You don’t know how much you will miss something until it is taken away from you.  Two weeks ago something was taken away from me: my ability to walk without assistance. It all happened without warning.  I was watching TV with the family on a Saturday, preparing for the next 3 zaps of ration treatment. I had so far had two. On Monday I was supposed to start the final three and… Read More

This past week we welcomed a new member to the family – Blink! Like many good things in life, he chanced into our life without much warning.  I went out to breakfast with friends visiting from my Buffalo days and when I got home, Veronica said “I think I found a place we can adopt a dog same day!” We had been searching for a dog for a couple months – a… Read More

The title says it all, although it should also be noted that this approval also covers other/all MSI-high cancers, not just MSI-HIGH CRC!.  Links below.  The first time a checkpoint immunotherpy (pembrolizumab (Keytruda)) is a PD1 inhibitor Immunotherapy) has been approved based upon a genetic marker (in this case MSI-Status – something I first described here back in 2015! (Stephen profiled in that 2015 article continues to do awesome by the way with no… Read More

There is something deeply visceral about your brain… It is the center of thought… It is the center of your being… it is the center of who you are… All of those aspects of the brain came crashing down around me late last week.  I had gotten a PET-CT scan to see how my disease was responding to my current therapy and there was a surprise. A bad surprise.  There was a bright… Read More

What makes a hero? There is some debate in the cancer community… is it right to refer to cancer patients/survivors as heroes? A burning building/emergency responder argument is sometimes used.  If a person wakes up in a burning house and struggles their hardest to try to find a way out safely – that person may be a survivor but he or she is not necessarily a hero.  They found themselves in danger… Read More

March 1st is the beginning of Colorectal Cancer Awareness month. I chose to commemorate it in this way – in the hopes that these pictures will bring awareness of the EXPLOSION in early-onset CRC cases. If you have GI symptoms with more common causes ruled out by your PCP – NO MATTER WHAT YOUR AGE – demand a colonoscopy! If I had been faster, I might not be Stage IV right now…. Read More

What invigorates me to fight the way I do?  Well beyond basic self-preservation for both me and for my family – it is the sheer amount of needless loss I see on a frequent basis.  Losses in the world of my fellow cancer patients, including close friends and including on some days, very special friends. A very special friend of mine died of early-onset CRC yesterday. Alex was only 26, diagnosed 15… Read More

I feel so extraordinary, Something’s got a hold on me I get this feeling I’m in motion, A sudden sense of liberty… I used to think that the day would never come, I’d see delight in the shade of the morning sun “In many ways 2015 was the most incredible year of my life.  Over 3 years into a currently incurable Stage IV colon cancer diagnosis, that phrase says a lot.” That… Read More

This is a blog post I had been hoping to write for a long time! The first published (today in the New England Journal of Medicine) “clinically disease free” success achieved via immunotherapy & surgery in an advanced Stage IV patient with the common “Microsatellite Stable (MSS)” subtype of colorectal cancer (CRC) – the kind of CRC that I and most CRC patients have! As of right now it is only a… Read More

As long time readers of my blog know – I have been in a quandary since I was diagnosed with (presumably cured) Stage 1 melanoma in January 2015.  That diagnosis, even though presumably cured by simple day surgery, with zero signs of recurrence ever since e.g. by monitoring with blood liquid biopsy, effectively blocked me from most colorectal cancer (CRC) clinical trials. Without clinical trials there is statistically an essentially 100% chance… Read More

Hope – it is such a simple, yet complex word. A short word that is easy to explain on the base-level but it can be incredibly complex to comprehend all the facets in which it can impact the human psyche. Hope can be rational or irrational – the human brain has trouble distinguishing.  Are we paralyzed in fear that we will not be alive for the next major Holiday?  No – we… Read More

I had my post-summer-chemo-break CT-scan on Wednesday.  Regrets & worry started to try to enter my consciousness.  They were unwelcome invaders and to be honest, rarely seen or felt in my psyche now days.  But here they were – as I laid on the CT-scan table getting scanned…. Laying there completely alone, unlike the constant buzz of comradery that had surrounded me throughout my summer. A scan to quantify how much my… Read More

Friends. Family. Brothers. Sisters. Those words get used a lot in my current Stage IV life and they’re not necessarily referring to the people you would expect.  They’re referring to fellow cancer patients and survivors, often especially those also with Stage IV disease. There is a special bond between fellow cancer patients and survivors that is the deepest bond outside of nuclear family I have ever seen. In general, friends are brought… Read More

Last year I was lucky enough to be chosen as a Featured Survivor in the annual Colondar 2.0 magazine  that The Colon Club produces each year. As a part of being chosen, you are invited to attend a “Colon Camp” retreat in rural Tennessee.  Last year I wrote in the post “ELEVEN NEW SISTERS AND BROTHERS (AND MANY MORE COUSINS)”, that going to Colon Camp last June was an amazing life-changing experience for me. … Read More

When I first started this blog, I made a very conscious decision: I wanted to “be that Google Hit” found when someone first diagnosed with CRC is scrambling to search for information in the middle of the panic of recent diagnosis.  Patients panicking while looking at survival stats, in need of HOPE.  Following the extremely good role models of the two blogs that performed that role for me during my own diagnosis… Read More

My alarm went off at 3:30 this morning.  I was not expecting what ended up being my first thoughts.  They weren’t of me running the run leg of this morning’s Spring Sprint Team Triathlon per se.  Instead, intermingled with run thoughts were also thoughts of fellow colorectal cancer (CRC) survivors I know who currently aren’t doing too well. Survivors I know that aren’t physically able to run right now. Those were the… Read More

You know those moments in life when something so unexpected, so exhilarating & so meaningful (all wrapped up in one) happens – that each time you think of it you get the chills all over again? I had one of those moments a few days ago in the basement of the Congressional Rayburn House Office Building.  It was such a special meeting, even Katie Couric, a big CRC and cancer advocate, tweeted about… Read More

In conjunction with the start of Colorectal Cancer (CRC) awareness month, I’m excited to announce that the 2016 Colondar 2.0 annual resource magazine was released today! I LOVE the page from my section pictured above (all Colondar 2.0 photos taken by the incredible Mark McCarty & courtesy of The Colon Club!).  Note the caption they chose to use, I think they captured my mindset and philosophy perfectly. “Incurable… For now… The lung spots… Read More

My friend Lindsey Motley died of colorectal cancer (CRC) today.  She was 29 years old. She was very special in many ways to an incredibly large number of people – including to me. Lindsey was many things…  Too many things to list to do justice.  I think most of all she was a loving wife and mother to a young daughter. At the end of the day what matters more than that?… Read More

La version en Español es accesible pasando el texto original en Inglés The title of this post is “The Faces of Successful Colorectal Cancer Immunotherpies: Vol. 1” in Spanish.  To explain why… Uniting the Western Hemisphere A major goal of mine is to bring this blog’s message of scientific information, positive Stage IV life outlook and in both cases HOPE to the different corners of the world.  Continuing this goal, following successful… Read More

I know I had promised that my previous post “WORLD IN MY EYES (FAVORITE POSTS OF 2015)” would be the last of 2015 but… it is hard to keep a writer away from his keyboard when he sees a need… I noticed one of those “temporary public service announcement posts” on Facebook this morning – the ones that float around and ask you to share on your wall for an hour.  This… Read More

In many ways 2015 was the most incredible year of my life. Over 3 years into a currently incurable Stage IV colon cancer diagnosis, that phrase says a lot.  Of course, the most incredible moments in my life were my kids’ births and my marriage day.  But in terms of almost continuous meaningful things happening….. as a year, 2015 took the cake. I had ZERO guess that any of this was coming… Read More

An Unexpected Conversation Over Breakfast August 26, 2015.  It was early in the morning California time – late afternoon in Russia.  I was going through my overnight messages in the large colorectal cancer (CRC) online message board “Colon Talk“.  This message board is the largest of its kind for CRC and its participants truly are international.  As is often the case, I had a private message waiting for me from a fellow… Read More

I’m thrilled to let you know that my surgeon has agreed to give me another Lung Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) surgery on August 27th! The second half of this post focusing on the Postive Power of Hope is quite meaningful to me & the meat of the post, so I hope you decide to read that far in!  He hopes to remove another 2-3 more tumors.  I already wrote extensively a few months ago on what the… Read More

I’ve been surrounded by Cancer my entire life, one of my earliest memories is hearing that my Grandpa Herb had a colostomy bag from his rectal cancer surgery.  As a probably 4-year old with no frame of reference, it didn’t phase me a bit – I didn’t think twice about it.  These childhood & adolescent memories include long term survivors (like Grandpa Herb – who had his colostomy bag for decades) as… Read More

Earlier this month I felt like the luckiest guy in the world.  The Colondar 2.0 colorectal cancer (CRC) patient retreat, interview and photoshoot was quite simply one of the absolutely most amazing experiences I have ever had.  It was truly a life-changing event. Inspiring, invigorating, emotional, empowering… I was so blessed to be able to participate in this…  You are going to read about and see 11 other AMAZING SURVIVORS when the… Read More

If you have hit the link to the “Favorite Cancer Books” page in my blog, you know I am a big fan of both of Tami Boehmer’s books: “From Incurable to Incredible; Cancer Survivors Who Beat the Odds” and “Miracle Survivors: Beating the Odds of Incurable Cancer”         Tami writes about specific Stage IV cancer patients that have dramatically outlived their initial prognosis (including herself!), often overcoming unique situations… Read More

Here’s some exciting positive news to share from the personal side of cancer! I have been selected to be one of the 12 “models” for the 2016 Colondar 2.0 annual magazine (to be published in March 2016) which annually features the stories of 12 young CRC patients from across the nation who were diagnosed under age 50 (the age when screening is recommended to start). I’m very excited to take part in a… Read More

Although it was a long way to fly for a 3 day trip, Barcelona was a WONDERFUL trip on many different levels! My talk went really well – I got a standing ovation (at least I could see the front row – I actually was really blinded up on the stage ha) and many people came up to me afterwards saying I had brought tears to their eyes & I had inspired… Read More


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