Cancer survivor talks overcoming obstacles, getting regular checkups
BATON ROUGE - It's a tough journey from hearing those words that you may have cancer, and even it's tougher fighting through it—but it is possible.
Nathan Strong—who is certainly living up to his name—is one of the millions that prove that surviving cancer can be done.
Making daily trips to the doctor's office isn't something anyone prepares for in their lives. For 28-year-old Strong, he now has to get checkups done regularly. He was diagnosed with stage one testicular cancer in January, news he never imagined he would receive in his young life.
"As you can imagine it was just a whirlwind of emotion, my world turned upside down," Nathan said. "I thought I was just getting maybe some antibiotics that day and just going home with medicine, but I was told that I very well might have cancer that day."
Strong's world was soon filled with more trips to Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Baton Rouge.
"Months of appointments, bloodwork and scans and just days of infusions."
Nathan was later treated by Dr. Daniel LaVie, a hematology and medical oncology doctor.
"I met Nathaniel back a few months ago and he had just been diagnosed with testicular cancer," Dr. LeVie said. "We know testicular cancer is very curable, and a lot of times we can offer patients observations for treatment."
During his journey, Nathan's had to tackle many obstacles. including the possibility of infertility, something he and his wife Taylor faced together. They were quickly put in contact with a clinic to help ease them through a tough transition.
"A lot of times have to make decisions about a lot of things that they were not necessarily ready to make, just to make sure that we're able to preserve any fertility that we need to moving down the line," said Angela Hammet, Director of Patient Navigation and Support Services.
Since Nathan caught his symptoms early on and immediately sought medical help, he began one round of chemotherapy in May.
And three weeks later, it was the sweet sound of victory ringing through the halls of the cancer center.
"I wrapped up my first round and only round so I was able to ring the bell up at the infusion center and that was a surreal moment," said Strong.
"This process was so much easier because the doctors did catch the cancer so early, and my type of cancer spreads quickly, but it is very treatable and they were able to handle it a lot easier because we went in at such an early part of the process," said Strong.
Listening to your body is key in catching diseases like cancer early on, and catching something early could save your life.
"Get in touch with your doctor early and just make sure all your health is as good as it can be going forward so you don't run into any of these problems down the road," said Dr. LaVie.
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