At first glance this seems like the most innocent picture. A father and mother looking adoringly at each other during their son’s baptism. To me it looks like a painting by Sandro Botticelli, a modern day Primavera.
What you don’t see in this picture is the uninvited guest, the one who threatens to take away their happiness. The adoring father in this picture has stage 4 Lung Cancer, diagnosed few months before his son was born. He was diagnosed almost the same time as my wife, and that’s how his wife Kathy and I became friends. Jeff was diagnosed with ALK mutation, which made him eligible to take Xalkori for treatment instead of Chemotherapy. Just like Molly he has been on his treatment successfully, and been able to go back to work full time and be a father to his sons.
Jeff is similar to many new LC patients, he is young, athletic and a non smoker. He defies the stereotypes and plans to be around to see his grandchildren. Few weeks ago Kathy and Jeff decided to have Jeff’s brain mets stereotactically radiated. The next day Jeff got up early for work a usual, and that weekend he ran a 5K. Jeff is the new face of Lung Cancer.