Pat Shannon could have given up after the first recurrence. Or the second. Or after every new test that showed the adenoid cystic carcinoma was spreading. He'd known that this might be his new normal since 2007, when Mayo Clinic otolaryngologist Kerry Olsen, M.D., diagnosed him with the disease.
Pat's 12-year battle has included four major surgeries and 40 rounds of radiation meant to slow a cancer for which there's no known cure. But, he's never given up. In fact, he's done the opposite, by making his cancer diagnosis about living rather than dying. "I have a sign on the back of my motorcycle that says, 'I'll probably die from cancer, but it ain't going to kill me,'" Pat tells us.
This story originally appeared on the In the Loop blog.