WhatNexter of the Week Keith59 - Living a Happy Life with Stage 4 Cancer

by Brittany McNabb

Keith59, an active WhatNexter on the site, was diagnosed with cancer five months ago and is currently in active treatment for Stage IV melanoma. He is an inspiring example of someone who has accepted his diagnosis and continued to live a rich life in appreciation of his family as well as his WhatNext family. Here is a bit Keith's story in his own words...

Keith59 Before Cancer Diagnosis

The first sign of cancer...

In March of 2014, while getting ready for work, I suffered a light stroke due to my heart being in AFIB. I'm happy to say I have no long term side effects due to the stroke but I was hospitalized after I had the stroke. During my three day stay they did a MRI and CT scan. The CT scan showed a baseball size mass under my heart pressing into my lung. 

Diagnosed with melanoma...

Keith59 At Yervoy Infusion

I was transferred to Vanderbilt for a needle biopsy that came back benign. They then removed two lymph nodes that tested positive for melanoma. Later I flew to MD Anderson in Houston for a second opinion. They confirmed and referred me back to Vanderbilt for treatment. I ask my oncologist to never talk about what stage or a prognosis. I just finished 4/4 rounds of Yervoy. The latest scans showed tumor growth had slowed but not regressed. I began a trial regimen of PD1 on Monday, Aug 25th.

Still living a rich life...

Keith59 And Family

I have been happily married 33 years to my wonderful wife Sheila. I have two amazing daughters, one a physical therapist, and one a teacher. I have two beautiful grandchildren who rule my world. I have been teaching psychology, history, and broadcast journalism at the high school level for twenty years. Hobbies include hunting, fishing, and photography.

The beauty of my WhatNext family...

Keith59 Cancer Info

After my diagnosis, I started searching for an online cancer support group. Luckily I found WhatNext. WhatNext is therapy for me. It connects me to other people who are facing the same battles and triumphs as myself. WhatNext is a group of people who serve as an online family sharing their journey with others who are on the same journey. It has helped me realize that I am not alone in my battle for life.

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