Awareness • Early Detection • Treatment • Research • Survivorship

Micheal Barkins is Changing the Face of Lung Cancer

In August of 2012 I went to the doctor for a routine checkup. While the doctor was listening to my heart and lungs he told me to take in a deep breath which I did and I cough, he asked me how long have I been coughing, I said I do not have a cough, he ask me when was the last time I had a chest x-ray I said a few years ago, He said let’s do a chest x-ray. So we did and when the x-ray came back the whole left lobe of my lung was shades white, he asked me if I ever had pneumonia I said yes when I was a baby he then said it looks like you have pneumonia or a lung infection he prescribed me some antibiotics and referred me to a lung specialist.

I had to wait 4 days to see the pulmonary doctor. When I did see the doctor I asked him if it was cancer he told me it did not look like a typical cancer x-ray but he wanted to run some test so I was to come back on that Wednesday to get some lymph nodes biopsy. Well I didn’t make it till Wednesday… That Monday morning my wife rushed me to the ER. I had shortness of breath I could hardly breathe. I was admitted in the hospital I was told that I had fluid around my heart and that is why I was having problems breathing, they had to perform a procedure to drain the fluid that had accumulated in the pericardia sac of my heart. So that was done I was in the hospital for a week and a half having all kinds of test done and every test was coming back negative for cancer, even though I had symptoms that appeared to lead to cancer, finally my doctor said let’s do a lung biopsy.

Three days later the doctor came into my room and set down beside me and told me and my wife that I have stage 4 Lung Cancer and my prognosis was 6 months and I could try Chemotherapy to try to prolong my life that since I was in good shape that I might response well to the Chemo.

I was numb and my family was devastated. He told me he will recommend me to an Oncologist. I asked if I could go home he said yes, The Oncologist came in and reconfirmed with me what the doctor had told me. We discussed the time for the chemotherapy treatments to start.

I went home and a week later I was back in the hospital with the fluid around my heart again. This time I had heart surgery the surgeon cut a window in the pericardium sac off my heart so the fluid could flow out I was told after this it would not return. I had a PET scan done and the results were really bad. The cancer had metastasized to my bones, pericardium sac of my heart, my skull, the thyroid gland, and the lymphatic system. The prognosis changed from 6 months to 3-5 months without chemotherapy and maybe longer with chemotherapy.

So we decided to do chemotherapy. I was scheduled for 6 rounds of chemotherapy 5 hours a day once every 3 weeks. After the third round of chemotherapy I had to get a PET scan done to see if the treatment was working or if the cancer had progressed.

Praise be to GOD the most high, we had to wait 3 weeks to get the results of the scan. On the day when we went to get the results the doctor came in to the room and said “Michael, Michael, Michael I—we have never seen anything like this. You had stage 4 lung cancer, but we can’t find cancer anywhere in your body, we checked the scan twice to make sure we were reading it right!”

Hallelujah, praise God. We know that prayer and faith in GOD and the strength of my family is what healed me. On January 11, 2013 a week after my last round of chemotherapy I had another scan and I am by the grace of GOD still cancer free. We thank GOD everyday for performing a miraculous healing and showing favor to our family and we stand on faith that when GOD put his hands on it, it is resolved.