From acclaimed actor Jeff Bridges tweeting about a new lymphoma diagnosis to controversial conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh announcing that his stage 4 lung cancer has progressed, here’s what’s happening in the cancer landscape this week.
“As the Dude would say...New S**T has come to light,” actor Jeff Bridges tweeted Monday night, evoking his famous role from the film “The Big Lebowski.”
“I have been diagnosed with lymphoma,” he wrote. “Although it is a serious disease, I feel fortunate that I have a great team of doctors and the prognosis is good.”
The actor has not disclosed further details of his cancer diagnosis, nor discussed what kind of treatment he is beginning. Bridges is currently in production for the new drama series “The Old Man,” in which he stars. After his announcement, FX Productions issued a statement of support for its leading man.
Recent scans indicated Rush Limbaugh’s stage 4 lung cancer had progressed in “the wrong direction,” the controversial conservative radio host revealed Oct. 19 during his nationally syndicated show that has remained on their air throughout his treatment.
Limbaugh announced in February that he had received a diagnosis of lung cancer. After that, the 69-year-old shared news of the cancer’s reduction to a manageable level.
"It's tough to realize that the days where I do not think I'm under a death sentence are over," Limbaugh said after announcing his disease had worsened. "Now, we all are, is the point. We all know that we're going to die at some point, but when you have a terminal disease diagnosis that has a time frame to it, then that puts a different psychological and even physical awareness to it."
Amanda Tasca wasn’t expecting it, but when her pet pug, Daisy, jumped onto her chest, she experienced pain and found a lump roughly the size of a grape. Shortly afterward, her sister, Amy Niosi, found a lump the size of a clementine while watching TV. After comparing notes, the two went to their physicians and received diagnoses of breast cancer.
Both Niosi and Tasca, who are in their 30s, underwent double mastectomies, and Niosi, whose stage 3 disease had spread to her lymph nodes, also needed chemotherapy and radiation.
“One hundred percent, I know it was her, and throughout my entire recovery, she’s never left my side,” Tasca said, giving credit to Daisy for finding the cancer quickly and prompting the women to get checked.
“This is definitely a first for me,” said Dr. Deena Mary Atieh Graham, who is treating the sisters and says they have a good prognosis. “Generally, we recommend screening mammograms, but whatever way we can discover things as quickly as we can.”
Three-year-old Sonya Snell is being treated for acute lymphocytic leukemia and has been unable to play in public playgrounds because of her compromised immune system. That’s why volunteers from the ROC Solid Foundation and Dominion Energy in Reston, Virginia, built Sonya and her sister, Emy, a brand-new playset in their back yard. In an interview, Emy expressed her excitement about playing their favorite game, pirates and wizards, and about Sonya having a chance to share her excitement over something, as the girl’s cancer journey has included many upsetting challenges.
"In this area, there are a lot of great playgrounds, and we always name them something fun, so we're happy we can call it ‘Sonya's playground’ and she can play whenever she wants,” said Sonya’s father, Josh. Volunteers wrote messages of hope to Sonya in permanent marker on the playset so that it will always be hers.
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