• One Day at a Time: Staying Positive Through Treatment

    Cancer

    October 1, 2017

    Chuck Hand.jpg“WE WERE HAPPY to hear that there were new drugs to try,” say Frankfort residents Chuck Hand  and his wife, Lucille.

    Hand, no stranger to cancer, survived colon cancer in 2004 and bladder cancer in 2006.

    After receiving a diagnosis that his lung cancer was back—this time stage IV squamous small-cell lung cancer—hearing about a promising new targeted immunotherapy was ‘amazing,’ ” says Hand.

    After his first diagnosis of stage III lung cancer in 2012, Hand underwent 33 treatments of radiation and six treatments of chemotherapy and had reached his radiation limit. In 2013, when he received word the lung cancer was back, “We were both basket cases, as a lot of my friends who had stage IV lung cancer are no longer here,” he says. He received another round of chemotherapy, but in June 2014 the tumors were larger.

    Marcy Canary, MD, Bassett medical oncologist, said a new targeted immunotherapy drug nivolumab (Opdivo) was now available and might extend his life.

    ONE DAY AT A TIME

    Since 2014, Hand has been getting infusions of immunotherapy at Bassett’s cancer center in Herkimer.  “Mr. Hand tolerates the drug very well and his disease has been exceptionally well-controlled,” says  Dr. Canary.

    “When I come here for my treatments, it’s like old home week,” he says. “My nurses, Michele, Chris and Arlene—they’ve been excellent; they’re like family.”

    Hand takes his cancer journey one day at a time and enjoys spending time with family—including two grown children and three grandchildren— and volunteering.
     

    Pictured: Chuck Hand and his cancer care team at Herkimer Health Center: Arlene Ferri, LPN; Marcy Canary, MD; Michele Sweet, RN; and Chris Allen, R