Randy Sturgeon tackles the decathlon of disease: He fights cancerRandy Sturgeon, the Sacramento-area publisher of National Masters News, shared the ups and downs of his decathlon training over several years. He never realized his вЂњMiracle in SacramentoвЂќ dream at 2011 worlds, but his readers were enriched by the journey. Many people advised him on skill events, and he printed their ongoing advice. Now Randy is engaged in a much more serious process вЂ” fighting cancer. Via his NMN News Alerts and Facebook page, Randy has been updating friends and subscribers on his squamous cell cancer on his neck, вЂњbelow my right tonsil and at the base of the my tongue.вЂќ He first informed people of the tumor in his NMN News Alert of Nov. 27, 2012: “вЂЁвЂЁI am writing you this note to let you know of a challenge I am facing and to let you know that it will not affect National Masters News.”
Randy continued in his NMN News Alert note:
Last Tuesday I saw an ear, nose and throat specialist concerning an ear ache and sore throat I have been having for sometime. She suspected a squamous cancer, and a biopsy was done right away, with a CT Scan this morning. I have a large malignant tumor in my neck near my right tonsil and the base of tongue. It is serious, but treatable and curable. I will be doing chemo and radiation therapy, beginning probably next week. вЂЁвЂЁSo I am afraid I won’t be doing a decathlon this year after all.
However, I do have hope that I can compete at the outdoor nationals in Kansas next summer and maybe do the pentathlon. In the meantime my doctor wants me to do things that give me joy and that means continuing to do my job as publisher of National Masters News. I have already heard from many of you and I thank you for all the kind thoughts and prayers.
On Tuesday, after several email exchanges, I got an update:
It is a larger tumor, a T-3. It is in a left and right lymph node in my neck. However, it has not spread anywhere else. The prognosis is good. It is treatable and curable. These have an 85% cure rate and the good news is surgery is not necessary.
I will be having seven weeks of radiation with three sessions of chemotherapy during that time, which they hope will kill all the cancer cells. This starts on 12/26. The late start is because they had to put a feeding tube in my stomach and allow time for some healing. I am on pain medication as the tumor can throat and ear pain. The radiation will make it hard to eat and that is the reason for the feeding tube.
They expect the last few weeks to be really tough. Once I am done, I will work on getting back to normal activity and then about 3 months down the line they will do another PET Scan and confirm if the cancer is
Right now I am doing OK. I jog a couple of miles five days a week with the high school kids and the adults I coach. The doctors say staying as active as I can is important. My energy level is dropping, but I can still swing a golf club. They also said doing things that give me joy and staying optimistic is the key to getting well. So I am keeping up with my magazine work. People from the masters community have stepped up to help me with getting the next couple of issues done.
You asked about people e-mailing, calling or posting things for me. That has meant the world to me and it is why I know I will beat this.Every day, people contact me and it means the world to me.
Some send things, other just a few short words. It is all great medicine. I have the best support system in the world, the masters community and it is why I am doing so well with this.
Whenever this thing starts to overwhelm me a message comes in and I start feeling full of energy again. I cannot thank everybody enough.
Over the years, I’ve heard many stories of masters tracksters overcoming cancer by virtue of their training ethic and general fitness, so my hope is that Randy will fall into this pattern. He certainly has a vast support system as well, but every little bit helps.
So please join me in wishing Randy Godspeed in his recovery and a swift return to competition and normal life.