Marty's Message

Am I Still Cancer-Free? It's Time to Find Out

Find out how my recovery is going so far from my favorite docs.

The last update to my cancer journey was in January, long before any of us had heard of COVID-19. Back then I had reached a milestone in treatment and recovery: I was cancer-free for one year.

My next scan and checkup was set for 6 months. That would have been June. But the pandemic had its own ideas about whose medical needs came first, and who should avoid situations where they could be exposed to the virus.

So here we are in August. Things have calmed down and it's OK to continue doctors visits like this.

Kristine and me, checking in at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Pittsburgh's Shadyside neighborhood.Patrick O'Connor/Sparkt

I have to be honest, the days leading up to a scan still aren't easy. You ponder the "what ifs" until you hear the actual results. It's nerve wracking for me and for my wife Kristine who has been by my side every step of the way.

This is how our day played out at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center:

Click here to follow Marty's Journey and see all of his videos:

How can you start something good?

I want to remind you that my form of cancer was caused by HPV, the Human Papillomavirus, which most people have, and which causes most cervical cancers and a lot of head and neck cancers like mine.

HPV-related cancers can be prevented later in life by getting your kids vaccinated against HPV when they're around 11 or 12.

Take from me: it's something you've gotta do! Talk to your pediatrician to find out more about why it's important to get this vaccine and how to get started. If you could do something now keep your child from getting cancer when they're and adult, why wouldn't you?

The Conversation
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