Candi Wright of Magazine heard almost the worst possible news last August. She had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer.
The mother of two, including a 15-year old high school sophomore, and two grandchildren by her daughter, Wright has seen her tumor count drop dramatically, from 680 to 15.
Wright has been selected as the Honorary Chair for the annual Relay For Life, set for 6 to 11 p.m. on May 5 in downtown Booneville.
“We had come back from vacation in July down at the beach and I just started getting tired,” said Wright. “About a couple weeks after we got back I started throwing up.
“I went to the doctor. We decided to do a ultrasound of my gallbladder. They found a bunch of lesions on my liver then. That’s what started it.”
On Aug. 17 she was first diagnosed. The date is significant.
“You know those dates right off the bat,” said Wright. “I’d like to (forget it).”
The diagnosis Wright said, was not an individual one. It affected the entire family.
“Jimmy has taken on more responsibility than I care to count. He picked up all the slack for a while and he still does every other week (after chemo),” said Wright.
Levi, her son, “got real quiet,” said Wright. “He’s a quiet kid anyway but he got a little quieter and more reserved.”
Levi has focused on track and cross country, in addition to basketball.
After the initial diagnosis, Wright sought a second opinion from a doctor in Houston in early September. Unfortunately, Dr. Ho confirmed the diagnosis.
Now, she says, “there are good chemo days and bad chemo days.”
The first eight weeks were rough, Wright said. Then she returned to Khilling Printing, which she owns.
To treat the disease now Wright undergoes “aggressive chemo,” every other week.
“I do three hours (in Fort Smith) and I come home with the fanny pack, as I call it, for 46 hours,” said Wright.
If the treatment goes well, — she had one on Friday — Wright returns to work. If not Susan Mizell will mind the shop.
“I tell her to stay home and take it easy that day, but she usually does work,” Mizell said.
“I can’t complain about anything,” said Wright. “God’s woke me up every morning so I’m still here for a reason.”
Wright is currently discussing having an embolization of her liver.
“It’s kind of like a heart catheter. They go in and go straight to my liver and put chemo straight on my liver and see if we can’t shrink it down just a little more,” said Wright.
She says she isn’t certain of the treatment given the drop in her tumor count.
“I did some research on that and it kind of freaked me out,” said Wright. “One of the side effects of the embolization is liver failure. We’re going to have to have a talk with the doctor.”
In addition to leading the Survivor’s Lap on May 5, Wright will also speak at a survivor’s banquet to be held at the Jeral Hampton Meeting Place on April 22 from noon to 1:30 p.m. All cancer survivors, along with one guest, can attend without charge.