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Moving Forward: Robert Dorsey Jr.

Conquest - Fall 2007

By Sandi Stromberg

Robert Dorsey Jr.

A process technician in the chemical industry, Robert Dorsey Jr. is given to quoting the French philosopher René Descartes and the English philosopher and economist David Hume.

Little wonder that when he graduated from the University of Houston-Clear Lake at the age of 52, he was named the 2002 Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Humanities.

He had planned to finish his degree earlier, but a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1995 and subsequent treatments slowed him down.

“Then, I started to lose my hair,” he laughs. “So, I decided to shave it all off and get a new look. I made it a happy walk.”

He also found myriad ways to keep quality in his life. Using a recipe book, he made a variety of juices. He watched his diet, visited M. D. Anderson’s chapel, used onsite computers to learn as much as possible about his cancer, enjoyed the volunteers who played the piano in the lobby and joined his church choir.

“I also kept a daily journal of what was going on,” he says. “If something was happening I wasn’t sure about, I wrote it down so I had a record and could give feedback to the doctor.”

Dorsey continues to inspire his colleagues, urging them to get regular prostate examinations and colonoscopies. “My experience is something I don’t mind talking about. I always tell people that we’re blessed to have the best treatment center in our backyard when so many others have to come from so far.”

Fortunately, Dorsey’s cancer has been in remission since the mid-1990s, so he continues his 12-hour-on, 12-hour-off shift work, providing steam, process water and air for the NOVA Chemical plant in Bayport, Texas. He’s also a member of the plant’s rescue team and fire brigade.

“I just try to make sure I’m well-rested, eat decently and retain a certain amount of exercise,” he says.

This is a formula that seems to work for this processing philosopher.

Conquest - Fall 2007

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Moving Forward
Robert Dorsey Jr.

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© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center