Suffering Hour drummer Jason Oberuc has sadly been diagnosed with Stage III Classical Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a type of cancer. Suffering Hour has since launched a GoFundMe to help with Oberuc's medical bills, which you can donate to here.
The following is a description written on the GoFundMe. We wish Jason all the best with his health, and looking forward to seeing him out there shredding it up with Suffering Hour once again in the future.
"Stage III Classical Hodgkin's Lymphoma. That's what Jason heard from the oncologist a few days ago. Where did this come from? How long has it been there? So many questions, that really can't be answered with any certainty.
"In April, Jason traveled with his band to Portugal to perform in a festival. While he had been feeling a little run down prior to the trip, this could all be explained away. He was doing some intensive exercise, working full time, and enjoying disc golfing as much as possible. Basically living a very full life with his wife, Alyssa, and their lovable fur babies.
"After returning from overseas, Jason felt even more tired and ill with what he thought was a virus. At the same time, I came back from a trip and also had a bad cold. Then his brother also felt sick. We all live together, so we thought from the exposure to many people during travel, we'd brought something home with us. Jason was the first one to start feeling a little bit better and as soon as he did, he hit the gym and hit it hard. He was doing a multi-week rigorous lifting routine. Jason was also focused on his sales goals for his job. He was also still getting out for rounds of disc golf. Then, he started to feel worse.
"Jason went to the doctor thinking he had the beginnings of pneumonia and just needed some antibiotics to kick this thing out. He was experiencing night sweats – drenching his pajamas and sheets. An exhausting fatigue was also plaguing him. We would later learn that these are referred to as 'B' symptoms. Doc said the lungs sounded clear. Jason also mentioned that he could feel something in his chest for the past couple of months. Doc decided to go ahead and order a chest x-ray. We are so thankful that he did. The x-ray showed a soft tissue mass near his trachea. Doc immediately ordered a CT scan. Results came back quickly that Lymphoma was suspected. Then everything seemed to move so quickly yet achingly slowly at the same time. A needle biopsy was performed and confirmed Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Jason said, 'The good Hodgkin's' quoting Larry David from Curb Your Enthusiasm. Jason's sense of humor is as strong as ever.
"Before Jason would see the oncologist, the cancer needed to be staged and that required a PET scan. I went with him to Methodist hospital for the scan. He had the results in MyChart before we even made it home. PET scan confirmed the Lymphoma was not localized and was present both above and below his diaphragm. There is also a suspicious bone marrow spot noted in his right femur. A couple of days later we were meeting an Oncologist and Stage III was the diagnosis. The treatment – a cocktail of 4 chemo drugs, followed by targeted radiation. Then, if necessary, an autologous bone marrow transplant. This would not require a donor – they will able to use Jason's own stem cells.
"Now the focus is on prepping for chemotherapy. That means testing for baseline heart and lung function. The chemo drugs carry a risk of toxicity to the heart and lungs, so side effects will be monitored very closely. Another procedure required before the first chemo treatment is the placement of a port. A port-a-cath is used to give intravenous fluids, blood transfusions, chemotherapy, and other drugs. It is also used for taking blood samples. A port-a-cath may stay in place for a long time and helps reduce the need for repeated needle sticks. Jason will have his port procedure on Friday.
"Jason maintains a chipper and positive attitude through all the poking and scanning. He's been needle averse in the past, but said he's now been through intensive immersion therapy from all the pokes so far. There's a lot to process and absorb with this diagnosis. The medical professionals and the literature all say that Hodgkin's Lymphoma, even in later stages, has a high incidence of survivorship. We're very optimistic about the prognosis. Please check back for updates. If you feel inclined, please also let Jason know you're thinking about him. Thank you to everyone who has already extended well wishes, prayers, positive vibes, etc.
"We've set up the GoFundMe account to help Jason and his wife, Alyssa, cover out of pocket medical expenses for his treatment. We've just begun to understand this disease and the impact to Jason's life. We appreciate any support you're able to give. We've set up a CaringBridge site to keep our friends and family informed on his treatment and progress."