Summer 2015, while drinking a cup of coffee at the office, I feel two balls on my neck. Going back from hols, I got to see my doctor. She prescribed ultrasound, then a scan, then a pet scan – nuclear rays written everywhere, cancer? After examining the pet scan, my doctor talked about turberculosis and directed me to the hospital. While I was having my first biopsy (local anesthesy), I heard the surgeon say doesn’t look like a carcinoma to me, but tuberculosis. Being in financial / statistics business, I told myself for sure it’s tuberculosis, that’s cool (well, better than cancer).
When he got the results, the oncologist announced that it was cancer, gotta have chemo. My two questions to the oncologist were can I continue to work and am I going to lose my hair. The answer to both questions was I can’t tell you. I managed to keep on working (with frozen fingers and lack of balance) and didn’t lose my hair, thinking I’ve been around a lot of crab baskets, I won’t let a single one kill me. I have never been demoralized. The second biopsy (general anesthesy) said it was ROS1.
I had four two days chemo sessions (the first picture is me with a grey face at my 60’s birthday, the guy on the right is a guy with whom I wrote a few books and who told me that we’re gonna have a band, with me as a singer. I never sang, but he later said that it was my birthday present, and since we recorded an LP and plan to issue another one). The first chemo was ok, then it was awful, I needed EPO shots or hemoglobin or blood transfusion – probably the reason why I don’t drink red wine since.
At that point, my wife – she saved my life – made a lobbying to the doctors for me to have another medication rather than chemo. After two more chemo sessions and just before having a seventh one, the oncologist team said to me come back home, they found a new treatment.
I’m on medication for almost seven years now, around 4 years in remission (still got two adenomegaly around 2 cm – less than 1 inch – left), and except edema (hands, legs and recently in another – male – part of my body), I’m in tip top shape, to quote my new doctor and oncologist (I moved from North to South of France recently).
This picture of me (soon to turn 67) was taken a few minutes ago.