Less than a year after being diagnosed with a rare blood cancer called multiple myeloma, celebrated journalist Tom Brokaw is reporting that the disease is in remission.
"A year ago my future was more uncertain than I cared to acknowledge, but now I face the New Year with very encouraging news," Brokaw said in a statement released by NBC. "The cancer is in remission and I will shortly go on a drug maintenance regimen to keep it there."
Multiple myeloma is a cancer formed by malignant plasma cells in the blood. If left untreated, the cancerous plasma cells can grow out of control and impact the production of normal blood cells, causing bone pain, renal failure and higher rates of infection. Though the cancer is considered incurable, it can be managed with drugs and lifestyle changes.
Despite his health challenges, Brokaw said his battles are nothing compared to what others have faced. The 74-year-old, who last week was a presidential delegate at an event marking the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, was reminded "just how fortunate we all are" in light of what soldiers faced in the Ardennes region of France.
"Monty Meigs and I went into the forest surrounding Bastogne where remains of the original 101st Division fox holes still are visible," he shared. "They slept in heavy snow, water pooled at the bottom, eating cold rations."
Brokaw added that hearing firsthand the harrowing stories of veterans gave him yet another perspective on both life and his personal battles.
"I flew home reflecting again on how lucky we are that generation gave us the lives we have today— how my last year was a challenge but I was meeting it in world-class hospitals with brilliant physicians, not in a foxhole in the Ardennes," he said.
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