The Story of How I Found Out I Had Cancer

I’m sure many of you have questions about all of this, so for the sake of spreading information quickly I decided to just write this out and make it easy (also, I’ll continue to post here throughout my treatment with updates on how things are going).

On Monday, July 6th, I decided to squeeze in a routine, last-minute physical at the doctor. It had probably been since college that I had went in to see a physician for a checkup, and I probably wouldn’t have gone in in the first place if it weren’t for my mom, sister, and girlfriend insisting I go before leaving the country.

In two days, I was set to go on a trip of a lifetime – a three week long trek to the Austrian Alps, Ireland, and Canada to help film a music documentary that I had been working really hard on with a small team. How this came about is a whole other story in itself, but it was a passion project that had been consuming most of my free time and weekends for months.

At this same time, I was halfway through moving everything I owned out of my house in Seattle and into a storage unit. By chance, my landlord was planning to sell the home I was renting and my last day of rent landed on the same day I left for Europe (yay for no rent during my trip!).

My girlfriend Larissa and I spent the rest of that Monday after my doc appointment packing up clothes, kitchen wares, and all the other junk I’ve acquired over the years. We got an early start on Tuesday morning and while packing up the car to make a run to the storage unit, I had a couple missed calls and a voicemail saying that I needed to come in immediately to talk about my blood results.

At this point, I was concerned but not panicked. I was more preoccupied trying to figure out how in the hell I was going to make a trip all the way back to Federal Way from North Seattle to talk with the doctor, get back to Seattle to get everything in my house moved out, and get packed and prepped for my trip in time for my departure the following morning. Larissa wanted to come back with me, but told her it was no big deal and that I would be back in a bit (she had to work anyway) and I left for the doctor.

I’m not going to go into detail about the moments after the doctor told me the results of my blood test. I don’t know if I can remember them accurately anyway. I called my parents, my sister, and Larissa to tell them the news. I started crying when I heard them cry.

What I have is called Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia or ALL for short. Essentially (from my understanding), my bone marrow is making too many under developed white blood cells and inhibiting the production of the good white cells,  red cells, and platelets that keep me healthy.

In hindsight, I’ve had symptoms for months but have always just attributed them to some other possible cause. When I got headaches, I would drink coffee. I would get really chills after working out, but figured I was just out of shape. I would get really fatigued, but attributed it to working all day at my job then coming home and working at night on the documentary project. I had a discomfort in my stomach below my lung when I would yawn, but thought it was a result of a strain from a softball swing. I had a cough that lasted a full month, but it came on the heels of two very long bachelor party weekends in a row – knowing my friends, it would be hard not to feel rough after that 🙂

It wasn’t until I started noticing some serious bruising that my mom, sister, and girlfriend suggested I go in to get a check up. The rest is history.

What’s uncommon about my diagnosis is that ALL isn’t really typical in someone my age. It’s more common in young kids where it’s very curable, and then in older adults where it’s not so much. I’m sitting right in the middle, so one challenges has been deciding how to treat it in me – using a pediatric protocol or adult protocol. Kids are tough and can handle more chemo and steroids than most adults. It’s a more intense regimen, but decided to go with the pediatric protocol with Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. I’ve got a great doctor and team around me that deal with this disease specifically often, so I’m in good hands.

More importantly, I have one of the best support systems anyone could ask for in my friends, family and loved ones. Thank you all for the amazing calls, texts, FB messages, funny Snapchats, and everything else – it really means a lot.

Thanks for checking in – more news as it comes,


27 thoughts on “The Story of How I Found Out I Had Cancer”

  1. Thanks for sharing Brock– so good for everyone here to be able to follow along and watch you beat this.
    We’re all thinking of you and sending positive thoughts.


  2. Fight on Brock – The whole sales team at Porch is in your corner. Thoughts, prayers, and big hugs are being sent your way!


  3. My brother Bob, Jill’s husband, told me about you this morning and asked me to put you on our church’s prayer chain. Which I will do shortly. In the meantime, I lift you
    up to our Father in Heaven praying that the path you and SCCA are on works for you.
    Cancer is an ugly disease but a positive attitude and faith sure help you beat it. May
    God bless you as you battle this ALL. God’s peace and comfort to you. Hugs, Pat A

  4. Thanks for taking the time to update us Brock! Keep up the good attitude and keep fighting! I’ll be home in November for Thanksgiving and plan on seeing you then!

  5. Brock, it has been a long time but my family and I are praying for you and your family. Keep fighting the good fight, never give up, never back down.

  6. Hi Brock! Great post! As you said, you have an awesome support system and you will rock this like you have rocked everything else in life! You are such an amazing young man (and I am not talking about the 4 home runs AND a double in one game that Maury is still telling EVERYONE about) This is just another bump in the road (maybe a bit of a mountain at times) that you will jog right on through!! We love you! Take care! Lori and Maury

  7. Hey Brock —
    I had not heard this news!
    Please know that YOU are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Let me know if there is anything your LUTE family can do for you.

  8. Brock,
    Thanks for sharing your story. You don’t know my family but I went to PLU with your parents. They were the bravest couple of all of us to get married first and have you before any of us…so everyone knows and remembers you! Stay brave and know that we are pulling for you. Your partners in prayer, Steve, Diane (Dohner, PLU), Max, Isaac and Elle Everett.

  9. Brock – you are clearly strong in mind, body and spirit; all of which is so important for this journey you are now on. Please know the Daugherty family is lifting you up in prayer. I will also put you on the prayer chain at our church – you can rest assured those mighty Lutherans will have your back! Hugs to you from Todd, Kaaren, Drew and Claire

  10. Hi Brock. My family is praying for you…thought you should know that. We are good friends of Steve and Caryn Welch who told us about what an amazing young man you are and shared your story with us and this blog. We believe in the power of prayer and thought you should know that people who have never met you are praying for healing, for the best treatment and for peace in the faith that God is in charge and has a plan for you! – Bart & Kristin Foley

  11. Brock – Our family is praying as well as the whole EMAL Nation. We are praying for strength and the Lord’s peace for your whole family. And that the Lord gives your doctors wisdom for a full and complete recovery. You are an amazing young man. You will have many people lifting you up during this time. – Scott and Susan Westering

  12. Hi Brock,
    You don’t know us but we went to PLU with your parents. We also saw you graduate from PLU because our niece graduated the same year!!! You were very recognizable with that Gates smile! You are in our prayers as you travel on this journey. -Jamin, Karen(Shaw), Mikayla and Peyton Borg

  13. Stay strong man and keep fighting. You can beat this!

    Love from the Castellani’s and the guitar community in the UK.

  14. Brock, our Thoughts and Prayers go out to you and your family. The baseball community is a tight knit supportive group and even though you may not know me I’ve known of you from your time with the Buzz, the UW, Edmonds CC and PLU. I’ve heard fantastic things about your character, commitment and work ethic. I know these character traits will help you battle through and beat this disease. God Bless, The Ecklund Family- Cully, Tracy, Bryndon and Michaela

  15. We are all here. Praying. Thinking all the most powerful thoughts we have for you and your family. Love and Hugs Doug, Kari, Matt and Kyle.

  16. Prayers have been showered on you from the Hendrickson’s, cuz! I wouldn’t want to step in the ring with you. Your a bad ass!! It’s kind of like Superbowl XLVIII… Brock = Seattle, Leukemia = Broncos. A dominating victory!!

  17. Thinking about you Brock. Stay strong and know that you have many people supporting you. Jeanette (Mason) Kearney – former neighbor

  18. Thanks for sharing this part of your story Brock. Always impressed with PLU Lutes and how strong you all become. So here is an Attaway for you along with our prayers.

  19. Hey Brock. How are you feeling? I regret that I haven’t been reading these blogs recently. I’m glad to see you’re still alive and fighting. I’d like, if you’re up for it, to eventually meet you in person. Your father told me about your fight against Leukemia, and so I’ve been praying for your recovery. 🙂

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