In March, 2018, I was diagnosed with Invasive ductal breast cancer, and my life changed forever. Up to that point, I was a healthy 51-year-old. I’m not exaggerating when I say I was probably in the best shape of my life. I had just competed in an Ironman 70.3 Triathlon in September 2017, and ran the NYC marathon in November 2017. I was in the very beginning of starting to train for a Full 140.6 Ironman in Louisville when I spotted a small lump on my chest, which I brought it to the attention of my doctor, who sent me for a biopsy. Four days later I got my diagnosis.
After interviewing three different cancer surgeons, I went with NYU Langone Cancer Center in NYC.
In April, I had a right-side mastectomy with a lymph node dissection. On my left side, I got a breast reduction to even my body out. It just so happened that after pathology they found a small cancerous tumor there too. A 51-year-old male in great shape with bilateral breast cancer. I was shocked to say the least.
Unfortunately, 6 of the 12 lymph nodes were infected so my protocol now included chemotherapy treatments followed by radiation. Luckily, I have been able to continue working and having some semblance of a normal life.
My main purpose in going public with my health issue is to let people know that men can get breast cancer too. And since I worked in the Ground Zero area after 9-11, I now know that myself, along with my many colleagues at the NY Mercantile Exchange, are at risk. My goal is to let as many people know as possible, to instigate research that will find answers to this male breast cancer cluster, and hopefully to prevent others getting this disease in the future.
In the beginning of 2021, three years after my diagnosis I finally felt strong enough to complete my mission of becoming an Ironman. I trained six days a week for six months, swimming, biking and running. My body held up through all the training and on July 25, 2021, I finished an Ironman Triathlon in Lake Placid NY. It was such a thrill and a redemption for me to cross that finish line. I hope this give others motivation to keep living life and never giving up.
It sounds like a cliche, but if my words can save one person then it will all be worth it.