Kyle Woody is the founder of Jack’s Caregiver Coalition, a non-profit organization striving to provide world-class hospitality to men who care cancer caregivers in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area. The mission of Jack’s is to improve the way men think, feel and act in their role as cancer caregivers.
During our conversation we discussed:
The unique needs that men have when serving as caregivers.
How Jack’s is an event-based group, providing an alternative to the traditional “sit in a circle” support group. These events have included ax throwing, fishing and hunting outings and golf games.
The bonding and deep conversations that naturally happen at these events.
The long-term goal to grow to a national organization supporting men who serve as caregivers for those affected by more than cancer, including Alzheimers, A.L.S. and Post-Traumatic Stress.
Randy Lopez is a 20-year survivor of Stage IV colon cancer. He was diagnosed in 1998 at the age of 34.
We talked about the lasting impact that his diagnosis has had on him and how taking an integrative approach to his treatment, through the support of the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment, helped him tremendously.
On my 50th birthday, I promised my wife I would make an appointment for a full physical. On May 5, 2014, my primary physician, Dr. Troy Fate, MD scheduled a routine colonoscopy. I had two polyps removed and one turned out to be cancerous with positive margins. After a consultation with Dr. Scott Brill, a Colon and Rectal Surgeon at Ohio Health in Columbus, we elected for surgery on June 6th (Lilly’s birthday). Dr. Brill found no evidence of cancer in the section removed, but one lymph node out of 13 tested positive for cancer cells. One of the risks of my operation was the possibility of a leak. Unfortunately, that occurred and I fell ill with sepsis which required a second emergency surgery. Luckily Dr. Brill is an Army Veteran with trauma experience so he was able to save my life. I needed two additional procedures to install drains for fluid build up near my lungs. My wife never left my side for a month and slept next to me on a recliner (Much like the scene where Robin Williams describes the meaning of love to Matt Damon on the park bench in Good Will Hunting).
After a several rounds of antibiotics, I recovered enough to be discharged from the hospital with a temporary ileostomy. After three weeks of intensive physical and occupational therapy at home, I was able to participate in our daughter’s wedding ceremony. Then I endured several months of chemotherapy that made me look like the main character from “Unbroken”. In December, right before my birthday and the Christmas holidays, Dr. Brill reversed the diversion and I spent much of 2015 recuperating. On May 5, 2015, Dr. Brill performed a colonoscopy which resulted in a normal finding. Later in December, I had a CT scan and received a clean bill of health. I continued to be followed closely by my oncologist with regular blood screening, but am now back to work full-time.
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What an honor it is to share episode #100 with you. Never did I realize when I launched the podcast 3 1/2 years ago that I would someday be talking about such a milestone.
I could not think of a better way to celebrate this important episode than by sharing Heather and Fred’s story.
I met them at Fight CRC’s annual Call-on Congress earlier this year. Heather serves as an ambassador for Fight CRC. Their story touched me in so many ways. During this interview we discussed Heather’s wonderful progress in her clinical trial. When I saw Heather during our Skype interview – which was conducted in May, 2018 – I almost didn’t recognize her; she looked that good!
The three of us also discussed the impact has on a marriage and how they’ve relied on their love for each other, and their faith, to cope with Heather’s disease.