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Friday, February 01, 2008

DFW walk bio

posted on the website

Greetings fellow cancer saviors, loved ones, and support persons. My name is Jerrold Dash and I am a two year survivor of Lung Cancer; terminal lung cancer stage 4 BAC (Bronchioloalveolar Carcinoma).

To say I was shocked, surprised, and blind sided by my diagnosis would be an understatement. I exhibited symptoms for several years before my diagnosis February 1, 2006, but these symptoms were classified as bronchitis, asthma, allergies, and pneumonia. I never expected to be diagnosed with lung cancer being a former collage athlete and non-smoker (50% of all people diagnosed with lung cancer never smoked).

Upon diagnosis I had no choice but to fight as anyone else in my situation would have done. I was told by my temporary oncologist that I could not beat cancer and he would treat me palatively with chemotherapy until I died from the cancer. Fortunately for me I had a pulmonary specialist that was sympathetic and could relate to my situation being a young professional raising a family. I was 32 years old when I was diagnosed and my daughters were 2 and a half and 3 weeks old respectively (I will not reveal my wife’s age).

I endued as much chemo as I could stand, participating in a few clinical trials along the way while waiting for a miracle (a bi-lateral lung transplant). I must emphasis that transplant for someone with lung cancer is just not done, and insurance companies consider the procedure as experimental treatment. Fortunately I had a pulmonary specialist and doctors at Stanford that would not take no for an answer from the insurance company. I was approved by my insurance company to be evaluated to see if I could be a candidate for lung transplant, which I was. The problem with being a candidate for lung transplant is that you must be within 4 hours of the hospital performing the transplant at all times, so I packed up my truck in August of 2006 heading West to Palo Alto, CA not knowing anyone at all and leaving my wife and two young daughters behind in TX. After several months of waiting and hoping my cancer did not spread I got the page a pair of lungs was available and I was number one on the list, the surgeon informed me that I needed to get to the hospital right away. I informed him that I was already at the hospital (eating dinner in the cafeteria) and that I needed to clean my apartment before my wife and other care takers flew in and saw my messy bachelors pad.

In summation everything worked out for the best I got the transplant (March 2007), and have been working to recover physically ever since. I hope to start running a couple of miles per week starting in March 2008 (if I can get my neuropathy under control, chemo side effect). The best news is that I am cancer free since the transplant.

I think that quickly captures my story, as I am not much of a writer, if you want more details and pictures of my lungs go to my blog (cancer therapy).

By Jerrold Dash

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