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Tad Packer's Story: "I Fight"

Updated: Jun 21

When you have cancer, you find out quickly what is important to you, and you fight for those things. You fight because your wife means everything to you and you want to grow old with her. You fight because you love your kids (ages 21/12/8/3) and want to see them make the world a better place. You fight because you love the grandchildren who haven’t been born and want to romp on the ground playing with them. You fight because you love your community and want to affect it in a way that will make it a safe place for your family and friends. You fight because you love people and want to help others achieve their dreams. In short…you fight because giving up is not a choice.

I went to the doctor’s office a week before Christmas because I had been having back pain that just wouldn’t go away. The doctor checked me out, prescribed some muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatories, and said, “Let me know if you still are in pain after a couple of weeks.” He then paused for several seconds as if listening to something and said, “I never do this, but I’d like to get a chest x-ray.” Of course, I said yes. He came back after reading the x-ray, told me about the tumor, and said, “You need to go to the emergency room right now.”

After multiple tests and scans over the next 10 days, it was discovered that I had stage 4 lung cancer that had spread to my brain. Lung cancer. Without ever having smoked a single cigarette in my whole life. My oncologist said my lung looks like I have smoked for 25 years. Within a few weeks, I started chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Currently, I am taking a chemo pill daily waiting to receive additional scans that will determine if I need to go through another cycle of chemotherapy and radiation. If not, I will be taking the chemo pill for a minimum of one year. Chemotherapy, in any form, just wreaks havoc on your life. But I fight. I fight because I don’t know a better way to live than to fight.


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