Welcome to Bernie's CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting!
For anyone that knows Bernie, we don't have to explain what a fun-loving, caring, and determined man he is. It was an obvious shock to all of us when we found out in March that weeks of a persistent, annoying cough was only the first sign of lung cancer. In March 2017, Bernie was diagnosed with Non-Small Cell Adenocarcinoma lung cancer in his right upper lobe.
After weeks (that felt like months) of oncology and surgery consults, labs, scans, and biopsies, we learned his tumor is considered Stage 3. This was most important for the determination of whether he was a surgical candidate for lung resection or not (to remove the tumor and the lobe of the lung where it is located). The biopsies revealed a few lymph nodes on the right side as well as one in the middle of the chest were infected with cancer cells. No cancer had spread to any of his other organs nor the left lung. This was the first step for a treatment plan. With the lymph node involvement (but no metastasis to other organs), chemo and radiation are recommended first line treatment, with possibility of surgery after the fifth week, if the tumor is shrinking and responding well.
Bernie's chosen treatment team includes: - TN Oncology's Dr. Amin, medical oncologist - TN Oncology's nursing staff - TN Oncology's Dr. Cohen, radiation oncologist - Vanderbilt's Dr. Horn, thoracic medical oncologist - Vanderbilt oncology resident Dr. Lewis
The team at Vanderbilt recommended an aggressive 6 week chemotherapy and radiation regimen beginning May 1. Wanting to be as aggressive as possible, Bernie chose to go with the recommended cisplatin/etoposide chemotherapy in tandem with radiation, for 6 full weeks. Both chemo and radiation will be completed at the TN Oncology offices at Summit Medical Plaza and Summit Hospital.
We're going to do our best to give regular updates on this site. We appreciate your support and thank you for caring about Bernie. Time to beat this cancer!