the year that Kirk beat cancer
I am Kirk Saunders: 35 years old, father of two, Cancer Survivor.
Endless thanks for visiting this page!
It is with great hope that I am reaching out to all of you. For many years now I have been battling metastatic testicular cancer. Each time that it has returned I have managed to beat it back- from my liver, lymphatic system, lungs, and chest. But each time it has always come back.
Which brings us to now. At this point my disease has spread extensively in my chest and in the lining of my left lung. The only remaining systemic treatment that is available is High Dose Chemotherapy With Stem Cell Rescue. I'm excited and terrified to pursue this treatment: It offers a real chance to eliminate my cancer for good, but also means close to a year of not being able to work/drive/do much of anything.
Having to let go of the business I had been building for the last two years is hard. Having to ask you to help is harder still.
Donating here will enable me to get the treatment I need to survive; it will help keep my family in our home, close to the hospital where I'll be recieving treatment; it will help cover the full time caregiver that I am required to have in order to recieve treatment; it will help cover the neccessities of having a new baby in the house while I am unable to work.
I am committed to spending many, many more years dedicated to being a great father to my my children, working hard to improve the lives of my clients, and enjoying every good thing that each day brings-- but to do that I need your help first. Please, help if you can, and spread the word!
You have my deepest thanks!
I am wishing that I had better news to impart on this chilly January morning, but (for now) that is unfortunately not the case.
After much consideration, the Opdivo has been declared ineffective-- which means that for the time being we do not have any treatment options.
Does this mean giving up? No.
What it does mean is taking this time to focus on quality of life, on resting and recouping, and on trusting that my body has the tools it needs to heal.
My oncologist will remain busy searching for the next miracle drug that we can try. Meanwhile I will be in hospice care, which focuses on symptom management and comfort-- very welcome things indeed, especially considering the outbreak of shingles on my face and scalp that I am currently recovering from.
As of now the official prognosis is weeks to months, but I was given a similar prognosis five years ago and here I stand. So don't fret.
Your outpouring of care and support has brought my family and I so far, and through so much. I cannot begin to express my gratitude. Thank you, all.
And if it is within your means this time around to contribute, please do consider it, as well as sharing this far and wide.
I will continue to keep you all posted ,
so, until next time, from myself and Julie and the kiddos-
Go have a donut and enjoy the beginnings of this beautiful new year.
This december has brought some beautiful mornings and some reasons to spend quality time huddled under blankets drinking tea.
It has also, less fortunately, brought some difficulties as well.
What I thought was simply some very bad muscle spasm from constant coughing has turned out, upon further investigation, to be a broken rib. While there was some good news in terms of a decrease in the tumor markers in my bloodwork last month- recent c.t. scans show a pretty substantial spread of new tumors in my chest and lungs, including into the chest wall on the left side.
There, a new metastasis has invaded my rib, resulting in the bone weakening and breaking.
Today I am starting radiation treatment to destroy the tumor and allow the rib to heal- and in the short term, reduce the associated pain.
Still keeping all of my fingers and toes crossed that the optivo is going to work, as we are still within the window where it could kick in and do it's miracle-drug thing at any time. Keep sending those good vibes!
Here, we are busy setting up the Christmas tree, and the house is filled with my daughter's wishes and hopeful anticipations.
Take this time, friends and supporters, to hold those you care for close. Whether your thing is Christmas or Hanukkah or Solstice or simply noting the changing of the seasons, I wish you and yours the very best.
And if you have the means, please consider contributing, and if not please do share this fundraiser.
And thank you.
Kirk Saunders & family
As always, thank you each and all for all of the kindness and support that you have shown me and my family in this very trying year. I doubt that I will ever find the words to properly express my gratitude.
Having now exhausted the options with chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, I have been receiving an experimental immunotherapy drug. While the docs say that it is still very much too early to say with any certainty that it is or isn't working, I am happy to share that the current tests do show a decrease in tumor activity. I choose to view this in a very positive and hopeful light. Fingers crossed, we may have found something that works. And in the mean time, it has far fewer nasty side effects than the conventional treatments, so that at least is a solid niceness.
I, with all of your help, maintain my conviction that I can beat this and soon. And so I reach out to you again- if you can please donate to help us see the end of the fight. And regardless, please help by sharing my story.
Thank you, deeply.
The new chemotherapy regimen has been a mixed bag so far.
While the bloodwork shows signs that it may be effective, my bone marrow has been so weakened by all of the previous treatments that I'm not able to recover in between doses very effectively. Meaning we have to delay treatment more often than not- which in turn decreases the effectiveness of the chemo significantly.
In the next few weeks we'll be working on additional/alternative options, possibly radiation, to keep progressing towards my cure.
I am keeping positive that things will continue to look up, and that this fight is winnable.
And your continued support makes that a possibility for me and my family.
Please keep sharing our story, donate if you can, and know that your help is appreciated beyond words.
Keep up the good fight Kirk and keep hope. Cancer can take many things but hope and faith and determination and all similar things are yours alone. Hold on. I met you only once for a massage but I could tell then that you are a really great person. So keep heart.
Kick Cancers Ass!!!