In April 2012, I was diagnosed with squamous cell lung cancer. I immediately went to
MD Anderson and met with my oncologist, Dr. Jonathan Kurie, and my radiologist, Dr. James Cox. We embarked on a seven-week treatment plan — daily proton therapy and weekly chemotherapy. I finished the treatments in time to return to Austin for the Fourth of July. I began physical therapy and then returned to MD Anderson at the end of July for my first check-up, which showed me to be cancer free. That was a happy day, to say the least.
I was feeling better every day, and as my doctors had said I could do any activity I wished, I decided to go to Alaska to fish. On Labor Day weekend, one of my sons, Keith, and I had good luck fishing for silver salmon and trout at the Bristol Bay Lodge. The day this photo was taken, we were stuck for an extra night in a tent camp during an Arctic storm — 70 mph winds and 40 degree temperatures. I worried about pneumonia, but I had no health problems. It was a great way to celebrate the recovery process.
While everyone fears contracting cancer, being treated at MD Anderson gives one hope and confidence to win the battle. The competence and caring of the doctors and staff are wonderful. The equipment, particularly at the Proton Therapy Center, is magical. MD Anderson is the best possible place to fight this awful disease.
Promise invites cancer survivors to share their reflections. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.