New here and fighting lung and bone cancers

I am new here, and this is my very first post.

Back on January 5, 2016 I was given 6-12 months to live. I was diagnosed with HPV Lung Cancer, after beating HPV Throat Cancer the year before. I also turned 52 one month ago today.

This past Friday I was told I now had bone cancer on my right femur. These are my 3rd and 4th cancers, and I keep beating them back, and dealing with the new normal. However this time I can not beat this, I can not win, and I can only go down swinging. So far, I am still swinging.

I think that is all any of us can do. Just keep fighting, just keep living, and stop worrying about the little things in life that have never mattered but we put so much energy into them. Life is about being happy, family, friends, doing what you enjoy and looking forward to each morning of opportunities.

Over the past 3 years my Paintball Team (The Skyline Gaggle of Noobs) has raised money for Toys for Tots and bought a total of 300 bikes and helmets. We have already bought the bikes for this Christmas, and we have started raising money for next year. I won't be here for next year, but I wanted to be a part of what the group does.

I would highly suggest finding a way to give back while you are fighting your own battles. The amount of satisfaction I get out of raising money and helping where I can, is beyond my wildest dreams. It puts me in a more positive frame of mind and keeps me thinking about tomorrow. Not to mention keeping my own mind off my situation and concentrating on better things and more helpful things. I think that is SUPER important.

I look forward to spending more time reading and posting.

Mike "Serrecko" March

Leader of The Skyline Gaggle of Noobs

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16 Replies

  • Welcome to the community Mike:

    I'm glad to hear you are making the most of life.

    I think I speak on behalf of anyone that reads your posts in saying that it is simply incredible that you are focusing on giving back, regardless of your own situation. Buying 300 bikes and helmets for kids at Christmas is no small feat!

    I know your post will inspire those going through these same hardships, so thank you. These words of hope are exactly what this community needs!

    I also look forward to reading more posts from you.


  • Thank you for sharing. Keep up your positive attitude, as you are an inspiration to all of us.

  • What a wonderful uplifting outlook on life. You're right, caring for others keeps our minds off our burdens. It sounds as though you are doing well and I pray you continue to fight this battle.

  • Your words are such wise ones. They touch at the very essence of life. Giving does feed us, and it is essential in this world that we care about one another. You have said it all so eloquently. Thank you. It just re-focused my day, completely. Your clarity during such possible chaos is such an inspiration.

  • FtB_Peggy,

    Thank you for the kind words, even if I fall well short of the word "wise". I want to thank you for taking your time to help run this site, keep things moving along, and for welcoming noobies like myself.

    On the journey all cancer patients take, we learn things almost every day. The second most important thing I have learned over the last eight years is that cancer is something no one wants to learn about or research. Think about or even talk about. That is, until it strikes them, one way or another.

    However the most important thing I have learned over the last eight years is about people like you and sites like this. The information and personal stories one finds on sites like this, helps bring into focus, very quickly, what you need to learn and who you need to talk to, what questions you need to ask and where to go for as much information as possible.

    Then you want to help raise money, raise awareness and just try to find a cure before you, your family member, friend or colleague dies of the cancer they have.

    That's when it hits you. The research dollars that created the treatment that is helping you, or your family member or friend, today was most likely from research dollars donated five years ago. Or even longer. All of the money you give, or help raise will help someone at some point, but most likely won't help you, or them, today, at all.

    Unless you use that positive place you found your first cancer related disappointment in, and put it to use and just start making everyone you run into more aware of cancer itself, the mental slap you took will have been for nothing. And while cancer is a learning experience for everyone, not putting to use what you have learned, is a waste of valuable moments of many different lives research dollars could have helped.

    So, thank YOU for what YOU, and people like you, do for folks like me. You, and people like you and sites like this, help provide the soft landing of understanding during the frantic first weeks of being told you have cancer.

    You and sites like this are appreciated more than you, and it, will ever know.

    Mike "Serrecko" March

    Leader of The Skyline Gaggle of Noobs

  • Serrecko,

    If you would give me permission, I would love to share your words with my fellow workers at FtB, we have great passion for what we do, and I know your words would mean a great, great deal to them.

    Just let me know. Hugs.

  • Please share with whomever you wish. All of you are Saints.....

  • Serrecko,

    Again, you are so kind. Hope today is a good one for you.



  • @Serrecko It sounds to me as if you are putting up a good fight. Your doing a good thing. Your right about donating your time it keeps you busy doing something you really like. You are a warrior we all are on here. Welcome Jo Taylor

  • I enjoyed ur post and I'm sorry about ur situation. It is amazing how when people may feel they are at their worst that spiritually they are at their very best. U are an inspiration to all of us fighters.

  • You are such a strong, positive and giving person. I so admire your grace. Having just watched my husband suffer and die from stage 4 lung cancer, I know what I won't do - chemotherapy. It ultimately weakened him. He died from sepsis and pneumonia about 45 days after he was diagnosed. I would only do immunotherapy, surgery, and radiation. Then like you, I'd like to help others. Good luck strong one. Sending prayers your way.

  • tjmj1,

    Thanks for the reply. I understand the reluctance to have chemotherapy since I have had it with two of the four cancers I have had to fight over the last 7 years. I also almost died from sepsis and pneumonia when the port implanted in my upper chest got infected this past July.

    However, each cancer is different, and each approach to treatment is different. I was told my HPV lung cancer was inoperable, and could not be hit with radiation. So, the first thing we tried was immunotherapy.

    I was very fortunate to get into a immunotherapy clinical trial at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. However, only 8 weeks into it, I was removed due to complication that could have killed me.

    My final two choices were Chemotherapy or nothing. Doing nothing, to me, feels like throwing in the towel at the start of the game. I might be Stage 4, and terminal regardless of whatever I do or don't do, I remain committed to life, my family, my wife, and a few more tomorrows.

    I also remain fully committed to helping others and I plan on doing that up to, and including during my memorial service. Our local newspaper wrote an article about my memorial service, and how I planned to use it to raise even more money for Toys for Tots, our Local Cancer Center and the local battered women's shelter.

    Here are the articles about how I plan on going about raising money during my own memorial service:

    Anyway, time, or the ability to see the lack of time, changes opinions, and attitudes towards many things. I was also not looking forward to chemotherapy this time around, but so far I have not lost my hair (yet), nor have I been sick. I guess I am saying please keep an open mind, but in the end, you will do what is right for you.

    Thank you again for your reply and for such kind words. I think being strong, at least to me, is more about my family, than it is about actually being strong. I want my family, my wife, my friends and colleagues to remember me as facing my fate head held high, a twinkle in my eye, and a smile on my lips.

    I want them to remember me as I lived my life, not how my life ended.

    Mike "Serrecko" March

    Leader of The Skyline Gaggle of Noobs

  • Serrecko,

    Well. I just need to thank you.

    Please know I recognize that you meet each day as it comes, and that you have dark, terrible times too. That so much of what you endure is unspoken, and unknown except to those closest to you...and even then I am sure there are some things you just keep inside yourself. I don't take back the "wise" or "wisdom". The wisdom in there in your words for everyone to see. Bless you. Thank you for sharing who you are. You are doing the most any of us can do for one another - you are reaching out, sharing your story, and trying to lift up those you touch. What finer thing can any human do? What else is there?

    Take care of you and yours, and keep sharing your thoughts. Just like all the others in this community, the words you share land in someone's heart, and those words make a difference you may never even know about.

  • Mike, The only good thing about cancer is meeting people like you, online and in person. It gives me goosebumps reading how you will make sure that a bunch of kids enjoy a great Christmas again this year. Cancer can take a lot away from us, but you and many other people show through what you do that it cannot take away our best selves and our ability to care for others.

    I hope you are doing well today.


  • Welcome MIKE

  • Hi Mike, you sound like a very caring and giving man, doing for others while you are dealing with so much, 300 bikes! Wow!. I commend you for not giving up and keep swinging!! I among others will look forward to reading your posts. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless.

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