Reina

Blog Stuff

Hi – My name is Ben.  I’d like to share my story with you.  First, here’s a picture.

I want you to have some context.  That pretty girl taking the picture is Katie and she’s my girlfriend.  We hiked up to Grey Rock, just outside of Ft. Collins, CO recently.  What a beautiful hike!  And how thankful I was for that day, spending time with my best friend and my favorite brown dog, Reina.

 

Here is where my story will start.

 

First, though, you should know where I have come from.

 

Two years ago, I got a cold.  The cold ran its course, except for a dry non-productive cough, and it persisted.  A trip to the family practice doctor ended up in a trip to the hospital for a CT scan, then an ENB procedure (fancy bronchoscopy) and finally to a lung cancer diagnosis by a doctor that would eventually become my “running buddy” (I think that’s code for friend).  Looking back, I guess there were signs – being a little out of breath while walking up a hill or a little out of breath at the start of a run.  I’m not a smoker though and I thought I was just out of shape – my family practice doctor would probably say, “…that’s reasonable”.  So, I exercised more.  I skied the Grand Traverse, a 38-mile ski tour through the mountains from Crested Butte, CO to Aspen, CO.  I ran the Aspen Backcountry Marathon, a 26-mile run on a single-track trail up, and down the mountains, reaching elevations of 11,500 feet.  None of this would keep the disease I didn’t even realize I had, at bay.

 

Now back to the present.  It has been two years since diagnosis.  I’m on my second targeted therapy drug, Lorlatinib, (Crizotinib was the first).  This past summer I ran the Aspen Backcountry Marathon again and the New York Marathon, both as a stage-4 lung cancer patient – other people like to say survivor.  I enjoy moments like never before, and that day on Grey Rock was a wonderful keeper.

 

I hope you check back in from time to time – there’s a lot to cover and we’re just getting started.    – Ben

The following two tabs change content below.

Ben

Latest posts by Ben (see all)

4 thoughts on “Blog Stuff”

  1. Ben, as a Respiratory Therapist, specializing in critical care and EBUS Bronchoscopy, and a runner, I was drawn to your story. Your optimism and continued drive to live life to its fullest is inspiring. Too many people let a diagnosis define them. Please continue to tell your story. You have the potential to impact so many lives with your positive attitude in the face of adversity. Thanks and best of luck to you.

    1. Cynthia, thank you for your thoughts! I admit that it was difficult at first, but then I realized that I could still do the things I love. I truly believe that remaining active is a huge part to the success of a treatment program. Pretty soon we’ll have an idea as to how the resistance issue can be overcome and until then I’m gonna keep on running! I hope that others can be inspired to do the same!

  2. Ben – we have had very similar paths to our stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis. I too am a fellow athlete and worked through the symptoms thinking it was just me being out of shape. there is too much in common for a comment reply – however, I will definitely be following you – as you will keep me motivated to keep on running and doing what I can. I have a ton of questions for you and if you don’t mind me asking them, please email me and let me know!
    I have a facebook page that I would like to share your blog on if that is okay with you?

    thank you and stay in good health!!

    1. Hey Dawn – Thanks for reaching out! It’s a tricky path we’re on but knowing there are others to talk to is a huge comfort. Please, ask whatever questions you would like – I’ll shoot you my email shortly. Also, by all means, share this blog with whomever seems appropriate to you. I think what is of greatest importance is that we spread the word about this disease and that anyone can be diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Anyone!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *