Michael Lukan (Mick) has been an avid saxophone player for the past two decades. When he was diagnosed with lung cancer three years ago, his greatest fear was that he would not be able to play his beloved instrument.
“My dad played the sax, and when he died I made a promise to myself that I would start playing as a tribute to him,” he says. It’s a hobby that has taken Mick to Disney Hall and many other venues where he has played over the years.
Even after surgery, radiation and four rounds of chemotherapy, Mick was able to blow horn with the best of them. All went well with his musical career until 2013 when the cancer recurred. This time it was in the upper left lymph nodes outside his lung. Despite additional treatment Mick says he has always been able to play the sax throughout his bouts with cancer.
“I credit my healthy lung capacity to many years of playing the sax,” he says. “At first I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to play, but I kept on living my life through the diagnosis and treatments. Playing sax through it made all the difference in the world. I didn’t have a negative thought; I didn’t have 'cancer' thoughts.”
His advice? “Don’t think that the diagnosis is the end,” he says. “Today I have never felt better. Be sure to rely on the experience of your medical professional, and go with your gut.”
And be sure to stay tuned into life, just as Mick has.