anything bad as a bag of crap. Everyone has a bag of crap they gotta carry around, and now this is mine. I’ll handle it. 

What is unfortunate is that the layout of this website has “Bag of crap” right next to the family photo. It looks like I’m calling my family a bag of crap. It’s too amusing to try and change now.