August 12, 2018 was the scariest day of my life. It was the day we found out my father, Roger Foschio, had metastatic cancer. The news ripped right through me, tore my soul into pieces. After the shock and anguish, we pulled closer to hope because there was still so much we didn’t know. Within the next couple of weeks, that hope started to fade, as we discovered it was stage four lung cancer- one of the deadliest forms of cancer.
With a terrifying diagnosis and an even more heartbreaking prognosis, we tried to prepare ourselves. Doing research, going to doctors’ visits, asking a million questions, pondering all the what ifs, crying countless tears, fear, dread, depression. Memories, laughing, laugh crying, swearing (a lot), hugging, planning.
Eventually we had more answers, and some of our hope was restored when Dr. Dy at Roswell Park’s Thoracic Clinic gave us the news that my dad would be eligible for immunotherapy, which carried a better prognosis. After five rounds of chemo and starting the immunotherapy treatments, my dad’s cancer shrunk. It shrunk when they hoped it would just stay stable. We have Roswell Park and the doctors and nurses by my dad’s side to thank for that. I know he would not have received this type of treatment this fast anywhere else in New York.
My dad will be on immunotherapy for the rest of his life, but there is hope in that. Hope that the cancer will keep shrinking, that he will feel like himself again without chemo holding him back, that he will see his second granddaughter when she is born in July, and that he will be able to watch them both grow. Hope that he can keep buying way too much food when he grocery shops, that he can continue to back seat drive, and that I can talk for hours with him while my mom tells us we are being too loud.
I am riding for Rog again this year, but the reason is different. I ride in his honor to continue to keep his hopes high, and with the intention that with the money I raise, Roswell Park can continue to give hope to patients and find a cure for cancer.
Let’s see what we can do for Roswell Park in Roger’s name!