Cancer will 'change your life, but it doesn't have to rule it'

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Coy Becker of Bernie, Missouri, has, as he says, 'beaten cancer twice.'

Becker, who had prostate cancer in 2015, was diagnosed with lung cancer in August of 2016.

"I had pneumonia, and was in SoutheastHEALTH'S emergency room," Becker said. "They took X-rays and found the lung cancer."

After discussing an option for surgery to remove 70 percent of his left lung, Becker and his doctors opted for a regimen of radiation and chemotherapy instead.

"First, they did a biopsy to find out what type of cancer it was," Becker said. "Then, I did six weeks of radiation with Dr. (Joseph) Miller, concurrent with chemotherapy with Dr. (Andrew) Dickey. Then, I went back for two additional weeks of chemotherapy, so eight weeks of chemo total."

Becker then waited three months to have a follow-up scan.

"When they did the follow-up scan, (the cancer) was gone," he said. "My last scan was on September 7th of this year, and it's still gone. I've been cancer free now for over a year."

Becker, who was 69 when he found out he had lung cancer, noticed no pain from the lung cancer before he was diagnosed.

He attributes his belief in God and his strong medical team with helping him get through his cancer diagnosis and treatment.

"God played the biggest part in it," Becker said. "Dr. Miller and Dr. Dickey and the whole staff at (the Southeast Cancer Center) are about the best in the world! They know you by name when you come in, and are very sympathetic."

Becker says his treatment at the Southeast Cancer Center couldn't have gone better.

"I was 150 percent satisfied!" he said.

When asked what advice he would say to other cancer patients, Becker said, "I would tell them that cancer is going to change your life, but it doesn't have to rule your life."

When Becker was diagnosed with prostate cancer back in 2015, he also went through a regimen of radiation.

"I had surgery and eight weeks of radiation, but no chemo," he says.

Becker is a retired truck driver. He and his wife, Wanda, have been married for 46 years.

Becker says in his spare time, he enjoys "outdoor recreation of any kind, especially fishing and hunting." He also enjoys reading the Bible, playing pool -- snooker in particular -- and delivering Meals on Wheels in Bernie.