Marty's Journey

This Is It - My Final Immunotherapy Treatment!

It's been a wild ride since finding out I had HPV-related cancer and today marks a big milestone... the end of my last treatment regimen.

It's hard to believe this journey started nearly 9 months ago. Last August we found out that I had an HPV-related cancer and that began the plan that has lead me and my family to where we are today. This morning I finished the final immunotherapy treatment. My amazing wife has been there by my side the entire way and she joined me in reflecting on where we were and how we got to this point today.

If you've been following my journey here on Sparkt and on social media, you've seen me go through a lot of changes. Cancer and the treatments can suck the life out of you. I lost my energy, my appetite, some hair, and even my voice for a short period.

Marty's Journey: intravenous drug Marty was given as part of an immunotherapy clinical trial at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

Throughout the recovery process I've been part of an immunotherapy trial with my care at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. Dr. Robert Ferris isn't just the director of the cancer center, he's also my surgeon who took out one tumor and worked with my other doctors on a treatment plan to attack the rest of the cancer cells.

Me and Dr. Ferris.

This morning he and I got to talk about the trial, why we did it, and what we hope it accomplishes not just for me, but for future patients.

Now that this treatment is complete, it's time for another milestone. You saw me ring the cancer free bell once before and we all discovered together that was a symbolic victory. The days and weeks after were some of the toughest throughout my whole ordeal. Fast forward to today and we have a lot to celebrate.

Not only do I feel 80 percent better, I'm looking better too and even eating more and more foods, even though they don't taste great just yet. Hey, I'm working on it and I'm thrilled to be at this point. I'm truly blessed to share my journey with you all and hope that my experience can help you and others going through their own tough times.

Thanks for following Marty's Journey on Sparkt. Check out the link above to browse through all of the stories about my cancer fight.

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