Anthony Regan will be the 2014 Honorary Chairperson for the annual Relay for Life.
Anthony Regan will be the 2014 Honorary Chairperson for the annual Relay for Life. He suffered testicular cancer, but is now free of it.
Regan was lucky to catch his cancer when he did. Regan said, “The doctors told me I had testicular cancer that young men usually get. I did not know it was growing for six months so it grew and went all over my body such as in my glands, lungs, spleen and liver. I had a lot of tumors. The kind of cancer I had spreads very fast so that is why it was stage 3C when I found out and it was bad! If it would have been two months later, it would have gone to my bones or brain, and I probably would have died. My situation was not good.”
Treatments soon started after he was diagnosed. Regan said, “First, I had chemo for twelve weeks straight right away in Fargo. I had a couple of surgeries to remove some tumors. I had no signs of cancer for 1 1/2 years and started to feel good and then the doctor told me my cancer came back. I went to the Fargo hospital to have one week of high dose chemo to see if it would be hard on my organs, and I handled it ok. Then, my Fargo doctor sent me to Indianapolis, Indiana to do a Stem Cell Transplant soon after that. I was in the hospital for eight weeks and the chemo was seven times stronger than what it had been the first time. I felt really sick and weak, but I was lucky and I did ok with all the drugs and chemo side effects I had. Four months after the transplant I had to go back to Indiana and have a huge, complicated and serious surgery to remove all the old tumors that were dying from the chemo in my abdomen and liver. My body went through so much in three years but I did pretty well with what all the doctors did to me.”
It was a relief to the family to see Anthony doing well again; all that was left was the follow up appointments. “For the follow up appointments I would have chest x rays and lab work every three months in Devils Lake to watch the lymph glands in my neck area. I had a CT scan and lab work to watch my cancer tumor marker numbers every six months at Fargo Roger Maris Cancer Center. They will do this for a couple years, and later I will have CT scans once a year. But I will have cancer checkups the rest of my life,” Regan said.
He is now cancer free. Regan said smiling, “Yes, I am cancer free, since my Stem Cell Transplant and a surgery I had in 2012. And I hope to stay that way!”
Family members are also affected when those close to them are diagnosed with cancer. Anthony’s mother Brenda said, “As Anthony’s mom I was afraid for him because I knew he really didn’t know how serious of a situation he was in, when first diagnosed. I have had family with cancer before but my son having it was such a helpless feeling. I just had to emotionally stay strong to support him so he could stay positive. We didn’t look too far ahead and just took one step at a time.”
Regan didn’t just receive support from his family and friends, but also the Devils Lake community.
“Anthony has many friends and a close family. He felt the love from everyone and support to stay positive. Actually humor helped a lot to get him through this tough time. The Devils Lake community supported him with a benefit that helped him financially when we were in Indiana for two months during his transplant. We will be forever grateful for their support,” Brenda said.
Regan will be the Relay for Life Honorary Chairperson for this summer, and he is excited to fulfill the duties that are required. “I will be telling my cancer story and answering questions that people might have about testicular cancer. I hope my family and I can tell people about testicular cancer so boys and men check themselves for lumps or if something doesn’t feel normal so they will tell their parents or someone to take them to the doctor. You can’t wait for things like this,” Regan said.