Arthur Butler: Prostate Cancer Survivor
"Don’t spend valuable time feeling sorry for yourself. I’m a retired firefighter. We didn’t have time to dwell on the fires we put out. We had to look to tomorrow to be ready for the next one. Fighting cancer is a lot like that."
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The fight to overcome prostate cancer takes drive
When Arthur Butler found out he had prostate cancer, he did what any other marathoner would do. He dug deep, adjusted to overcome obstacles and settled in for a long race. With over 19 marathons and nine half-marathons under his belt, he wasn’t going to roll over and let cancer get the best of him.
For two months, five days a week, he had radiation therapy at Kelsey-Seybold’s Cancer Center. Before each day’s treatment, he ran 5 miles and worked out at the gym for an hour. Then he went in for his daily dose of radiation.
“I’ve gone to many black men’s funerals who had cancer. They procrastinated until it was too late. Many cancers today are curable. All you have to do is jump on it,” he observed.
Arthur said it’s the unknown that tends to paralyze people. People used to see it as a death sentence, but that’s not true anymore given the advances that science has made. In Arthur’s view, overcoming cancer takes faith and endurance.
“It’ll be OK. It’s going to be a journey, but it’s one you can win. It takes endurance, focus and commitment,” he said. “Don’t spend valuable time feeling sorry for yourself. I’m a retired firefighter. We didn’t have time to dwell on the fires we put out. We had to look to tomorrow to be ready for the next one. Fighting cancer is a lot like that.”
Having the support of the Kelsey-Seybold Cancer Center team is a major advantage over cancer, according to Arthur.
“The radiation staff – Louis, Angie and Megan – took me through the journey and made it easy for me. Everyone was exceptional, but those three inspired me the most. They made me feel OK about everything. It added to my confidence to know they had my back and made me feel at ease,” he said. “After my last treatment, I threw the entire floor a pizza party. That’s a small thing I could do for them. I can’t even put into words what they did for me and I’m forever grateful.”