Matt Gray

I have cancer.

Jul 16, 2020

In May 2020, I was diagnosed with stage IV, inoperable rectal cancer.

A stage IV diagnosis means that the cancer has metastasized; in my case, it’s set up shop – additional tumors — in my liver and lungs.

I’ve named him, my cancer: Steve. Steve is a jerk.

It is difficult for me to describe the range of emotions and feelings I’ve had about the situation since that fateful week in May when my primary care physician called me eerily quickly after my first CT scan, but I can tell you now, in July, that I am mostly feeling positive and hopeful.

There were two broad paths I could take: let this shitty situation happen to me, or find some way to take positive and proactive charge of what’s going on. I decided that Steve wasn’t going to get away with this, not without a fight.

Two months later, in mid-July, I’m writing these words after four rounds of intensive chemotherapy. For the medical nerds, I am on a FOLFIRI + Avastin regime. Yes, chemo is rough, but after each cycle, I feel better than I have in months. I am able to work, play, and largely enjoy life right now.

I am grateful to have an extensive “Stop Steve 2020” support team assembled from my family and close friends. Carrie has taken wonderful care of me. I get to see friends from time to time in a socially distant, outdoor way. And I am choosing to focus on living well three months at a time, not dwelling on the statistics relevant to my condition and its level of progression.

Today, I will share this post across my dormant social media accounts to get the word out. There’s no reason to keep my cancer a secret, and it is exhausting and sad to deliver shitty news to one person at a time – why not broadcast it!

If we’ve known each other, it would mean the world to me if you felt like sending me a note of encouragement. Beyond that, I would love to reconnect and get more socially distant driveway meet-ups on my calendar. Finally, there is a private CaringBridge site that I can provide access to, just send me your preferred email address. That is where I will be posting the gory details as the fight against Steve and his metastatic minions continues.

The best way to contact me is to send me an email. Given the domain name of this site, I am sure friends of mine can figure out a reasonable email address.

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