John MacLeod, Stage IVB
North Wales, Pennsylvania
Before my diagnosis I would say that I was a completely healthy, active man. I worked out three to four times a week running and lifting weights. I also cycled and played golf as often as my wife allowed. I had never had surgery or taken anything stronger than Prilosec or Claritin. I am 5’10’’ and I always kept my weight between 165 and 170 pounds for 20 years. So my diagnosis came as a shock to myself and everyone around me.
I was diagnosed on November 1, 2013. Since then I have had 32 rounds of FOLFOX or FOLFIRI with Avastin, my liver, both lungs, and colon have been resected. I have had 3 rounds/23 doses radiation to my lungs and liver lesions. I have also had three ablation procedures to three other lesions in my lungs.
I am currently enrolled in a clinical trial run by The National Cancer Institute at NIH. It is the Adaptive TIL trial that has become prevalent recently. We are hopeful that this science will be the systemic, long-term treatment for me.
I remain very active, playing golf several times a week. As soon as my treatment schedule lets up I will to return to work. I serve on the Board of Governors at our local country club and volunteer as an Ambassador for Fight CRC to stay busy.
I am a married, forty-eight-year-old, and the father of two beautiful daughters, Emily (26) and Sarah (12). Emily is currently a civil rights lawyer in Washington, D.C. Sarah is a seventh grader and a budding actress and artist.
My wife’s name is Angela (Angie). We have been married for six years and have a great marriage. She is a Family Practice physician and the medical director of a large physician group of about 100 physicians, as well as the Chief Medical Information Officer for Einstein Healthcare Network. She is also active and we share a love of travel. She is a graduate of Temple University School of Medicine, and was the Chief Medical Information Officer of Susquehanna Health when we met.
I worked as a sales and marketing strategy guy in Health Care IT for over 20 years. In the past I would travel about 100,000 miles a year giving presentations on products and the health care industry to groups as large as 1,000. At 42 I went to Hawaii for the first time to help close a deal. That completed my tour of the country as it was the 50th state that I have visited. I tell my kids, “I have been everywhere and seen everything in this country!”
I would be described by my friends as intense, type A, relatively intelligent, funny, and driven. I am the guy that you want to take to Vegas or any place where you are looking for fun. I am more than excited to be a part of the one million strong.
What One Million Strong Means to John
To me One Million Strong means not fighting alone. I have my family to support me, but I also have one million colon cancer survivors and patients fighting with me. It means sharing your story with others and showing others that there is life after colon cancer. I want to show everyone that stage IV CA patients are not invalids. We have a lot of life in us.
My advice would be to check family history, give clinical trials a shot, exercise regularly, and give your body proper nutrition.
Learn more about when to get screened if you have a family history.