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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

I don’t mean to keep writing about my cancer journey, but it seems to be consuming all of my thoughts. To be honest, it is also helping me to write this stuff out and see it on the screen. I know what I am up against, but seeing it laid out in writing doesn’t make it look so intimidating. It kind of makes me feel like I have some small amount of control over the situation when I am the one deciding to put it on paper.

By the time you guys are reading this, my battle will have begun. At this point very early in the process, I have been given a 20 percent chance of survival. Initially, that number seemed a little narrow to me. But after talking to patients and nurses at Roswell, I have come to realize that 20 percent is, as Scott Leffler put it, almost a sure thing. There are people at Roswell who have just checked in there with a much lower chance of survival than I have, and those folks are pretty positive.

Roswell is a wonderful place, even considering why it exists. The people there do care, and they go way out of their way to make patients feel comfortable. The doctor I have told me that he is the one who can save my life, and I don’t intend to argue with that kind of confidence. Then, as I went through my battery of tests that day, I met four or five people who were all cancer survivors and they were all treated by my doctor. I even met one nurse who said that my doctor saved her life, her husband’s life, and her father’s life. I kind of got the impression that I was in good hands by the time I left Roswell.

My doctor was very honest with me, but he also radiated a lot of hope for a complete recovery. Will it happen? If recovering means listening to my doctor, doing exactly what he says, and then having a deep down feeling that I will get through this – then I will recover. Even when I was told two days after Christmas that I had cancer, there was this underlying confidence that never went away. Yes, I cried. Yes, I am scared. But I have this layer of confidence that keeps pushing closer and closer to the top that this can be done, and that this will be done.

Am I fighting for my life? I guess you could call it that. I look at it more like I am sick, and now my doctor and I are going to cure the disease. It really does not feel like anything more than that right now. It took me a couple of days, but I finally have this whole thing in a place where I can deal with it rationally and maintain that level of confidence I have.

The outpouring of support has been wonderful, and my wife and I thank you all. Just do me a favor as you send me your well wishes…don’t feel like you have to say goodbye just yet. This whole thing has only started. Goodbyes are reserved for people who lose these battles. At this point, I don’t foresee losing this battle. So, while I do absolutely appreciate all of the support, I would hold off on the goodbyes for a couple of years.

I have a lot to live for, and I knew that even before all of this started. Has this caused me to feel more determined and focused? Yes, it absolutely has. But the problem is that my condition also wears me out and all of the focus in the world is not going to prevent my body from shutting down earlier than normal at this point. After this surgery, I expect all of that to change.

When I get back home, I get back to work. I am sure I will be in some pretty good pain for a few weeks, but we have medicine to help with that. From what I am told, I will have very few limitations when I am at home, and I was happy to hear that. That means that I will call at least one Express game before this season is over, and I will be able to get around Lockport a little. I look forward to that.

No, the world is not rid of me just yet. Based on the way I feel right now and what my doctor has been telling me, it may be a while before my scourge has been removed from the face of the planet. All I can do is what my doctor tells me and hope that my body responds. Until then, expect to see a lot more of me all over the place.

+George N Root III is a Lockport resident and working towards being a future cancer survivor. You can follow him on Twitter @georgenroot3 or send him a message at

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