Mike lost both his parents to cancer and has experienced it twice himself. At age 14, a large melanoma was removed from his cheek, and the doctors at Mayo Clinic declared that he would be lucky to be alive in five years. However, his cancer didn’t return until ten years ago when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Radiation was unsuccessful, and he was given two years to live. Eight years later, Mike is thriving with biannual treatments and is technically in remission. His infectiously positive attitude is inspiring and keeps him enjoying life.
Well, family was important the first time. Dad, Mom, there’s five of us kids, so they supported me. And the second time, my wife was very supportive. Our kids had all gone. They got through college and they left home. But it’s – when they give you two years to live – you think a little bit about it. And, after eight years I’m still here. Every six months, I take this Lupron shot, which has kept the cancer at bay. And it’s dormant right now.
They did a bone scan, and the cancer had spread to all my bones. I lit up like a Christmas tree, I’ll tell ya. But I wasn’t upset. I went out to the car, and my wife was there, and I said, “Hey, we’d better get home and get our shit together.” Meaning, our financial things and our insurance, ‘cause he’s giving me two years to live and I figure, holy smokes, but no I wasn’t scared, no. I’m still here.
You talk to God a little more than you did before. Every morning I talk to Him a little bit. You know, the average age is 75 now. At my age, I’m over that, so every day is a bonus day. So I get up and I say, “Thanks for the bonus day!”
I think I stay positive because of the philosophy that I hold. Things just get rolling when you die. Some of my good friends – two of my good golf buddies – have died in the last two years and I’d kind of like to see them again, those assholes. They’re up there playing golf every day and I’m down here. And everybody is going to die. As we all know, everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die. So that’s a problem. At this stage of the game, I’m not as afraid of dying; I mean, that’s the least of things.
Brad and Patty Moomey, Kathy Graham Alliance, NE
Brenda Schreiner Rockville, IL