Author Brandon Hale Gives Update on His Cancer Situation
By Branderson Pooper
March 17, 2014
Today, internationally known author of the Day Soldiers book series, Brandon Hale, visited his local surgeon in his hometown in southwest Virginia. The purpose of this visit was to get an update on the seriousness of his recent cancer diagnosis and to plan the inevitable treatment.
“The visit,” explained Brandon, “had some good parts and some bad, but overall, I’d say it was a good day.”
As it turns out, Brandon is suffering from two simultaneous conditions. The first is called “Familial Adenomatous Polyposis.” Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is an inherited condition in which numerous adenomatous polyps form mainly in the epithelium of the large intestine. While these polyps start out benign, malignant transformation into colon cancer occurs when left untreated.
The second condition is a separate mass the surgeon found in Brandon’s colon. Brandon’s surgeon has confirmed that this mass is indeed cancer.
The good news
The cancer is at a very early stage. As a matter of fact, if each of his conditions were the only issue he had, treatment would be swift and relatively easy, with a very high survival rate.
The bad news
Because he is dealing with multiple issues and because of the sheer number of polyps, Brandon’s condition is what the surgeon described as “very complex.” There’s a strong possibility that neither the polyps nor the cancer can be treated without the removal of part (or possibly all) of his colon.
So what does this mean?
It means treatment is going to be aggressive, but meticulous. It is likely to be a long process, with multiple surgeries and extensive chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Brandon will be sent to specialists in northern Virginia (about a 5 hour drive from his current hometown). He’s expecting a call from specialists later in the week (possibly as early as tomorrow) to schedule the first meeting.
Because of the location of the cancer and the high quantity of polyps, treatment will likely require pre-operative chemotherapy, then surgery, then full chemo and radiation.
When asked about this lengthy and potentially painful treatment plan, Brandon remained optimistic. “It’s gonna’ be hard,” he said. “It’s gonna’ be painful and extremely expensive. My wife and I know we’re in for a very long summer. Of course, everything the doctor is currently predicting is prelimary. We won’t know the full extent until the specialists see me, but so far, we’re very optimistic that we’re gonna’ beat this thing, and nothing the doctor said today detracted from that belief.”
With a Little Help From His Friends…
Since his diagnosis, Brandon has been very vocal about the love and support he’s received from his friends, family, peers, and fans. “The amount of support I’ve received is just overwhelming. It’s truly amazing. I have cancer. I may or may not end up with a colostomy bag. I have a long, potentially painful summer ahead of me. And despite all that, I consider myself one of the luckiest men in the world.”
The support Brandon has received has indeed been extensive. One of his best friends created a GoFundMe web page to collect donations. Other authors he knows have blogged steadily about his situation. These same authors are also working on a collection of short stories about vampires and werewolves (in honor of Day Soldiers) to help raise money for the expenses. And just last week, it was announced that three local bands are putting on a benefit concert to raise money for Brandon and his wife, Laura.
Brandon is fully aware that tough days are ahead, but his visit to the doctor today has reaffirmed his unwavering belief that he’s going to overcome the challenges before him:
The visit today really boosted our morale. Yes, there were some aspects that are scary, but it could have gone much worse. Simply hearing that the cancer is probably in an early stage was enough to make us more sure than ever that this is a fight we’re gonna’ win. All my adult life, I’ve believed we can alter the reality around us by radiating love and positivity. This cancer is putting that belief to the test… and I’m gonna’ pass that test with flying colors.”