Thanks for keeping tabs on me! Your thoughts, prayers, and all of the good mojo you've been sending my way is very much appreciated.
For the back story on how I got here, I noticed a wheezing sound when tying my shoes early this past May. I went to the doc, and he found nothing wrong. After coming back from my work's annual client conference at the end of the month with a cough, I had the doc check things out again. An X-ray showed a mass that turned out to be the bad stuff. A biopsy of a lymph node eventually showed that I have a rare genetic mutation called ALK+, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. And since it spread to my lymphatic system, they've given it a Stage 4 designation. It sounds bad, but the ALK+ part has actually proven to be a blessing, as I have the good fortune of taking a couple of pills per day instead of IV chemotherapy (so far).
I've hit a few speed bumps along the way that had me spending time in the hospital: fluid build-up (pleural effusion) and a few blood clots. Aside from those, though, I've been doing really well. My voice is pretty low and gravely now, and my lung capacity is less than it used to be, but I'm otherwise well. I'm back at work and my team there has been just amazing in covering for me while I was out of it. The drug I'm on is working well, and when it eventually stops doing its job, there are already plan B and plan C drugs waiting in the wings. You may have seen recent news about immunotherapy drugs now being used, and those will certainly be options for me later on as well.
So that's where I'm at today. I'm staying very positive, and looking at this as a long-term, managed disease (something akin to diabetes). It's difficult not being positive when you're married to Heather, whom I remind all the time that she's still stuck with me for a long time. I'll surely hit more speed bumps along the way, but know that I have God and amazing friends and family like you to see me over them. Thank you again for caring and being a part of the journey.