When Neal Augenstein shared his cancer diagnosis on Twitter, the well wishes and prayers began flowing in almost immediately, and the longtime WTOP reporter said, “I can’t even verbalize how heartwarming that is,” reports WTOP.
Augenstein, states WTOP, “told the DMV Download that he’s gotten emails from “newsmakers who I’ve covered over the years — I won’t embarrass them by naming them, but they’re people who I’ve disagreed with, people I’ve agreed with,” as well as messages from listeners all over the area.
“Some are just expressing their support; some are sharing stories of “cancer that they’ve been succeeding with, or a family member who was diagnosed 10 years ago and is now 85 years old and going strong,” he said.
““I mean, I’m finding that to be incredibly empowering.””
The announcement was the end of a process that began with a persistent dry cough in September, Augenstein said. When it lasted long enough to go to his doctor, the first thought was allergies.
Even so, he said, he thought of his father, a longtime smoker who quit in his 40s, and died of lung cancer at 85. Augenstein has never smoked, but even so, “something in the back of my mind made me think that — you know, I’ll keep an eye on that.”
According to WTOP: “It wasn’t allergies. A course of antibiotics didn’t help either. Next up was an X-ray, which showed a small mass in his left lung. A CAT scan confirmed that, as well as the presence of “some other little junk in my lungs.””
Augenstein is 63 and has never smoked. According to WTOP, he has Adenocarcinoma, a slow-growing form of lung cancer, which, in his case, has spread to a lymph node in his chest. He said he’s at Stage 3a.