- About Breast Cancer
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Breast cancer had been in my family for as long as I could remember. My mother died at the age of 45. I looked just like her father and was just like her, a left handed musician with cancer in my left breast, just exactly like her. I knew I didn’t stand a chance. My mother’s sister had it and died. My sister had it and survived. I was scared.
I underwent a bilateral mastectomy removing 5 sentinel nodes on the right side and 20 nodes on the left until the margins on the left were clear. As soon as I had healed form the surgery, they installed a port and just before Christmas, I started the worst time of my life – a full run of Adriamycin, Cytoxan and Taxotere…poison.
The entire chemo experience was without a doubt, horrible. Because of my size, my oncologist told me that I had almost double the normal amount of chemo pumped through me. I was so sick and in so much pain after the treatment and the Neulasta shot. I couldn’t move for a couple days. My wife Sandy took care of me, otherwise I might have given up.
That is all behind me now. They say I am cancer free, but I was before all this started. Or was I . . . are any of us ever free of cancer?
I finished the seven weeks of radiation treatment and on a final blood count, we found out that my PSA was elevated so off to the urologist for a prostate biopsy. Sure, why not? I had prostate cancer too. What the hell, more surgery.
That is all behind me now. They say I am cancer free, but I was before all this started. Or was I . . . are any of us ever free of cancer? For all my life, I had pretty much been in charge and driving the bus. Cancer unceremoniously dumped me into the back of the bus where I stayed for over a year. These days I’m just happy to be along for the ride.
My sister in Denver is a survivor as is her daughter. Through her I got involved with the Komen organization and was speaker in the hospitality tent and on the survivor stage. I feel that I should tell men that they are potential victims. I also feel that I should tell men that their wives who are being treated, are going through an unbelievable hell and that they need all the support possible.
I guess that’s what I have left to do. – Frank