WEEI>On Demand>>D&C - Steve Shoemaker, 53, throat cancer, with Susan Riendeau, radiation oncology nurse, Dana-Farber

D&C - Steve Shoemaker, 53, throat cancer, with Susan Riendeau, radiation oncology nurse, Dana-Farber

Aug 30, 2016|

Steve was at home shaving when he discovered a lump on his neck. He went to see his doctor and subsequent testing revealed neck and throat cancer. He underwent surgery in January to remove a cancerous tonsil and neck cyst. Steve came to Dana-Farber for a second opinion and never left. He began 3 rounds of chemotherapy and 35 radiation treatments over the course of 7 weeks. He finished his treatment in April and today is cancer-free. Since his treatment ended, the father of 3 has been able to get back on the golf course, kayak and spend time with his family. As a Bruins season ticket holder, he looks forward to the upcoming season. He describes his care at Dana-Farber as like getting a big hug from the moment you walk in the door. He wishes he could thank each and every person at Dana-Farber from the parking attendants, Friday senior volunteers (Blue Vests), administrators, radiologists, oncologists, nurses and doctors. Having this disease has taught Steve to remember to laugh every day and give thanks for all the gifts in his life. He sees the world in a whole new way now. Steve describes his retirement goal as earning a ‘Blue Vest’ as a member of Dana-Farber's patient care volunteer services team. Of this goal he says, “I saw things during my journey that I will never forget. I want to be part of the Dana-Farber Team in some capacity. I want to be able to put a smile on someone’s face who needs a break from their pain.” Susan Riendeau is celebrating 25 years of providing care to patients at Dana-Farber next month. She works in Dana Farber's radiation oncology department working primarily with patients who have head and neck cancers. It used to be that head and neck cancer patients were older and risk factors included excessive alcohol and smoking. Now most patients are younger and have Human papillomavirus virus, or HPV-related cancers. (Most Common sexually transmitted disease)

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Joining us here at the broadcast center obvious from Brockton Massachusetts he's 53 years old he is Steve Shoemaker and Jerry and you have something in common. You were you throat cancer patient Steve. This for a tell us about your story how to do I I I was there when Jerry figured it out yet. How did you figure out. I was sad as December 12 issue around that there was chain in my neck. And discovered a little little bit of a long in the neck and doesn't look normal but we'll see what happens and vote Jack couple days Landers has to my girlfriend his two days and let lump looked normal and he's a hypochondriac. He automatically went into. You know panic mode at that point so. Has what's in the doctor and about a week week and a half. And when I went and he was probably at that point maybe decisively. Have a golf ball then at that point in Jan he said what was going right after nor hospital. And then went in I spoke to if they shifted me to I ENT specialist. He did all kinds of testing in order hospital and whatnot and said we really don't know what it is. So January 12. I went under the knife they cut it out and basically told me at that point. You know this couple options we don't know what is. And to they say welcome to this could be apple will find out and they found out so when I woke up after UST here and I had a double tonne select to me in to have annual rate than it was buckle up time didn't weren't there yet to do chemo. Yes yes it did get streaky most and 35 regions. While that's a much what I had to go through as a different threat than your I did that radiation and two surgeries but the Nokia move thankfully you and an envelope which didn't have much voice is actually worse than it is now ardently let them. I wasn't ex smoker all the elected at some guys occasionally in the knows it and smoked pot and all but. Wasn't you know to pack a day smoker in the but they they just cannot. They just couldn't believe me because most people it works smokers practices of most of the customers. Now from our rooms you know the old Byron we have a drink and smoke that combination. Was the leading cause from what I understood what was when do you. What do you think. And in the same thing I think they asked me a million it's just very well tonight it and after you know allow element is a trick question you know you're trying to you know I almost won any hands on one of the phones like yes yes leave me alone guys that come what did you yes you know so a lot. And that's what they told me all along ET smoke future instances you know signal of victory in no small and you know I mean but as a kid and I mean 53 in the around to our parents and grandparents you know I mean that would set cigars and cigarettes you know whatever might be but they don't know. You know. Can you imagine you thought about this what what if your guy back in the day. What was the year that you you you discovered a lump when he was a fifteen in the fifties a could be an affinity with whoever had a full beard. If you you wouldn't you would have no knowledge I just had a goatee yeah it was one of those things. That took a look at viewers easy top. You'd be in trouble right now audience metro yeah you know what and it animate a lot of people during the journey that you know never discovered it. Like ignored it and whatnot so I just you know it's one of those things with our early in the process did they tell you that you caught it. Relatively early. As is as far as this Vista you know finding out in in all the generally are all capsule which obviously lucky a blessing and a blessing and and and when you go in you meet people you meet so many people who were soft and you just feel lucky. I mean year. For me he bit with the tricks and it in there was books is gone. In the legs gone completely they can never speak again here. And most of them were older most of them or where heavy smokers and and I would say if I could take people through. That sign here from me but Dana Farber and just meet these people. You'd never see. Anyone like that you just walked by the cigarette dismal he'd never seen anyone again now the cigarette and now. It's a it's a blessing got an early you know and going through detain and my experience in my journey in the air. To see the people that you know I had a light at the end of the time. You know they said okay you can even get right through us everything's going to be good. But the people are seeing especially to kids I mean you guys have seen is you know when the last shortly Ferraro is right it's amazing I I saw people in the advantages. I don't know it wasn't like you know some very very blessed as far as that goes you know attack did you choke up and my children. You know when you see the kids doesn't work I mean look at Nate now he is a little bit unbelievable team. So you might be the only guy in this room who is looking past the patriots season and looking forward to the bruins' season are you encouraged discouraged or wait and see I like to back this signing up like that I like the youth you know that's that's pretty good you know so what we're gonna say. Mansi Sears your show is gonna do hockey oxy that's nice nailed it right now Beckham and it's our audio portion and the progress of it probably. Steve Shoemaker venture spend some time with us today and sharing your story thanks haven't we appreciate it.

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