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Cancer Saved My Life – Carson Evans

Death Was Never An Option For Me

Posted by TheCancerChronicles - May 11th, 2016

Hey everyone.

First of all, I want to thank Scott Herman so much for helping me share my story! Hopefully by the time you finish reading this, you'll be ready to go and demolish all of the obstacles life throws at you.

Who Am I?

My name is Carson Evans, and I'm currently 21 years old. Back in May of 2013, I was in training at Lackland Air Force Base, looking to better myself and serve my country. I was healthy and fit, sitting at around 173lbs at 6'2”. I was most definitely not at bodybuilder or strongman status, but I was definitely fit and functional.

Legally, because I was in the military, I'm not able to discuss my time in basic training, so we will skip to where everything went wrong.

What Happened?

One evening we "trainees" were winding down for bed when I suddenly became sick to my stomach and was gasping for air. For almost 30 seconds I couldn't even breathe. When I managed to finally take a breath, I threw up everything I had in my body and passed out. When I awoke I found myself in an ambulance trying to process what was happening. I was taken to BAMC (a military hospital in San Antonio, TX) and underwent every test in the book.

My right lung was completely filled with fluid, and my left lung had partially collapsed. I was told that if this event had happened one day later, I would have died in training. Unfortunately, I don't remember the next few hours of this situation – but I do remember the nurse asking me for my Mother’s phone number. She told my Mom that she had to come immediately, and she was on the next flight from Florida to Texas.Once my Mother arrived, the doctor informed us that I had stage 3B testicular cancer.

The cancer had metastasized (moved) to my chest, lungs, and brain. Also, testicular cancer gives off a marker called a "Beta HCG", and mine was too high to be measured by modern scales. It was the highest they had ever seen. However, on the bright side of things, the cancer was never actually in my testicles, it just gave off that particular tumor marker.

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What The Diagnosis Meant For Me

Although I was in rough shape, they said it could still be treated with four rounds of chemotherapy. Upon examination, they found that the tumor in my chest was bigger than a softball, and it was pushing against my heart and lungs, making breathing extremely difficult. For more than a month I couldn’t even move, and I collected blood clots in my arms from all of the IV's being placed in my veins.

At the end of the four rounds of chemotherapy, my cancer was still active. I was then told that they were going to try something called "salvage therapy". This is changing the chemotherapy regiment in such a way that the cancer should respond better than the first time around. They planned on administering four rounds of salvage therapy, but by the end of round two my tumor markers went up slightly. It was then that my doctor sat my mother and I down, just weeks after my 19th birthday, and told us that I could have six months to live. It felt so surreal that I couldn't believe it was really happening to me.I felt like I was in a dream and I just needed to wake-up to escape my own death.

Unfortunately it wasn’t a dream. It was real. Painfully real.

The Next Step

I then spent the next two months recovering and preparing for a tandem stem cell transplant. These work by using a chemotherapy that is up to 100x more concentrated than regular chemotherapy to literally wipe you out from the inside, basically killing everything in your body. Your immune system, your blood cells, your hormones, and hopefully, your cancer. Often times, people die just from the chemotherapy – but I was young and "healthy".

Over the next few months I was confined to a wheel chair. I even had to put the wheelchair next to my bed so I could crawl into it and wheel myself to the restroom. This type of chemo was so intense that I no longer had feeling in my hands and feet, I went deaf in my left ear, and had horrible extremely loud ringing in my head as well.

After surviving all this, along with radiation for my brain tumor, my beta-hcg was still elevated. I was then told that there was nothing else they could do for me. At this point I accepted my fate and was ready to die.

Some Good News At Last

However, soon after being told there was nothing else that could be done for me, I received a referral to see a specialist at the MDAnderson Cancer Center to get a second opinion. They assured me that everything I underwent should have cured my cancer, but mine was very unique and stubborn. I was then given the option of going through four more rounds of chemotherapy that were not even meant for my cancer. They said it would be a clinical trial and because I literally had nothing to lose, we proceeded with the treatment.

About four months later, my beta-hcg reached a level that MDAnderson felt comfortable enough to FINALLY remove the mass in my chest.The surgery took six hours and not only did they have to remove the tumor, but they also had to replace half of my pericardial sac (sac around your heart) because the tumor had attached itself to it.Then, after months of recovery and monitoring my levels, I was announced in remission in January 2015! I had been given a second chance at life and it was also at this time that I discovered bodybuilding. My body had been broken for so long that I never wanted to be this weak again.I made myself a promise that I wouldn’t waste this second chance and that I was going to not only build my strength back, but take it to the next level to show others there is always hope.

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Now, I didn't share this with you in order to obtain sympathy, and I didn't write this so I could brag about how far I've come. The reason I wanted to share my story was to put something in perspective for everyone. No matter how hard life hits you or how impossible a situation might seem, there is always someone out there who has it worse than you. Someone else is fighting a battle much more horrific than yours and that includes me. It was that thought that gave me the strength I needed to not give up. We need to live every day with purpose and meaning. If your goal is to lose weight, gain muscle, do well in school, get a great job or just be a better all-around person, then you should wake up and go to bed every day pushing towards that goal.

Remember, if you have your health, you have everything. Never take any moment for granted and learn to appreciate everything you've worked hard for.

Once more, I want to thank Scott for helping me share my story. He truly cares about his community and wants every one of you to excel in all you do.

If you would like to follow me and learn more about me, I'd love if you could check out my YouTube channel!

Yours in fighting,

Carson Evans

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Proud of you. I had my own share of neardeath, and powered through its aftermath. Always glad to see others fighting for the quality of their lives !!! Glad you are still around. Big hugs!


wow Carson, just reading this story had me really sad , im was just trying to imagine what you must have felt hearing the news and going thru each day, but at the end im glad to hear that you beat it and are coming back stronger and more determined to not let anything bring you down. This is very motivating , thank you Carson for sharing this with us, and i wish you the best in life. i hope to see some more awesome articles from you. take care :)


Always good to hear from a fellow survivor.


Well if that's not motivation enough guys, I don't know what is.. Really proud of you Carson!