How did you find out you were sick? What events led to the diagnosis?
I had a cough that wouldn’t go away, chest x-ray and CAT scan and blood work showed cancer.
What year was it? What was your age at the time?
2003, 34 years old.
What was your diagnosis?
Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia
What were your first thoughts when diagnosed?
How did your family react?
How did your friends react?
Shock, not at all!!
What did your treatment consist of?
Medical Side: 2 year protocol and cranial radiation. The ALL protocol is referred to as the hulkster protocol because you are on chemo for two years, I had 9 days of radiation on my brain and was an inpatient for 5+ months (with about a week break in between each monthly. I felt pretty good considering, always positive with a great support team and I never really had any major side effects except one chemo and a little trip to ICU once.
In which hospital(s) were you treated?
Foothills in Calgary
What is your current medical status?
Remission since Sept. ’03.
How is life different for you now post diagnosis (physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually)?
My life has changed 100% in all of these aspects.
What is/was the toughest part of your challenge?
Being home for so long, now I work at home and in the summer I golf – not the best way to relieve stress.
What is/was the best part of your challenge?
I don’t see it as a challenge, more like a pit stop, I guess I needed to slow down/change my lifestyle and I wasn’t listening and God said if you won’t listen I will make you listen, and I am grateful he is giving me another chance to listen.
What really motivated you to keep going while you were sick?
My wife, she is the love of my life!!!
What lessons or messages have you taken away from your experience?
Don’t give up, live each day like it is your last and stay positive always.
What are your thoughts and feelings about your illness now? How have they changed since before your diagnosis?
See you later. No they haven’t changed.
What are some (if there are any you know of) preventative measures that people can take to lower their risk of having an experience like yours?
TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY, NUTRITION, EXERCISE AND LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!!!
Did you attend any support groups during your challenge?
NO. There isn’t really anything here with people my age.
If you did not attend a support group, why?
CERTAINLY. I actually used Cancer Connection through Canadian Cancer Society and I highly recommend it.
How are you connected with Young Adult Cancer?
They do a good job, nice to be able to discuss with this age group.