MIKE LYNBERG: In Reflection of a Man Who’s Family Was Everything
WunderGlo Legacy Warriors
Mike Lynberg passed away on May 18, 2015 at his home in Flowery Branch, GA. Mike will be greatly missed by his family and friends, but most of all by his fellow Wunder’s Warriors and the entire WunderGlo family.
We are born into our biological families, and then as our lives take shape, and if we are lucky enough, we are blessed with amazing people who become a “new” family that we get to love. Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Mike and his wife Nancy have two wonderful sons who have families of their own in Tennessee and Kansas, as well as three fabulous grandchildren that they adore and love spoiling. Mike and Nancy were married for 39 years. To the Lynberg’s, family is everything. Cancer first entered into their lives in 2010.
Mike’s dad had stage I colon cancer that was removed during a colonoscopy. Although Mike went to the doctor at the age of 50 and shared his family history, he was told that only a sigmoidoscopy was needed, which was clear. Mike carried through the rest of his 50’s under the assumption that all was well. In April 2010, Mike came home from a business trip with diarrhea and rectal bleeding that lasted 4-days. Since a co-worker, who had traveled with him, was also ill, they thought it may be food poisoning. In June 2010, Mike and Nancy took a motorcycle trip to the San Francisco area for Nancy’s 35th high school reunion. Albeit hot, the trip was pleasant. They headed home via the Sierras and all was fine until they started to gain altitude. Mike then experienced sporadic nausea and vomiting that went away once they arrived home.
A definite pattern was forming with the nausea and vomiting, then about every 7-days he would experience extreme abdominal pain and cramping. CT scans followed by a colonoscopy revealed a large tumor in the right colon. Surgery to remove the tumor revealed that Mike had Stage IV colon cancer with peritoneal implants.
After many opinions, it was decided that a course of action would be 3-months of chemo, followed by Cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC, with another 6 months of chemo. The HIPCEC surgery was successful and after the 6 months of chemo was completed, they returned to their GI doctor for a follow up colonoscopy. As the doctor was backing out he noticed a “dimple” in the colon and obtained a biopsy. The biopsy showed cancer pushing in from the peritoneum into the colon and another 6-month chemo regimen began. At the completion of that protocol, they took a 4-week break and visited Nancy’s beloved home-state, California. Mike was not feeling well. Upon returning to Georgia, it was discovered that Mike was suffering from what was thought to be a second primary tumor blocking his colon. Another Cytoreductive surgery was performed, which resulted in a permanent colostomy.
“Throughout the almost 5-year battle, Mike has responded well to chemo. We are now facing a very serious reoccurrence. Many peritoneal implants were undetected by C T /Pet scans that was recently picked up by MRI imaging. We are trying a new chemotherapy agent in hopes that it will beat back the active disease. We were told that another surgery is no longer an option. Despite all of this, I remain hopeful and appreciate each day that we are together. Even on the bad days where I feel like we take 3 – steps forward and 1- step back, I’m extremely grateful for the 3 – steps. Baby steps, day by day, are just fine with me.”- Nancy Lynberg.
Nancy first became involved in advocacy 5-years ago when Mike was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer, and they were thrust into a world that was unknown to them and their family. She tirelessly and diligently navigated their new situation so that Mike would receive the best care available to him. Nancy is both a Wunder’s Warrior and a board member of The Gloria Borges WunderGlo Foundation. The Lynberg’s dedication can move mountains. Nancy truly believes that we can find a cure and, in her own words, “We will kick cancer’s butt.”
When you find those special people who say what they mean, do what they promise, speak from their hearts, and love you even on your bad days, you grab hold of them tightly and never let go.
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