Michael’s Story

Site created on May 22, 2018


Welcome to our 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.


Hey family and friends,
It's Michael here.  Wanted to catch everyone up with my health situation.
Sorry I'm not writing a song here so it's a bit long.



Most of you know I had a run in with a rare thyroid cancer back in 2014.
Kristy and I thought I was done with it.  We caught it early and they removed my thyroid.
Over the past few years I have continued with my charmed life as a musician and overall
happy guy just being monitored for medication and screened for cancer.


In June of 2017 as a part of my routine blood tests one of my possible cancer markers started

rising and I started feeling funny again.
Some of you know about my light headed feeling that took me to the doctor and discovered

the first cancer.

It has been going on for months and I talk about it too much with many of you probably.



That lead to a number of ultrasounds, CT scans, and PET scan tests and in November of 2017 doctors

found a small glowing spot in the upper part of my left lung. Obviously bad news.

I went in for a procedure to biopsy the spot and eradicate it with radio ablation  days before

Christmas in December 2017.


The doctor was unable to get a biopsy to tell what type of cancer it was at that time because

of bleeding so they just set it on fire with the ablation.

When I went in for a follow up visit in February 2018 the follow up tests showed my numbers
had risen by 20x. 



More blood tests. More rising cancer marker numbers. Then another PET scan in March found that I have cancer activity
in a lymph node or two surrounded by my left lung. The test markers also now appear to point to a possible medullary cancer.
Due to or related to my previous rare cancer.


The doctors wanted me to do 15 rounds of targeted radiation but given the nature of my previous
cancer and the fact that I had to deal with another spot only 4 months ago Kristy and I wanted a second
opinion.


We were referred to a specialist in Thyroid cancer at Rush University Chicago.
Great doctor!

Unfortunately the second opinion has turned out to be an even scarier prospect.


We have been informed that if this cancer activity in my lung turns out to be the medullary
cancer I had before there is really no satisfactory treatment.


It was explained that the medullary tends to just keep coming like mice or roaches.
If you have one you'll have more.

You have to weigh the value of treatments against what you are getting out of killing
healthy parts of you. Meaning how much do I get out of 15 rounds of radiation stopping a tumor
that pops up only three months after we dealt with another.


The doctor has told us there might be some small hope.
It would still only be bad news but if they could get a biopsy sample
of my lymph nodes they might find it's another type of cancer and I may have

options to treat it.


They presented my case to the Tumor board at Rush a couple weeks ago and a

fantastic thoracic surgeon thought he could get a biopsy using a special

ultrasound/camera/needle device that they send down my throat and into my
lung. Then the poke through to the lymph node with the needle.


If the biopsy comes back as the "good" bad news we are hoping for that will mean it
is a primary cancer based in my lung. The solution will be that doctors will remove
the top lobe of my left lung.
It's the news that strangely enough Kristy and I are hoping for.


I had the biopsy procedure this week and happily the surgeon was able to get the samples.
Now we wait until next Thursday May 31 for the pathology to see where I go from here.


Thank you so much for the love and wishes.
Hopefully all of you know that it is great appreciated.


-Michael




Newest Update

Journal entry by Verhonica Hirst

Just a quick update on Mike.

He came home from the hospital last Friday. While he was at Rush, the MRI showed significant growth in all his brain tumors. Kristy is organizing at-home health care and she and Mike have some pretty big decisions regarding this in the near future. On Sunday they started the medicine that is supposed to help slow the growth and they will monitor any side-effects that may come with that.  He has been to an appointment at UCM and they are encouraging him to stick with the new medicine. He will have appointments once a week at UCM to monitor the effects of the drug and to check his calcium levels. He has also had a visit from a physical therapist and they have exercises to do to help strengthen his legs.

He is eating and talking ok. Both he and Kristy are so thankful for all the love being sent their way. 

Patients and caregivers love hearing from you; add a comment to show your support.
Help Michael Stay Connected to Family and Friends

Your $30 donation to CaringBridge will help keep this site online for one month. And if you donate by Dec. 11, the CaringBridge Board of Directors will match your donation, dollar for dollar, up to $20,000.

Make your gift in honor of Michael by midnight on Dec. 11 to be counted!

Show Your Support

See the Ways to Help page to get even more involved.

Personal Fundraiser
Support Links
Helpful Tasks
SVG_Icons_Back_To_Top
Top