On the Ellen DeGeneres show on March 15, 2016 comedian Quincy Jones appeared and told his story of being diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma in August of 2015. He is a young comedian, 32, with a very positive outlook on a deadly cancer that has affected his life. Last year he was suffering from abdominal pain and distension that eventually took him to his local emergency room. For 6 months he had been in and out of hospitals with the same complaints. He was told that he had ascites- fluid in his abdomen-and that it should be tapped. Since he had no insurance, he was told to go to another hospital that could provide this treatment. He has spent 6 months a couple of times a week getting his abdomen drained, 4-7 liters at a time. This procedure is designed to keep him comfortable. A biopsy was performed during those 6 months and stage IV peritoneal mesothelioma was the diagnosis. He was also told that most people with his diagnosis only live a year.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is one of four types of malignant mesothelioma. It develops in the peritoneum which is the lining of the abdomen. There are about 500 cases a year of peritoneal mesothelioma in the United States. Early symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include abdominal swelling, pain, diarrhea and constipation.
A thorough detailed history and physical exam should be performed when a patient presents with these symptoms. In almost all cases, other much more common diseases are usually the problem.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is difficult to diagnose and treat. When diagnosed it is advised that you go to a mesothelioma center that has an expert in peritoneal mesothelioma. Once diagnosed, and staged, there are treatment options that might be appropriate to your case. The options include chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. A promising option is intra op heated chemo, (HIPEC) and surgery. The goal of surgery is to remove all the tumor visible to the naked eye. It is assumed that there are microscopic cancerous cells still in the area where the tumor cells are removed that is why a heated chemotherapy solution is instilled. The dwelling time for the solution is 60- 90 minutes. The side effects are less than what others experience from traditional chemotherapy. During surgery abdominal catheters are placed so that chemotherapy can be infused after surgery. There is no known cure for mesothelioma. With early aggressive treatment, survival time has increased for some patients. By definition, Stage IV peritoneal mesothelioma means that the cancer has spread throughout the body. Surgery is not an option at this point, as the cancer is more advanced.
Quincy Jones, like most people faced with their mortality, examine what they want to be remembered for. What difference have they made during their life? What will he leave behind? He decided to focus on what he is passionate about – comedy.
He decided he would like to tape a one hour comedy show and have it aired on HBO or Netflix. Having shared his idea with friends, they started a Kickstarter page to raise the money necessary to make his dream a reality.
During the appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show on March 15, 2016 he told his story, explained his positive outlook, and what his dream was. He also said he is undergoing chemotherapy every three weeks and is nauseous at times. Ellen praised him for his humor, courage and his amazing attitude. Quincy also stated that he was given the diagnosis and the prognosis on August 6, 2015. Six months have gone by, and he “doesn’t think it is going to happen,” referring to dying. He was presented with a check for ten thousand dollars from Shutterfly.
On March 21st 2016 he appeared again on the Ellen show. His dreams are going to be realized. On Monday April 4, 2016 at The Teragram Ballroom 1234 West 7th Street Los Angeles California Quincy is going to tape his show. Ellen has also worked with HBO and they will air his show. Once again in conjunction with Shutterfly she presented him with a check for fifteen thousand dollars.
We salute Mr. Quincy Jones and Ellen DeGeneres’ show and his friends for making his dreams a reality.
Mesothelioma does not typically affect a 32 year old rising comedian. He has taken the saying, “laughter is the best medicine,” and made his dreams a reality.