Ron Miller remembers feeling frightened and skeptical “thinking about my family” after he was diagnosed in 2006 with prostate cancer.
“Then I prayed and got together with my church secretary and chose high-dose radiation,” he said.
Miller was among several hundred who celebrated at Gibbs Cancer Center’s Cancer Survivors Day Sunday at the Upward Star Center.
Now 71 and free of cancer, Miller said early detection and treatment made all the difference.
Following five weeks of daily radiation treatments, he was deemed cancer-free, he said.
“I had faith — faith in my doctor and God,” he said. “And you have to include your family.”
Joe Dickey, 81, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000. He chose to have radical prostate surgery and said he does not regret it.
“I really thought that was the end,” he said after learning of his cancer diagnosis 18 years ago. “Now I feel good. I have energy."
Gibbs Cancer Center breast cancer doctor Amanda Hathaway, who helped organize the event, said there have been “great strides in cancer treatment over the last 10, 15, 20 years.”
She said the side effects of surgery and treatments have lessened, and cancer survivors are living longer.
She said the Gibbs Center has a survivorship program that helps patients with diet, exercise, and counseling following surgery or radiation.
“We encourage anyone who is a survivor to reach out to us to help them on the next journey of their life,” she said.
The event was planned with a baseball theme and featured live music from Rock & Roll Reunion, free hot dogs, chips, and drinks.
“Today is a day to celebrate life and the strides we have made,” Hathaway said.