A cancer-free milestone keeps this family celebrating the little things
On a random day in March of 2017, my dad, Steve Prokosch, thought he had a hernia. His stomach was bloated, his belly button was red and extended. He wasn’t feeling well. With encouragement from our family, he went to the doctor for a CT scan. He was told he’d get results in 48 hours.
Within 40 minutes – before Dad even got home from his CT scan – the doctor called. The message was to turn around, come back to the hospital right away because there was something more going on than a hernia. The tumor inside his abdomen was the size of a cantaloupe. Within two weeks, it would double to the size of a basketball.
There were tests, a LOT of tests, and they kept Dad in the hospital to start chemotherapy treatments immediately. He was diagnosed with a super-rare cancer called Triple Hit Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. No one was sure how to manage it, so they threw everything they could at Dad: a 12-drug regimen every two weeks that lasted for five months. It wiped him out. It brought my family together more than ever before.
My Dad had never been in a hospital, no broken bones or anything of the sort. Nothing his whole life. This hospital stay was his first. He only got to go home two weekends that whole time. I know it comforted him to watch us plant in the field while he rested in bed. He knew we were keeping things going. Check out the Caring Bridge posts that my sisters did over those long months. We prayed hard and we had so many praying for us, too.
Latham Seeds is passionate about cancer research. Learn more about our Sowing Seeds of Hope campaign.
A stem cell transplant at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester finally brought us hope. A very kind doctor there said he knew we farmed. He told Dad to go home, get the crop out and come back to see him when we were done.
That was all my dad needed to hear.
To this day, Dad is five years cancer-free. He thinks about it every day and praises God every day. I want to share our family’s story to remind us all how important it is to celebrate the little things in life. The blessings we have are never guaranteed.
We all know someone whose life has been affected by cancer. It’s another reason why we’re taking cancer on one unit at a time. The Latham family is very passionate about cancer research and the services the American Cancer Society has to offer. Learn more about our Sowing Seeds of Hope campaign.