This is the third in a series of survivor articles leading up the Relay For Life Celebration in Lonoke on Friday, May 2, at the Gina Cox Center on the Lonoke High School Campus.
By Darral Paradis
Late Fall of 2004 was a hard time for me and my family. My father was ill and I had not been feeling particularly well – I also had noticed blood in my stool. I attributed it all to stress. My father died October 6 and soon afterwards I decided to schedule an appointment with my family doctor – Les Anderson in Lonoke.
Dr. Anderson believed that it was probably hemorrhoids but decided that we should have a colonoscopy done just in case. As it turned out, that decision actually saved my life.
Dr. Stephen Clift performed a colonoscopy and a small tumor was located in my lower intestine. I was 44 years old when I was told I had CANCER. I was told that it needed to be removed and that there was a 20 percent chance I would be left with a permanent colostomy.
I had surgery in early November 2004 and unfortunately for me I fell in the 20 percent. The good news was that the cancer was caught in an early stage and no radiation or chemotherapy would be needed.
This fall 2014, I will be 10 years cancer free. I live with a permanent reminder of what cancer did to me – but it did not take my life!!
Colonoscopies are not recommended until after age 50; however, as in my case, if you know something is not quite right with your body, please consult and discuss with your physician.
I thank God for taking care of me and giving me a loving family (especially my wife) who helped me through this difficult part of our lives.
This past December, I gave my daughter away in marriage. When I first was diagnosed with cancer, I remember this being one thing I said that I would have missed if cancer had won. Cancer effected me and my entire family but did not beat us!!!!!
Lonoke Relay For Life Team rallies will be held March 27, April 10 and April 24, at 6:30 p.m. at the community center.