In February 2016, Chuck developed shoulder pain he originally thought might be muscle soreness. Over the next 6 months, this pain spread into his chest and upper back, causing his doctors to think it was possibly a spinal disk issue. For months, Chuck completed physical therapy to no avail, which lead to a chest CT scan in September to identify other possible causes. The chest scan showed a cancerous mass in his lung.
More in depth imaging, biopsy, and consultation with radiologists, oncologists, and thoracic surgeons strongly indicated that the mass was a malignant tumor that had not spread, meaning a surgery to remove the tumor was possible and likely to fully extract all cancer. The surgery was scheduled for October 19th.
When the thoracic surgeon was able to look into Chuck's chest during the surgery, however, he found that the cancer had metastasized (spread) to other locations on his chest wall and diaphragm. This means that the cancer is now considered Stage IV, a much more severe form than was previously thought. They immediately closed him up without any more intervention because the primary treatment for Stage IV cancer is chemotherapy, and Chuck will need all possible strength to endure this tough treatment. Our current understanding of his specific condition, however, is incomplete and likely to evolve significantly over the coming days and weeks (as test results come in). We will update this page when more information is learned.
Despite some post-operative challenges during the days following the surgery, Chuck is feeling much better and is preparing to begin a therapy regimen soon. We all remain hopeful that a successful treatment will mean many more years of fun, travel, running, and guitar for Chuck!
The best way to show your love and support is by making posts on this page. Not only will he be looking at all of your comments (avidly, we're sure!), but he will be posting himself when possible. You can also feel free to email. He loves all of you and will be happy to hear from you in any way! It is possible, though, that during tough times he may not be able to respond quickly or at all.
We all know Chuck is a wonderful father, son, brother, husband, friend, cousin, nephew, etc. . . not only does he care deeply about all of us who are close to him, but he knows how to bring joy into our lives through laughter, love, and music. He is a talented guitar player and singer, an avid runner, a dog cuddler, a weather geek, a brilliant and successful businessman, and a crossword fiend!
While cancer never strikes at a "good" time, Chuck is fortunate to have his new wife Aimee, his older son Jamey and daughter-in-law Stacey, his younger son Ryan and girlfriend Jacquie, and MANY friends in the Chicago area to support him. Moreover, Chuck has many more distant friends/family who are ready to drop everything in an instant to be with him, and he couldn't be more appreciative of the love and support he has gotten already.
We plan to fight the good fight to let Chuck get back to enjoying a G&T on his new front porch with his loved ones, dog, and favorite guitar by his side.