Guy Robson of Booneville uses words like “lucky” to describe his bout with cancer.
Don’t misunderstand Robson, who has been chosen as the honorary chairperson for the 2019 South Logan County Relay for Life. He hates the disease as much as anyone who has been directly and or indirectly affected by it, but it’s a matter of perspective.
Robson had reached the age of 69 without having spent as much as a night in a hospital when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer two years ago.
Robson’s cancer was detected in a yearly checkup so, predictably, he is a big proponent of having examinations.
“The levels went up. There were no signs,” said Robson.
Part of that luck of which Robson speaks.
Given the choice of radiation, or surgery -- he was told the chances of the cancer returning within a decade were greater with treatment than surgery. Robson opted for the surgery.
The surgery which was another piece of luck in that the surgery was performed robotically.
“They didn’t cut me open,” Robson explains. “It was amazing. All I remember is being wheeled in, and here is this big old, like a box, with at least four arms coming out of it.
“Basically they tip you upside down — I joke that they just hoisted a come-along around my legs and hoisted me up — so everything moves away from the area, and a man just sits there and operates it like a video game from a machine — the doctor could have operated that machine from anywhere.”
Robson also says he was lucky in his own efforts to battle the disease because of the help of his family and church.
For a bit of bad luck, Robson, who had never had anesthetics before, woke up, eventually, but portions of his body did not — if he ate something he threw it up because his stomach was inactive.
That turned what was expected to be a three day stay into one of six days.
Since the diagnosis and surgery Robson has had issues, but he still counts himself lucky.
“It’s been great,” he said. “I’ve got a few minor problems they said I might have and I do, but I can live with knowing I don’t have cancer,” said Robson.
Until about five years ago cancer wasn’t much of an issue in the Robson household but then Robson’s wife, Bernice, was diagnosed with breast cancer, found similarly as Guy’s, in a yearly exam.
“Suddenly it’s thrown into your life and every time you have an extra lump you wonder, or something goes wrong, is that cancer,” Robson said.
Shortly after his own cancer, Robson’s brother suffered a stroke on his 74th birthday in the family’s native New Zealand and because themen are very close, off to the homeland, Robson went.
In treating the stroke, doctors discovered Robson’s brother had lung cancer.
Robson initially spent a month caring for his brother, basically living in the hospital, and over the next 18 months he and his wife made three more trips to New Zealand, in the end getting his brother to his nephew’s college graduation before the disease finally won last April.”
Robson said the doctors believe the cancer ultimately caused the stroke.
“He got 18 months more,” Robson said. “He never got over the stroke. That was the toughest thing I’ve done. I never want to see that again, people deteriorate so quickly.
“So now I’ve been around it a lot and we’re both lucky,” Robson said of he and Bernice.
Of course he still misses the Facetime interaction with his brother.
It was during the time of his brother’s battle with cancer the 10-year Booneville City Councilman lost a bid for his sixth term on the council.
When the seat was vacated last year he ran again, and won.