Mike & Trish Farren
Mike and Trish Farren celebrate their nearly 64 years of marriage. They have four children, Kevin, Katie, Kerrie, and Keith, and many grandchildren and greatgrandchildren. Their Catholic faith has been and remains a strong enduring component of their lives. They both have served in leadership positions within their many churches and parishes as they traveled throughout 23 moves during Mike’s military career. Their final move was to Newmarket, NH in 1986. They have been members of St Mary Parish in Newmarket ever since.
Mike retired from the USAF in 1989 after 30 consecutive years of active duty as an Air Force officer and pilot. He continued his aviation career as a civilian by working in airport management as a senior aviation executive, finally retiring in 2007 from Manchester-Boston Regional Airport after discovering he had developed prostate cancer.
Trish received her RN diploma from the Beverly Hospital School of Nursing, and she worked in nursing off and on throughout Mike’s military career. During Mike’s final military assignment at Pease AFB in Portsmouth, NH, Trish dedicated her nursing skills to Long-term Care nursing. She received her certified nurse director certificate (RNC) and became the Director of Nursing at Goodwin’s Nursing Home in Exeter, NH for many years. Upon her retirement from Goodwin’s, she went on to work as a Hospice volunteer and finally as a part-time Nurse Manager at the Pines of Newmarket, a long-term care facility.
Mike was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in 2007 and Colo-Rectal Cancer in 2012. His Prostate diagnosis occurred after his PSA numbers elevated during a routine physical. A biopsy was performed, and three specimens were found to be cancerous. He was treated with radiation seeds for his prostate cancer at the Lahey Clinic (Burlington, MA) in 2007, and his annual PSA tests have remained undetectable ever since. His July 2012 Colo-Rectal cancer diagnosis was treated at the Wentworth-Douglas Hospital (WDH) Cancer Center in Dover, NH with radiation and chemotherapy for three months and then surgery (October 2012) to remove the rectal tumor that was initially discovered during a routine colonoscopy exam in mid-2012. His surgery resulted in a permanent colostomy. After his October surgery, as a precautionary measure, he underwent further chemotherapy treatment for six months. After five years of monitoring his blood work for cancer markers, Mike was discharged from the WDH Cancer Center in 2017. To date, his Colo-Rectal cancer markers/indications have not resurfaced. WDH is a part of the Mass General Brigham health care system. Trish was Mike’s in-home caregiver throughout his cancer treatments.
Trish fell in Sep 2020 and broke several ribs and was admitted to WDH. Her ribs were treated and subsequently healed. However, because of a prior-diagnosed rib compression fracture, an orthopedic biopsy was done while she was in the hospital (Oct 2020). This biopsy revealed cancer markers. After a further bone marrow biopsy and other tests, Trish was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a blood plasma cancer. She has undergone several radiation treatments and over 21 weeks of Chemotherapy shots (not infusion) of the generic equivalents of Darzalex and Velcade. She has tolerated the Chemo treatments reasonably well but continues to experience extreme fatigue and a lack of energy. She sleeps 12-15 hours a day. At present, her status is undergoing further evaluation. Her blood markers have improved dramatically, but so far do not warrant a remission conclusion. Her doctors have removed her from weekly chemo treatments and placed her on a monthly maintenance chemo regimen to allow her to regain strength. The key blood metric for multiple myeloma cancer is the Lambda Quant Free Light Chains blood test. Her tests (every 4- 6 weeks) for this metric have shown dramatic improvement over the last several months, but the degree of improvement has slowed recently, and has not reached the remission level. Her doctors remain optimistic and continue to provide her quality health care. Mike has been and remains Trish’s in-home caregiver during her cancer journey.