Comments: 71 • Responses: 25 • Date: 2018-02-19 01:42:02 UTCsource
MediumRareBigMac142 karma2018-02-19 03:29:51 UTC
If you kiss your homies good night and you wearing socks, is it still gay?
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mediocrejungler148 karma2018-02-19 04:16:43 UTC
Absolutely not, I played hockey.
xelrano1 karma2018-02-19 21:39:33 UTC
You play hockey at University of Alaska Fairbanks by chance?
mediocrejungler1 karma2018-02-19 22:23:07 UTC
No, played lacrosse in northeastern US.
Gaping_Hole12330 karma2018-02-19 01:43:40 UTC
How’d you get diagnosed / when’d you start feeling symptoms? What were they?
How did they know to test for it being that it’s so rare?
mediocrejungler61 karma2018-02-19 01:47:31 UTC
I was hit in high school football and ended up cracking a rib. Luckily they did an X-ray and noticed a bone tumour, was extremely lucky to catch it early. They said they wouldn’t expect a clear tell until later development if I hadn’t gotten hit.
After they saw it they did a series of protein and endocrine tests to narrow it down. I was extremely fortunate to end up at one of the best children’s hospitals in the world.
EmanGman900015 karma2018-02-19 14:25:59 UTC
Ever thank the guy that hit you? Might not be around if he hadn't.
mediocrejungler39 karma2018-02-19 14:35:03 UTC
I think about that all of the time. It was a school in Ottawa and we never played them in football or other sports when I had returned.
I’m not sure if anyone ever told him, maybe it’d be worth finding and reaching out now.
Nhlnucks23 karma2018-02-19 03:15:08 UTC
What are you planning on doing relating to oncology?
mediocrejungler35 karma2018-02-19 04:16:21 UTC
I hope to continue into radiology but it’s pretty competitive with electives.
My big dream is to be like the doctors who worked on my case.
Icommentoncrap10 karma2018-02-19 01:44:00 UTC
What stage are you in with your cancer (remission stages)?
mediocrejungler24 karma2018-02-19 01:49:44 UTC
I’m in after care, Canada has a policy to do annual check ups after 5 years.
Icommentoncrap10 karma2018-02-19 01:58:38 UTC
Is the cancer completely gone as of now?
mediocrejungler24 karma2018-02-19 02:02:05 UTC
Besides the surgery site it’s as if it never happened, as far as my body readings are concerned.
852Foofer7 karma2018-02-19 09:38:47 UTC
Is that enough? I don't know much about cancer but in my imagination cancer can turn uncurable if undiagnosed for a few weeks.
metalshoes7 karma2018-02-19 10:38:17 UTC
It's much longer than that. Typically, cancer is slow growing. But you are usually not declare cancer free until 5 years after the last date of remission.
mediocrejungler7 karma2018-02-19 14:04:47 UTC
What he said . For the first 5 years after your last day of treatment you do a really extensive checkup process. MRIs, X-rays, blood tests, etc. fairly often every couple months, then after a year or so 3 months, then after another year 6 months, then annual.
Mystery26610 karma2018-02-19 01:46:22 UTC
What would you say to someone whose father has brain cancer, stage 4 glioblastoma. Was supposed to die a year ago but his condition hasn’t gotten any worse? But it is t going to get better.
I guess, have you gained any insight from this experience, relating to cancer/illness?
mediocrejungler25 karma2018-02-19 01:54:10 UTC
Through the experience and work opportunities I’ve learned that a lot of cancer is extremely unpredictable. It can go from bad to worse and worse to great within days. I’m early in my education relatively but the most I can say is: take what you’ve been given and cherish it, trust that the doctors are doing the best they’ve can, and just look forward to the next steps to ensure your father finishes his treatment.
My thoughts are with you brother.
perduemeanslost7 karma2018-02-19 08:42:22 UTC
Did you have to go through chemo and radiation treatments? And just out of curiosity do you feel those treatments are prudent approaches compared to the newer auto-immune based treatments for certain cancers? Do you think there are any real holistic methods of treating a wide variety of cancers?
I apologize if my question has any redundancies or doesn't quite make sense.
You provide great perspective to those who may lose sight of how lucky they are to at least have their health. People can often fall into depressions and lose track of how valuable their lives are.
Thanks for sharing your story and positivity. Stay well my dude.
mediocrejungler14 karma2018-02-19 14:21:23 UTC
I had to go through just over a year of chemotherapy. It’s definitely not fun but gets the job done. I think right now chemo, less radiation, is like the blunt force “break down the door” method of treatment. Supported by the right body system chemo is amazing, the issue is when you start to look at the extremities of circumstances. With more mainstream diseases we’ve started to develop and perfect the drugs and their side effects so you’d hardly recognize them as chemo, like ThermaDox for example.
Immunotherapy is definitely the future of disease treatment in general, but it’s relatively too new and untested to feel confident about. Right now it just takes the right diet, doctor, treatment, exercise, etc. to ensure a health support system for the working parts of a typical cancer regiment.
ZeroAccess3 karma2018-02-19 13:44:09 UTC
No offense, but as a huge Giants fan skimming the front page I thought this actually was Herzlich. And well, now I'm just disappointed.
Anyway, watching the Super Bowl they told us a lot about his cancer and it sounds intense. What was your reaction when you told your first family member? What was their reaction?
mediocrejungler12 karma2018-02-19 14:20:57 UTC
I was kept our of the prognosis loop for a while. My parents and doctors knew well before me during the testing and biopsy stage. My father was super amazing about the entire thing. I remember him always saying we’ve got a plan whether it’s benign or malignant. I was pretty calm about everything, wasn’t anything I could control or do. For the rest of my life I’ll always remember walking into my house and my uncle was vacuuming. He asked what the verdict was and I told him it was cancer, his reply “alright, look ahead, what are the next steps and just follow them”, good words.
Chauncy_Prime2 karma2018-02-19 15:44:15 UTC
Do you think you would have had the same success based on your life circumstances if you had never had cancer?
mediocrejungler2 karma2018-02-19 15:52:39 UTC
Probably not. I was very lazy before, not extremely motivated. My perspective has changed a bunch because of my work and the experience. My primary goal is to be able to look back and be happy about what I did with whatever time I’m dealt.
minnsoup2 karma2018-02-19 14:49:47 UTC
This may be different than a lot of other questions, but it's about medical school. I'm currently a grad student working on my PhD. I didn't have the best grades as an undergrad so I want accepted into med school. All my test scores and were at least 90th percentile but it was those damn grades. So you think getting this PhD will help in getting into med school or probably not? My mother had cancer when I was 15 so since I've been really wanting to do oncology.
mediocrejungler4 karma2018-02-19 15:02:51 UTC
I was a bit unclear, I’m a grad student doing oncological research. I know from my friends in med that a well-packed application is more important than the grades. I’m sure a PhD is more than enough to show work ethic.
minnsoup2 karma2018-02-19 15:10:20 UTC
Either way, good for you. I hope you enjoy it. The thing that sucks is the more you know, the less you know you know. I'd enjoy listening about what aspect of oncology you're working on. Good luck!
mediocrejungler2 karma2018-02-19 16:34:25 UTC
Exactly yeah. Wish you luck too on your candidacy. Feel free to send me a pm if you’re curious about my work.
iwviw2 karma2018-02-19 15:21:59 UTC
Ive met a handful of people who had near death experiences and they all were above average. They all had a unique zest.
1.Do you feel like nearly dying and escaping death changed your outlook at life?
2.Made you appreciate life more, take more risks, try to live life to the fullest, etc?
3.Do you fear death?
4.What do you think happens to humans when we die?
mediocrejungler4 karma2018-02-19 15:36:18 UTC
I’ve never really thought of myself as nearly dying, although it showed me how easily life can be taken away. It definitely kicked my ass into gear that I have a finite amount of time of the planet and I’m really upset at myself any time I waste it.
Yeah I feel like I really try and use every minute a lot more than I did when I was a teen. 2pm or 4am if I’m bored I find something to do, hiking, cooking, drinking; I don’t want to look back and think I wasted my young time, but that’s not exclusive to cancer patients.
I don’t think there’s much to fear, it’s not like you’ll regret anything after you’re dead. I would feel more bad about leaving people behind.
I want to believe something happens after, but I try not to spend too much time thinking about it. I for sure believe in karma, if there is a god I try and be okay in his eyes.
nolonger_superman2 karma2018-02-19 16:02:56 UTC
So I'm a huge Giants fan and Mark's story truly is inspirational. One thing I've often wondered about a prognosis such as yours and Mark's is how your emotional well being affects things? I've had relatives die from cancer. They were older and basically gave up when the prognosis came (pancreatic). I get the quality of life vs length of life thing. But how do you maintain that outlook in the face of what you know has a good chance of coming? My wife is a counselor and nurse, so I am naturally fascinated by the emotional impacts on physical health and healing. I totally understand if it's not a question you're comfortable answering.
mediocrejungler3 karma2018-02-19 16:12:24 UTC
I’m pretty sound about the whole situation, no question is too crazy. Mental state throughout the whole thing is super important. There’s tons of research showing how a healthy mind can promote you body’s natural processes.
I figured there was nothing good coming from giving up, my goal was to give myself the best chances of success. It can’t be much fun to have a negative outlook so why would you want your last days to be dreadful waiting like exam season. Might as well live like your living. If you die it’s one less thing to regret.
Tyrannosaurus_Pecs1 karma2018-02-19 15:41:16 UTC
Hey, congrats on your recovery, so good to hear successful cases.
My 7yo,nephew was recently diagnosed with ewings in the sacral area, and is currently going through treatment. It made me really happy learning of your success. I'm going to send this to his parents.
The hospital visits are wearing him down, do you have any suggestions that helped you along the way?
mediocrejungler2 karma2018-02-19 15:50:48 UTC
It can be pretty rough for the patient, I can’t imagine being so young with it, he sounds like a real soldier. I was a typical moody teen but looking back as an observer my best advice would be listen to what he says and take it seriously, there’s a reason they’re saying it. Even at the hospital now at work I see parents micromanaging their kids which can put tons of stress on the child. You have to treat them like a normal human and that’s really important, but keep their priorities first. They have cancer but it doesn’t mean they can’t still be 7 years old. It’s more important they feel comfortable, safe, and sane than whether they eat a salad or burger for lunch.
Parents and doctors are the heroes in treatment. Huge respect to your family and what they’re going through. My best wishes to you guys.
Side note: I used to bring a visit-kit with models and Xbox, things that pull your full attention away.
Tyrannosaurus_Pecs1 karma2018-02-19 16:02:40 UTC
Yea we got him a ps4 and he loves playing it.
That's the approach my wife and I are taking as in treating him like a normal kid, bc he's still a kid, and that's why he loves being with us - so we play games, talk about poop and farts, and gets his mind off things. while his parents and doctors try to focus more on his care which wears at him too. He gets frustrated by all the constant questions and forced eating. It's tough when we could only see him a couple hours a week.
The only issue is when he's mentally exhausted he doesn't want to say what's bothering him bc he doesn't want to go to the hospital, which makes everyone more worried.
mediocrejungler2 karma2018-02-19 16:16:41 UTC
I can imagine how rough it can be. It’s difficult to rid the hospital of a negative connotation but as the treatment progresses it becomes more of a routine. Do the best you can to keep an open dialogue about everything in the situation. Doctors are there to do anything they can to make your stay better, treatment easier, see what they recommend. Right now it’s your families job to raise a 7 year old and help him understand the hospital is trying to help, as hard as it can be.
Headshifter1 karma2018-02-19 14:03:52 UTC
Hey OP! Very interesting AMA, a few questions came to mind:
What age did you get diagnosed?
What did you do after you got the diagnose?
What would your tips be for family/friends that have a loved one that's suffering from cancer? Like in the way you want people to talk to you etc.
mediocrejungler4 karma2018-02-19 14:31:24 UTC
Went home, looked ahead, put all my trust in the doctors in my mind, ate healthy, did what they said, and kept my eyes on the goal.
It can vary obviously but as a teenager I just wanted to be a normal teenager. I tried to hide it as long as I could but that didn’t last very long because of the hair and anemia, so I stopped going to school. The doctors are doing the best they can with every case, cancer is the enemy and humans are united, no reason to blame them. From experience and work, cancer patients just wanted to be treated like humans, help them if they need it and just take some extra care around them. Remember it’s a group disease, doesn’t just affect one person, everyone is taking the next steps together and working to a common goal. At the end of the day a friend who was diagnosed with cancer is still a friend, with cancer.
Johnmike7211 karma2018-02-19 15:44:40 UTC
Whats it like being told you're almost certainly going to die?
mediocrejungler4 karma2018-02-19 15:59:07 UTC
Especially in pediatrics they don’t really talk about the reality of the situations. There were a lot of side effects and details I only learned about post-treatment, which was probably for the better. Throughout the whole thing it never struck my curiosity to google anything or ask, if I die I wouldn’t know or be able to think about it. It was pretty tense talking to my parents sometimes, always seemed like they knew something I didn’t, my mother was bad about breaking down and getting me freaked out for no reason.
For my specific situation just around a third of patients were successful but those numbers are really arbitrary, varies drastically person to person.
Since then I’ve had the mindset to just trust the process, I put my faith in the doctors, did my part with my job to be a teenager, and moved forward.
DrAbro1 karma2018-02-19 15:51:19 UTC
Do you have the path report for your definitive resection? Would be interested to see what percent of the tumor was necrosed following neoadjuvant chemo
mediocrejungler1 karma2018-02-19 16:03:08 UTC
I should have it somewhere. I’m visiting my father in a couple of weeks and I’d be glad to send it to you. From what I remember it was a super drastic reduction but it was still in contact with my pectoral, ribs 2-4L, and my right lung marginally.
DrAbro1 karma2018-02-19 17:52:04 UTC
Did they reoperate to get clean margins?
mediocrejungler1 karma2018-02-19 18:00:05 UTC
No they got everything they wanted the first time around, which was a little more than halfway through treatment.
[deleted]1 karma2018-02-19 20:13:48 UTC
mediocrejungler1 karma2018-02-19 22:23:29 UTC
I’m not Mark Herzlich haha
Redditor_fromBrazil1 karma2018-02-19 23:34:52 UTC
I heard most people never even try to treat the disease when they get a so sinister diagnosis. They usually try to make the most of what is left of their lives without the dire and painful treatment.
When and how you decided to fight the cancer? Did you ever thought about giving up the treatment?
mediocrejungler1 karma2018-02-19 23:42:48 UTC
I didn’t really decide. Once it was discovered I was scheduled by the hospital and did what I was told. In another comment I mentioned that I didn’t really have a clear understanding of everything, was always kept really positive around me which I’m thankful for.
Never thought of giving up. I can understand why people would become tired of the treatments but for me it would be worse to know something is wrong and not do anything about it.
Ditred011 karma2018-02-19 10:59:13 UTC
What/who do you give credit to for your healing/cure?
mediocrejungler8 karma2018-02-19 14:13:20 UTC
If you could google the doctors I had you’d see records of treatments and research they had been involved in; it was a very secure feeling knowing the oncologist on my case was reputed around North America.
I definitely give credit to them considering they had only seen one or two of these cases previously. Much of the treatment was less used, older drugs, and long visits so I’m definitely impressed with how they handled it.
I think my parents were a large aspect of it, I never slept one night alone in the hospital, one of them always stayed on the couch. They’re divorced but they were friends for my treatment. Being in a positive environment can really make a difference. My mom is also a naturopath so as much as I disagree with her she was good at maintaining my diet then and now.
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