My own experience with cancer started 29 years ago. I went to the doctor, not for anything “cancerous”, I went to find out why I had all this crud in my throat and was coughing all the time. Turns out that was simply allergies. But, while there, the doctor did a simple exam of my head and neck. He backed up a step and says, “Hmmmm”. [Note to doctors…..don’t do that] I asked, “Hmmmm….What?” He asked how long has that lump been in your neck? I say, what lump?
That was the start of 3 different diagnoses, 2 types of cancer and a totally new career path. That first exam turned out to be Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, for which I was treated for about a year for. Six months after completing that first course of treatments, surgery and all that was stuffed into a year’s worth of treatment, the second diagnosis came. Hodgkin’s again, in the other side of my neck. Rinse and repeat the treatments from the previous year, except for being a different type of chemo.
Another year’s worth of treatment passed and I was again declared cancer free and sent off into the World back to my life. All was good in that new life until 18 years later, when I found another lump. This time, we take a ride with squamous cell carcinoma, cancer of the right tonsil. This time was different, far more serious, more involved surgery and heavy radiation. But, again, I came out ragged, but still alive.
While I was having the treatment I was surfing the web and ran across the WhatNext.com site. I found others like me that had already had tonsil cancer, been treated or were in treatment, and I was able to ask them some of the questions I had. I made acquaintances that helped me through this tough time. I logged in each morning and browsed the questions, answered those I could and posted the ones I had. I was a regular for that year of treatment. One day David Wasilewski called me up to inquire about my frequency on the site and commented that as much as I was on the site helping others, I would be perfect for a position as Website Community Mgr./Social Media Mgr. Long story trying to be short….I accepted and I am still busy every day helping others get through what I thought was going to take me three times.
CBG Post-script: To find out more about Greg Pierce’s experiences, read his compelling book, Cancer You Will Not Get Me!!: Three Times Is Enough