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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.
There will be a Celebration of Life for Mike on Saturday, February 15th at Two Brothers Roundhouse from 7 pm – 12:30 am. (205 N Broadway, Aurora, IL) More details to come.
In the meantime, If you would like to share your favorite Michael Heaton story and/or photos, please do so by emailing shareMHstories@gmail.com.Those stories and photos will be compiled to make a nice memory book for Kristy.