Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Erick Davis, 10 Year Survivor

In the spring of 2004, Erick Davis discovered a lump just above his elbow. "It felt like a marble had been placed under my skin," stated Erick. At the time, Erick was training for the "Escape from Alcatraz Swim" a 1.5-mile swim from Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. He thought the lump was just a muscle knot or some other athletic injury, fortunately his wife convinced him to consult with his local primary care doctor.

Erick grew up in Connecticut, spending long summer days in the sun. As an adult, during his years in the Air Force, he was stationed in Guam where the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation levels are very high. . 12 years ago Erick had had a stage I melanoma removed, stage I indicated the cancer is localized in one specific area, and was considered cancer free. In 2004, his physician had the lump in his arm biopsied, and when the lump biopsy lab results came back positive for cancer, Erick’s physicians sent him for further testing in San Francisco.

"I went on the Internet to do some research on my diagnosis.  That was really scary. Everything I read told me I had a 5% chance of survival," stated Erick. "When Dr. Minor told me that with biochemocherapy my chances of survival increased to 20%, I couldn’t believe it. I had two kids at home and I wanted to see them graduate from high school."

Erick entered the hospital for his first biochemotherapy treatment that summer and spent the next six months running his own personal marathon, one week in the hospital, one week at home in bed, then one week feeling pretty normal. He worked when he could, maintaining contact at his office through e-mail and stopping by the office on his good week.

By Erick's third treatment, his scans were clear and his cancer was in remission. That was over 10 years ago. Erick is a pilot, competitive long-distance swimmer, and in his free time enjoys surfing, traveling, and snowboarding.  Erick accredits his long-term success to a healthy lifestyle, especially with exercising. He also has a positive attitude and lives life joyfully. He is married with two children.

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