The Cancer Center’s Story Project is an effort to capture stories from our community of patients, friends, family, clinicians, and staff who have been affected by cancer in some way. This is Linda and John's Story.
- John Grosslein was diagnosed with melanoma, and after immunotherapy and radiation treatments the tumors went away. But now, John is dealing with colitis, a possible side effect of immunotherapy. He has his wife Linda Grosslein by his side every step of the way.
- "It’s going to take something way more than this to take me down. We’re going to beat this thing."
Linda: “My husband says to me, ‘I had an interesting day.’, and he told me he went to the eye doctor and the eye doctor told him, ‘You have to go to Mass General, Mass Eye and Ear because you have a tumor in your eye.’ So he went down to Mass Eye and Ear, all day. He uses his humor to get through everything. He doesn’t even call me the whole day. He finally tells me and I find out he has melanoma inside.”
John: “I basically spent a month hospitalized at MGH for the first part of the summer, which was somewhat of a drag. But, I’m just trying to come out of the effects of the colitis. It’s been a long haul, probably harder on my wife than myself. As my wife mentioned, I try to use humor to get through situations, not that everyone around me happens to be laughing at the same time that I’m laughing. It’s always been my drug if you will, or my way of coping.”
“The other thing I would strongly suggest is going in with as positive of an attitude as you can. I don’t really know how I would’ve faced this without that. I’ve always been a healthy person, felt comfortable with myself and thought, it’s going to take something way more than this to take me down. We’re going to beat this thing.”
“Twenty years ago, when you heard of cancer you thought it was a death sentence. Nowadays, you’re walking upstairs, you could be sitting at a subway, a train station or whatever. All walks of life are there and a lot of people are going to be fine. It’s not something to be scared of. Embrace it. Find out what the next steps are. Make the best of what you can along the way. Hey, we could get hit by a meteor tonight, so enjoy your afternoons and live your life to the fullest.”
It’s going to take something way more than this to take me down. We’re going to beat this thing.
This interview took place in July 2016 and has been edited for clarity.