After being declared cancer free in 2020, a surveyal scan in late 2021 to look at repairing several surgery-related hernias revealed that the cancer had come back in John’s lymphatic system – and that the affected lymph nodes were so close to major arteries that they were deemed inoperable. John was given six months to live, or the option to start aggressive chemotherapy with the goal of extending that date.
After two chemo cycles, in February of 2022 John decided that making the most of six months of quality living was a better option than extending his life through chemotherapy, given the strain the chemo was putting on his body and his family. Shortly after making that decision, however, doctors reported back that the chemo was actually doing a great job of keeping the cancer in check, and that there was a possibility that if it remained stable for a few more months, John could become eligible for experimental procedures or trials.
Given that glimmer of hope, John resumed the chemotherapy and worked closely with doctors to try to reduce the impact of the chemo side effects, and make every attempt to beat the cancer, arteries or no arteries.
It was around this time that an old classmate of John’s reached out to him and put him in touch with Jim Ebert, founder of Cancer Can Rock. It turned out that Jim and John had both gone to the same high school (different years), and had a lot in common, including friends, neighborhoods, cancer and a love of music. While not a professional musician, John has been performing occasionally over the past 30 years at open mic nights, playing guitar as a guest with friend’s bands, writing songs for his children, and so forth.
Having an opportunity to write and record a track with Cancer Can Rock had an amazing impact on John’s outlook toward his treatment, and ultimately his life. His day spent at 38 Studios with Jim, Rich, Buddy, Andy, Eric and the crew was one of the best he can remember, and was an extremely validating experience.
Since recording “Each Moment”, John has been able to return to work (from home) full time as an Executive Producer at Big Huge Games, and has been inspired to spend more time writing and recording music.