5 Years! #recovery #retirement #hyperthyroidism #cancerversary #CheersToFiveyears

Since my last post, life has improved significantly. On the health front, things are generally good. My scan in October showed improvement of the post-surgical fluid surrounding my lungs, but at that time there was a bit of activity showing up in my scan around my neck. I was also having trouble gaining back the weight I had lost since the surgery (I was down over 20 lbs since the surgery!). Coincidentally, I also had a physical exam with my PCP right around the same time and found out that I had hyperthyroidism, which explained most of the symptoms (i.e., weight loss, activity in my scan, and sleeping hot at night). I started methiamazole in November to counteract the hyperactivity in my thyroid. Hot off the press, my scan yesterday showed that the abnormality around my thymus has resolved and everything else looks good! The one interesting thing that my scan showed that all my organs have shifted to the left to fill in the void that my resected lung left behind, but I guess that’s all part of the NEW new normal.

Similar to how I felt when I was first diagnosed, the complexities during and after my surgery reminds me to take everything one day at a time. I had settled back into old routines and was comfortable living a “normal” life for 4.5 years since I first started taking Alectinib, but these past 6 months have given me a renewed perspective on life. I am making the most of the situation and trying to enjoy life as much as I can with family and friends.

In September, I crossed another item off my bucket list and went to Italy for the first time. I loved seeing the history first hand and the culinary experience was superb.

I was able to celebrate by 35th birthday with some of my closest friends touring the brewery/cidery scene in Charlottesville, VA…in high style!

I was also able to go to the Dominican Republic for some time away with family.

On December 16th, I celebrated my 5 year cancerversary. I still remember when I received that horrible diagnosis and thought I only had a few months left. I’ve been so fortunate that my treatment continues to keep the cancer at bay with the occasional road bumps a long the way. I’ve finished my residency, saw my daughter attend the first day of school, visited multiple countries, and many more things. Thanks to my amazing wife, I was able to celebrate with friends and family who have made an impact on my life. I was completely surprised and so grateful to see people from all the different stages of my life – from college, dental school, residency, and even high school! Big THANK YOU to Varisara for setting this up and thank you to everyone who traveled from near and far to attend!

I also wanted to thank the many people who were not able to attend and sent their well wishes. Although this was not intended to be a fundraiser, we have raised $1450 (and counting!) for ALK positive lung cancer research thanks to the generosity from friends and family from all across the country. I truly appreciate all of the support, whether in person or from afar. Cheers to 5 years and many more to come!