February 2015

Carole-and-Mike.jpgLife for Michael Theriault was going as planned until December 2013. He had been working outside his house when he developed a nose bleed. He rarely had them, so he found it odd, but it was the fact that his nose would not stop bleeding that truly made him worry.

“I went to the emergency room after we couldn’t get it to stop,” remembers Michael. “The doctors tried everything, but I was back in the ER less than two days later because it was still going.”

Dr. John Beaulieu, of TAMC’s emergency department ordered several test for Michael, one of which was a chest x-ray. The x-ray revealed that he had pneumonia and he was then hospitalized for a week while they got his health under control.

“His primary care physician wanted a follow-up x-ray three months later and that is when a spot was discovered in his right upper lung,” said Carole Olore, RN, one of Michael’s sisters.
Michael was sent for a bronchoscopy and PET scan to confirm his diagnosis of Stage III non small-cell lung cancer. His treatment started in May of 2014 and lasted until that October. During that time he underwent radiation and chemotherapy sessions at TAMC Aroostook Cancer Care.

During his treatment, Michael had days when he was quite dizzy and nauseated, but one would never know it. Michael’s family couldn’t believe his attitude about his ordeal: he never complained or said why me. He simply accepted that he had work to do to get well, and he pushed through.

“I had been a long time smoker and quite cold turkey 9 years ago,” said Michael. “When I’m determined about something, I get it done.”
“On December 23, 2014 we were informed that his cancer was inactive,” said Carole. “That was the best gift ever!”

Michael attributes a great deal of his success to his supportive family. His sister Carole, went to every appointment, every therapy session Michael had except for one that she had to do by phone. His wife Nancy, was a huge part of his emotional support team.

“If I didn’t drink enough water or do what I was supposed to do, one of them would call the other and gang up on me,” said Michael. “They truly took care of me.”

“I am so proud of my brother and all that he did to get better,” said Carole. “Frame of mind and positivity really do help to get you through a cancer diagnosis.”

Michael and his family try to remind others that having a cancer diagnosis is not easy to go through no matter what age you are. The best advice is to stay informed and trust your instincts. Help is out there. You can't change what is in the past, but you can change the future. Continue everyday activities as much as possible, have an open mind and be positive.

“We talk on a daily basis and the conversation always ends with I love you,” said Carole. “Life truly is too short and one never knows what the next chapter writes.”
February 2015
Click Video to Play