Alan’s Colon Cancer Story
“When I received the diagnosis it was very surreal for me. I always thought of myself as a strong guy, even at age 54, who never got sick, and avoided the doctor because I knew my body, I was stubborn, and didn’t have a colonoscopy as recommended at age 50 because I didn’t feel bad and figured I’d save myself the time and money. After I began losing weight without really trying, my wife became concerned and insisted I go to the doctor. A routine colonoscopy revealed a tumor which was eventually diagnosed as being cancerous. The doctors told me it was nothing to be concerned about. They would remove the tumor and I would need maybe one round of chemo just to make sure they got it all. However, after seeing my oncologist, I learned that I was in stage 3 and would need 12 rounds of treatment. I was numb. How could this be happening? It really shocked me…I have cancer, and my life was about to change,” Alan shared. Alan was diagnosed with cancer, and he has agreed to share his colon cancer story with us.
Cancer. What do you think of when you hear that word? One of the words that came to mind may be hardship. In addition to the cancer itself, there are many hardships that follow along with a diagnosis. Alan shared with us some of the hardship he is dealing with, “The greatest hardship has been the change of lifestyle to which I had become entrenched. As a result of the surgeries and chemo treatments, there are a lot of activities that I am limited in or can no longer do. I have to be much more careful with things I always took for granted, and have to pay attention to my body. The mounting medical bills have also created a financial strain for my family. We were already a paycheck to paycheck family before and now things are even tighter. I hate seeing how my sickness affects my family. Cancer affects more than just the patient. The loved ones pay a price as well.”
So where is the comfort? The fallback, the support, the person or thing that you can go to when you need your motivation and fuel to fight restored. Alan shared how he manages to maintain his fight, “Without question the greatest comfort for me is my faith. As a christian, I know God is in control. My support is my wonderful wife and two daughters, as well as my parents, brothers and friends. I am surrounded by loving and caring people who won’t allow me to stop fighting and encourage me every step of the journey. My inspiration comes from the Bible verse Phil 4:13 ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ I had support wristbands made with that verse that my support team wear.”
Alan shared a story with us to help motivate others who are fighting cancer as well, “I am the general manager of a local barbecue restaurant. Our customers know that I am fighting cancer. Just two days ago, a customer brought her daughter over to introduce her to me. She was probably six years old or so. Her mother told me that she had recently won her battle with leukemia, and she wanted to meet me to tell me I could beat cancer too. It was very heartwarming and inspired me. If this little girl had the courage and stamina to win the fight then there’s absolutely no reason I can’t as well.”
Finally, we asked Ala if there were any moments of support that truly stood out to him during this tough time. Alan shared, “I have had several friends that have come forward and helped us, however, I have to say that the owner of the restaurant I work for has gone above and beyond. Alex Hill, who owns the Dickey’s Barbecue Pit restaurants in Covington, LA and Slidell, LA, has been a godsend. He has given me extended time off with pay while I recovered from surgeries, and has allowed me to work a reduced schedule while I am going through chemotherapy. In addition, he has staged fundraisers for me and my family at the restaurants. He has accommodated our every need and told me not to worry about anything. A true blessing for my family.”