Jamie Longacre's Story
First and foremost, I'm proud to be a part of this event. Any time competitive spirit, personal drive and teamwork can be combined with cancer awareness and promotion of physical well being, that is always a positive. If my words and personal story can help anyone else associated with this event, that is invaluable.
I was an athlete growing up and have always considered myself to be an active person. Aside from a bout with appendicitis when I was 9 years old, I've been fortunate enough to avoid medical adversity. As a result, I probably became naive enough to believe, never in a million years, would I become directly affected by cancer. In the spring of 2011, my mind set would soon change. That same spring and summer provided a whirlwind of adverse personal medical news and events. Further evidence that anyone can be personally affected by cancer.
After experiencing some discomfort, I scheduled a visit to my family physician. The physical exam confirmed an abnormal mass existed and subsequent blood work and a CT scan were scheduled that same week in April of '11. The CT scan results also confirmed a malignant mass existed. Days later, I was meeting with my urologist, who had an opportunity to review the CT report and results. A strong recommendation was made, if I wanted to continue living for more than the next few years, to undergo a Radical Orchiectomy to remove the cancerous mass. Moreover, chemotherapy was going to be the treatment method post the formal surgical procedure. That treatment method was my only option as a result of cancerous germ cells spreading from the original area in my body, the groin.
I made it a point to maintain a positive frame of mind throughout all the medical testing, procedures and subsequent chemotherapy treatment (9 weeks at UPenn/Abramson Cancer Center). The surgical procedure (Paoli Hospital) and my subsequent chemotherapy treatment worked extremely well and I received much positive feedback from the staff at UPenn in terms of how I handled the chemotherapy, both physically and mentally/emotionally.
Since the fall of '11, I've been confirmed as being "in remission". That consultation was one of my favorites during my battle with cancer. A battle which I won and I'm proud to share that and hopefully provide inspiration to others. I would recommend this to those who battle cancer directly or indirectly: Don't allow the diagnosis or affliction define who you are as a person. Let your response and your subsequent actions: your drive, your fight , your will to live and succeed - add to who you truly are as a person. (RJL)
My personal thanks to my parents (Chloe always appreciates you checking in on her), Dr. Eric DiCicco, Dr. Andersen, the staff at Paoli Hospital, UPenn Nurse Practitioner Barb Zoltick, Dr. Vaughn and the remaining staff at UPenn/Abramson Cancer Center for educating me, guiding me, helping me and supporting me during my battle with cancer.
Additional thanks to Great Guys & those coordinating, participating in and supporting this fine event: Checking for Cancer
Good health, happiness and great vitality,