Posts with tag: "cancer survivor"
Thursday, October 18, 2018
By Hayes Photography
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A mutual friend, who works in the Webster Central School District, suggested I contact Steve when the invitation for participation in my photography project became known.  I'm so glad I did.  Even though I had seen him working in the various buildings throughout the years I've worked in Webster, I only had quick conversations with him and didn't really know him.  We scheduled time for coffee at a local business.  We talked, I listened and he shared with me some truly heartbreaking stories.  As difficult as it has been to hear the stories of several of the participants, I am so grateful to be there to hear them and if it offers any kind of comfort, I'm glad to do it because knowing them has enriched my life immensely.  The story we focused on for Steve has been that of a cancer survivor.  I can't even begin to understand all that he went through, but I knew that the image I wanted to create had to show the strength and will that it took to survive the harsh treatments and suffering.  With the permission of Dr. Hong Zhang, M.D., Ph.D. of the University of Rochester's Oncology Dept. at Highland Hospital, we were able to photograph Steve, Dr. Zhang and chief therapist, Keisha Bromwell, in the radiation treatment room. Steve's story, although he may not agree, is truly an inspirational one. 

In his words:

“Do you have any concerns?” asked my dental hygienist.  “Yes, I’ve had a tender spot in the bottom of my mouth for the last four or five days,” I shared.  That conversation occurred during a routine dental visit in September 2015. That tender spot turned out to be Stage 4A, HPV Virus Cancer in my right tonsil and two lymph nodes.  It would lead to 13 months of hell.

Six weeks into treatment, I had given up, with only seven treatments to go.  My incredible radiation oncologist Dr. Hong Zhang told me, “If you give up now, there is only one outcome --you will die.”  I replied, “I don’t care.” She wouldn’t let me out of the office that day until I agreed to continue treatment.

Three extended hospital stays and more procedures than I care to remember, and I’m here today.  I’m healthy with many lasting side effects of the brutal treatment that saved my life. I have so many people to thank.  My doctors weren’t sure at times if I would make it. I told them, “Only the good die young. I’m here till 160.” Here’s to the next 100 years!

 

Steve Ange

Plumber

Buildings and Grounds

To find out more about this diverse photography project Click Here and read other participant's stories prior to this one.  Thanks for visiting and leave a comment!!!