Charlie Stempien (Sr) is a dedicated husband, father to four boys, and grandfather to six kids who adore him. In addition to being the rock of the family, Charlie continues to run his own business as he has for the last 45+ years. In late July 2020, Charlie and the family were dealt a shocking blow when we received the news that he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He had continued to struggle from what started as a cough that wouldn't go away earlier in the year, to the point where he couldn't sleep due to pain in his chest when he laid down.
We want to use this sight to keep friends and family informed of what's happening during Charlie's treatment journey, as well as allow people to send Charlie notes or words of encouragement during this difficult time. Charlie and the family will do our best to provide periodic updates as to his health, well being, and overall progress during the coming months.
Although at this point we still are working through both the final diagnosis as well as treatment plan, here is a summary of what we know. On July 22nd Charlie found out he had some form of lung cancer that was to be officially diagnosed and confirmed through additional tests/procedures such as a biopsy. Since that time he has gone for a number of tests/procedures to help pinpoint the specifics. The initial indications from meeting with multiple doctors (including his pulminoligist and oncologist) is they feel they can treat this. The cancer is definitely in his right lung and appears to be in both lungs. There is a lot of fluid around the left lung which is causing a high degree of pain. The amount of cancer does not appear to be all that high and therefore likely his treatment will consist of radiation, followed by chemotherapy, and ultimately followed by immunotherapy on a going forward basis. The doctors key concern early on is that the cancer has appeared to spread back to the spine. Although it's still to be determined, the hope is that it has not yet moved into the spine as is only moved toward a vertebrae.
The cancer is not yet officially "staged" at this point, but we anticipate stage 4 given it's moved from the lungs to the back. The doctors are optimistic this is treatable, but much is dependent on upcoming test results. Charlie is receiving his treatments from doctors near his home in Michigan, although he will be getting additional opinions from doctors at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago (which is one of the best there is).
Given the unprecedented environment we're in with the global pandemic, Charlie absolutely cannot have visitors at this time due to the risk of catching covid and impact that can have on him. So please respect this request and reach out via this site and let him focus on battling each and every day. I have to also ask for everyone to keep his wife Barb in your thoughts and prayers as well....she has been a superstar throughout this and undoubtedly will be busy as well during this journey. We'll keep everyone in the in the loop as much as possible, but please send positive thoughts and prayers his way while he fights this battle!