3-time Cancer Survivor’s Letter to Pearl Jam

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Comments

  • PJWGIIIPJWGIII Chicago, ILPosts: 640
    Thank you so much for sharing this. Too many people don't understand the fact that THIS is why Pearl Jam is simply the most awesome band in the world.
    "Red Rover, Red Rover, Mike McCready-Take Over!!" - E.V.

    Chicago 2 (Wrigley Field) 8/20/2018
    http://www.livefootsteps.org/user/?usr=4631

    RIP: Andy, Kurt, Chris
                                       * * * * * * * * *
  • PP49889PP49889 Posts: 100
    PJWGIII said:
    Thank you so much for sharing this. Too many people don't understand the fact that THIS is why Pearl Jam is simply the most awesome band in the world.
    Thanks for the kind words!
  • lbpeltzlbpeltz Posts: 92
    Jesus. Sometimes life just don’t leave you alone. Best of luck my friend. Keep fighting the good fight. 
  • PP49889PP49889 Posts: 100
    lbpeltz said:
    Jesus. Sometimes life just don’t leave you alone. Best of luck my friend. Keep fighting the good fight. 
    But what a beautiful life it is.   Thanks for the kind words!
  • PP49889PP49889 Posts: 100
    PJWGIII said:
    Thank you so much for sharing this. Too many people don't understand the fact that THIS is why Pearl Jam is simply the most awesome band in the world.
    It truly is
  • PP49889PP49889 Posts: 100
    Rocking my Inside Job shirt today.  How you choose to feel is how you are.  And I feel fucking awesome.  


  • PP49889PP49889 Posts: 100
    PP49889 said:
    ocb84 said:
    Part of the story my brother Peter isn't telling you is that he also had some issues going on the night of the Saint Paul concert....we had been drawn for Pit tickets through the Fan Club and he had just gotten his central line put in for Chemotherapy...he also had no platelets so had trouble clotting blood.  We gave up the GA Tix to sit in the stands since there was a risk of him getting bumped into during the show and tearing at his newly installed line.  We both sat through the show in between bouts of pure joy and pure sadness, all the while Peter would run up to the bathroom to change the dressing sitting on his chest having soaked through with blood (matching his bright Red Winnipeg PJ shirt)  The talk by Ed and Dr Tolar with Peter sitting next to me was one of those life changing and altering moments in my life.

    Peter truly has been an amazing inspiration to everyone and I am so proud of his strength, determination and the willingness to show how to live while conquering an unfair bolt from the blue.  I love you Peter and can't wait to Keep on Rockin at Wrigley!



  • PP49889PP49889 Posts: 100
    One month until we are recovering from Night One at Wrigley!!
  • PP49889PP49889 Posts: 100
    Matts3221 said:
    Your post moved me to tears , having friends and family succumb to this awful disease called cancer. I think music has an amazing power to move people , so glad that PJ helped you get through some of these times.  Someone on this board should have some weight they can pull, get this man some side stage access to watch the shows he is attending.
    Thanks, Brother!
  • PP49889PP49889 Posts: 100
    Four years ago, I was finishing 27 continuous hours of chemotherapy.  It’s a great day to alive.  Keep on rocking in the free world!
  • jacquelyncajacquelynca San FranciscoPosts: 98
    This is beautiful, you are beautiful and inspiring.  Lots of love your way. 
    IG and twitter - @jacquelynincali

    "Watch out for music. It should come with a health warning. It can be dangerous. It can make you feel so alive, so connected to the people around you, and connected to what you really are inside. And it can make you think that the world should, and could, be a much better place. And just occasionally, it can make you very, very happy." -Peter Gabriel
  • PP49889PP49889 Posts: 100
    This is beautiful, you are beautiful and inspiring.  Lots of love your way. 
    Thank you for the kind words.  It’s been a long road.  
  • PP49889PP49889 Posts: 100
    Have fun tomorrow night Seattle!  Can’t wait for Wrigley!
  • PP49889PP49889 Posts: 100
    My brother got sent to Seattle for work today.   Fan Club ticket from the message board later and he’ll be at both Seattle and Wrigley!   So cool.  
  • PP49889PP49889 Posts: 100
    PP49889 said:
    Dear Pearl Jam,

    My name is Peter Pearson and I am a 3-time cancer survivor.   I was listening to Amongst the Waves yesterday.  I was struck with the lyric, “I gotta say it now, better loud than too late.”  That lyric sparked this note because I’ve made a promise to myself to say and write the things I want to say.   I’ve learned tomorrow isn’t promised.  What follows is how Pearl Jam provided positive light during the darkest times of my life.   

    I was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in August 2013.  Within two months, the tumors responded and I was declared cancer-free.  I finished the remaining treatments and continued to be in remission.   3 months later, I found a new lump in my neck and I was told that I would have to fight Hodgkin’s for a second time.   

    This was August 2014.  I had already purchased tickets to the Pearl Jam show for October in St. Paul.   The likelihood of being able to attend the show was very low, since the new treatment plan included a stem-cell transplant which was supposed to happen in October.  Due to some complications, my stem-cell transplant was delayed.  That delay allowed me to attend the show.  Prior to the show, the band toured the University of Minnesota’s hospital.    During the concert, they brought out the lead bone marrow (stem-cell) transplant doctor at Children's Hospital in Minnesota. His name was Dr Jakub Tolar. Dr Tolar said the following, "When you listen to his music, his lyrics, you know that it goes to your brain, your heart and your marrow. I am a bone marrow transplant physician and what I do for a living has lots to do with what he does for a living. What we both do is give people hope." As I wiped away tears, I had a new mantra for my stem-cell transplant. Hope.

    Fast forward to 2016.  I had just finished a year of maintenance chemo following my stem-cell transplant, I was cancer-free.  I bought tickets to the Pearl Jam shows at Wrigley for August 2016.   Two weeks before the concert, I felt a new lump in my neck.   I asked my doctors to delay biopsies and scans until after the concerts.  They agreed.   However, I needed to be back in Minneapolis the Tuesday morning following the concert for the first of many meetings with my doctors.  During the first night, Steve Gleason came out to introduce Inside Job.  He brought tears to my eyes as he said, “Everyone who has a heartbeat will face adversity, but when you experience those moments, like the message in this song, how we choose to feel is how we are. And I feel fucking awesome.”   So, after an epic weekend attending both shows, I went straight from the concert to the airport to catch a red—eye back to Minnesota and drove straight from the airport to my first of many appointments confirming a third recurrence.  Thanks to Mr. Gleason and Pearl Jam, I was heading into the new fight the mantra, “How I choose to feel, Is how I am.”

    With a combination of radiation and chemotherapy, I achieved remission for a third time.   On the way to my final chemo appointment, I was listening to the bootlegs from Wrigley.   Pulling into the  parking lot, Surrender was just finishing with the “We’re all alright” refrain and the opening chords of Alive started. Covered in goosebumps, I walked in to the clinic with the message that reassured me that I was indeed alright and still Alive.  

    5 months later, I’m back to where I was 2 years ago, I just got drawn for tickets to Wrigley.   Cancer-free, finished with treatment and looking forward to spending a weekend in Chicago with my brother and nephew, and my best friend for what will be another epic weekend following our favorite band.

    Over the past 5 years, I’ve written a blog to chronicle my trials and tribulations through my cancer treatments.  And each time I’ve completed a course of treatments, I’ve ended my posts the same way:

    My brother posted lyrics to one of my favorite songs in my guest book. 

     

    Here they are: 

     

    And the wind keeps rollin 

    And the sky keeps turning grey 

    And the sun is setting 

    The sun will rise another day 

    I have wished for so long... How I wish for you today 

    Will I walk the long road? 

    We all walk the long road 


    I definitely walked the long road, but at no time was I walking alone. God blessed me with each of you in my life.  81,500 times during the past four years my caringbridge site has been visited. 81,500 times you have joined me as I walked the long road. All through this incredibly humbling process, I have struggled with the words to adequately express how much your support means to me and my family. Early on, I settled on Thank You, with the understanding that those two small words carry a tremendous amount of gratitude and love. So, I say again, Thank you. The sun is setting on this very, very, very long and surreal day. The sun will rise another day. A day that I am cancer-free, finished with treatment, and thankful for the blessings that have been bestowed on me. I leave you today with this promise; when you are walking your long road, you will not be walking alone. 

    Since I probably never will have a chance to tell the band in person, I will settle for saying it here.  Thank you, Pearl Jam.  You have been the soundtrack of my long road.  You provided me with hope and light in a really dark time and the attitude to carry on when the road got long.  Keep on rockin’ in the free world!

    With deep respect,

    Peter Pearson

     


    A week from today, we will be rocking in the free world!
  • PP49889PP49889 Posts: 100
    PP49889 said:
    Dear Pearl Jam,

    My name is Peter Pearson and I am a 3-time cancer survivor.   I was listening to Amongst the Waves yesterday.  I was struck with the lyric, “I gotta say it now, better loud than too late.”  That lyric sparked this note because I’ve made a promise to myself to say and write the things I want to say.   I’ve learned tomorrow isn’t promised.  What follows is how Pearl Jam provided positive light during the darkest times of my life.   

    I was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in August 2013.  Within two months, the tumors responded and I was declared cancer-free.  I finished the remaining treatments and continued to be in remission.   3 months later, I found a new lump in my neck and I was told that I would have to fight Hodgkin’s for a second time.   

    This was August 2014.  I had already purchased tickets to the Pearl Jam show for October in St. Paul.   The likelihood of being able to attend the show was very low, since the new treatment plan included a stem-cell transplant which was supposed to happen in October.  Due to some complications, my stem-cell transplant was delayed.  That delay allowed me to attend the show.  Prior to the show, the band toured the University of Minnesota’s hospital.    During the concert, they brought out the lead bone marrow (stem-cell) transplant doctor at Children's Hospital in Minnesota. His name was Dr Jakub Tolar. Dr Tolar said the following, "When you listen to his music, his lyrics, you know that it goes to your brain, your heart and your marrow. I am a bone marrow transplant physician and what I do for a living has lots to do with what he does for a living. What we both do is give people hope." As I wiped away tears, I had a new mantra for my stem-cell transplant. Hope.

    Fast forward to 2016.  I had just finished a year of maintenance chemo following my stem-cell transplant, I was cancer-free.  I bought tickets to the Pearl Jam shows at Wrigley for August 2016.   Two weeks before the concert, I felt a new lump in my neck.   I asked my doctors to delay biopsies and scans until after the concerts.  They agreed.   However, I needed to be back in Minneapolis the Tuesday morning following the concert for the first of many meetings with my doctors.  During the first night, Steve Gleason came out to introduce Inside Job.  He brought tears to my eyes as he said, “Everyone who has a heartbeat will face adversity, but when you experience those moments, like the message in this song, how we choose to feel is how we are. And I feel fucking awesome.”   So, after an epic weekend attending both shows, I went straight from the concert to the airport to catch a red—eye back to Minnesota and drove straight from the airport to my first of many appointments confirming a third recurrence.  Thanks to Mr. Gleason and Pearl Jam, I was heading into the new fight the mantra, “How I choose to feel, Is how I am.”

    With a combination of radiation and chemotherapy, I achieved remission for a third time.   On the way to my final chemo appointment, I was listening to the bootlegs from Wrigley.   Pulling into the  parking lot, Surrender was just finishing with the “We’re all alright” refrain and the opening chords of Alive started. Covered in goosebumps, I walked in to the clinic with the message that reassured me that I was indeed alright and still Alive.  

    5 months later, I’m back to where I was 2 years ago, I just got drawn for tickets to Wrigley.   Cancer-free, finished with treatment and looking forward to spending a weekend in Chicago with my brother and nephew, and my best friend for what will be another epic weekend following our favorite band.

    Over the past 5 years, I’ve written a blog to chronicle my trials and tribulations through my cancer treatments.  And each time I’ve completed a course of treatments, I’ve ended my posts the same way:

    My brother posted lyrics to one of my favorite songs in my guest book. 

     

    Here they are: 

     

    And the wind keeps rollin 

    And the sky keeps turning grey 

    And the sun is setting 

    The sun will rise another day 

    I have wished for so long... How I wish for you today 

    Will I walk the long road? 

    We all walk the long road 


    I definitely walked the long road, but at no time was I walking alone. God blessed me with each of you in my life.  81,500 times during the past four years my caringbridge site has been visited. 81,500 times you have joined me as I walked the long road. All through this incredibly humbling process, I have struggled with the words to adequately express how much your support means to me and my family. Early on, I settled on Thank You, with the understanding that those two small words carry a tremendous amount of gratitude and love. So, I say again, Thank you. The sun is setting on this very, very, very long and surreal day. The sun will rise another day. A day that I am cancer-free, finished with treatment, and thankful for the blessings that have been bestowed on me. I leave you today with this promise; when you are walking your long road, you will not be walking alone. 

    Since I probably never will have a chance to tell the band in person, I will settle for saying it here.  Thank you, Pearl Jam.  You have been the soundtrack of my long road.  You provided me with hope and light in a really dark time and the attitude to carry on when the road got long.  Keep on rockin’ in the free world!

    With deep respect,

    Peter Pearson

     


    Two years ago today, I found out I had cancer for the third time.  Can’t wait for Wrigley!
  • PP49889PP49889 Posts: 100
    Wrigley or Bust.   Leaving Minneapolis, can’t wait!
  • Sirens4Sirens4 Posts: 270
    Very very inspirational!! Awesome strength brother!!! Have an amazing weekend!!!! 
    Springfield 94 hartford 96,98,06,08 xl center 2010,2013 boston 06,2010 mansfield ma 1998,2000,2003,2008
  • 1upstate1upstate Posts: 98
    Peter, as mentioned earlier, thanks for the inspiration.  You can see my thread on ”the porch” as how things have been. God bless 
    "I know I was born and I know that I'll die. The in between is mine"
  • PP49889PP49889 Posts: 100
    Sirens4 said:
    Very very inspirational!! Awesome strength brother!!! Have an amazing weekend!!!! 
    Thank you for the kind words!   Can’t wait!
  • PP49889PP49889 Posts: 100
    1upstate said:
    Peter, as mentioned earlier, thanks for the inspiration.  You can see my thread on ”the porch” as how things have been. God bless 
    Enjoy the concert, brother!
  • PP49889PP49889 Posts: 100

    Lets Go!
  • BF89905BF89905 Posts: 992
    Enjoy the concert(s) and safe travels to you and your friends.
  • 1upstate1upstate Posts: 98
    PP49889 said:
    1upstate said:
    Peter, as mentioned earlier, thanks for the inspiration.  You can see my thread on ”the porch” as how things have been. God bless 
    Enjoy the concert, brother!
    Such a great time.  GA on Monday.  Keep up the fight brother 
    "I know I was born and I know that I'll die. The in between is mine"
  • PP49889PP49889 Posts: 100
    1upstate said:
    PP49889 said:
    1upstate said:
    Peter, as mentioned earlier, thanks for the inspiration.  You can see my thread on ”the porch” as how things have been. God bless 
    Enjoy the concert, brother!
    Such a great time.  GA on Monday.  Keep up the fight brother 
    Awesome!  Rest up!   Should be a great night.  
  • PP49889PP49889 Posts: 100
    BF89905 said:
    Enjoy the concert(s) and safe travels to you and your friends.
    Thanks man!   Having an awesome time!
  • PP49889PP49889 Posts: 100
    edited August 20
    On this day 5 years ago, I found out that I had cancer.  No matter what happens tomorrow, it’s a great day to be alive.  
    Post edited by PP49889 on
  • 23scidoo23scidoo Thessaloniki,GreecePosts: 11,475
    PP49889 said:
    On this day 5 years ago, I found out that I had cancer.  No matter what happens tomorrow, it’s a great day to be alive.  
    Yes it is buddy..enjoy the show..
    Athens 2006. Dusseldorf 2007. Berlin 2009. Venice 2010. Amsterdam 1 2012. Amsterdam 1+2 2014. Buenos Aires 2015.
    Prague Krakow Berlin 2018.
    EV, Taormina 1+2 2017.
  • 1upstate1upstate Posts: 98
    PP49889 said:
    On this day 5 years ago, I found out that I had cancer.  No matter what happens tomorrow, it’s a great day to be alive.  
    On this day , 1 year ago, I had no idea what sort of monster was growing in my body. 

    Every day, is a good day.  
    "I know I was born and I know that I'll die. The in between is mine"
  • PP49889PP49889 Posts: 100
    Driving back to Minneapolis after an epic time in Chicago.  Until next time, Jamily!
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