Not just once, but twice within the past 2½ years Logan Pleschourt has bounced back from a near death situation. Despite the daunting task of battling cancer, Pleschourt graduated from Medford High School Friday night.
Pleschourt, who has been diagnosed two different times with Stage 4B Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the last time coming on his 16th birthday, has been a source of inspiration to everyone around him. He admits he was scared, but took some peace of mind knowing that the type of cancer he had is “one of the best cancers to have” and is easily treated.
The first diagnosis came in September 2017. An avid runner on the cross country team, Pleschourt started to notice his running times were getting worse and he would become “out of breath and winded easily.” One time after practice he started coughing uncontrollably and went in to the emergency room to get checked. At the time, he had a 105-degree fever and “didn’t even know it.”
He was given the all clear in February 2018, but just two months later he relapsed and was facing the battle of his life once again. During both battles, Pleschourt has undergone 17 rounds of chemotherapy, 37 radiation treatments and a stem cell transplant, all at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. After he successfully made it through the first couple rounds of chemotherapy, “I knew I was going to beat it,” he said.
The transplant was pretty rough as it kept him bedridden in the hospital for a month. The transplant took place during his second battle, which Pleschourt says was the worst of the two.
It was during the second battle that Pleschourt’s mental condition took a turn for the worse. “I got very depressed and suicidal,” he said. “I felt like I’d rather go out of it in a quicker way than suffer through it.” But, he added, he never followed through with any of his suicidal thoughts.
Asked what pulled him through, Pleschourt didn’t hesitate in saying, “Football.” He took refuge on the gridiron and eventually returned to Friday nights under the lights. The football field became a place of healing for him. As a wide receiver, he suited up for every varsity game and even had a play designed for him.
He said going to practices and staying out of the house as much as possible kept his mind off the cancer.
Though Pleschourt says he never had any doubts about graduating, completing high school was challenging at times because he missed so much school. Teachers worked out a plan for him where his assignments were cut in half and on tests he was allowed to use notes.
If battling cancer and missing class weren’t enough, Pleschourt expressed disappointment in how his senior year ended in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. He especially feels bad that his class wasn’t able to have a traditional graduation ceremony. “I know they are doing what they can, but I still don’t feel like it’s enough,” he said if regards to graduation. “I wish we could have a bigger ceremony.”
Pleschourt not only missed out much of two important years of high school, but he also missed a lot of important family events.
His mother, Heather Lique, found that life became completely different for their family during her son’s cancer battles. “Life stops and you’re focused on that kid,” she said referring to Logan. “It’s tough.”
Pointing out she has never experienced anything like this, Lique admits many tears have been shed over the past few years. “Sometimes you go to the bathroom and cry,” she said. The hardest part for her was seeing all the things he missed out as a kid.
Lique has developed a special bond with her son over the past few years. “There has been lots of talks and hanging out,” she said. She noted the talks often centered on how strong he is and that he can battle the cancer. “We have spent a lot of time together,” she added.
Battling cancer has undoubtedly taken away some of Pleschourt’s best years. One of his greatest struggles has been obtaining a driver’s license. He kept failing the permit test because he had trouble remembering. “I’m not able to be a normal teenager where I can get a job at 16 and live a normal adult life,” he says.
The last few years have given Pleschourt a perspective on life far beyond his years. Two times cancer attacked his body and both times he vigorously fought back and defeated it. “It has made me stronger than what I would be if I didn’t go through it,” he said.
Cancer has forced Pleschourt to refocus his priorities in life. He has learned to not focus on the negative aspects of life. “Don’t think of the bad side. You need to have a positive attitude,” he said. He also encourages people to focus on family.
Pleschourt is excited to be graduated from high school and “finally move on and get on with life.” He plans to attend RCTC where he will major in law enforcement. His goal is to become a K-9 officer. He’s undecided at this time where he wants to eventually work.
For now, Pleschourt is focused on keeping cancer out of his body. He takes refuge in knowing that there is a very small chance it will come back a third time. Doctors have told Pleschourt nobody has ever had this type of cancer three times.
But he’s not taking any chances. He has to have a check-up every three months for the first year, every six months for the second year and every year for the rest of his life.
“I still get nervous and jittery when it comes to my next check-up,” Pleschourt said.