My Knight Cancer Story: Alan McGuire-Dale
I was driving to work when my family doctor called. The pain that was keeping me awake at night turned out to be a rare type of cancer. I had a tumor on my pancreas called a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. My doctor sent me to Dr. Brett Sheppard at OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, a surgeon who is an expert at treating pancreatic cancer. Dr. Sheppard and his team spent 10 hours removing my tumor and making sure there was no other cancer. I’m an avid cyclist, and I said, “Whatever you do, I’ve got to get back on the bike.”
After surgery, I had chemotherapy every two weeks. The OHSU infusion staff were totally dedicated—most of them had worked with cancer patients for years. They encouraged me and gave me hope that I would get through it. Toward the end of chemo, I started doing short rides, and joined a program that helped cancer patients recover their fitness. Just 10 months after my surgery, I rode a 20-mile time trial.
My cancer has been in remission for three years now. When I visited Dr. Sheppard recently, I told him, “I want to give hope to people with my type of cancer.” When I was diagnosed, I found a lot of discouraging statistics, so I started looking for success stories instead. Today, I have my own success story to share. Dr. Sheppard and my OHSU cancer team got me back on the bike and gave me my life back.