Determination helped Hector overcome cancer.
Many people might not notice subtle changes in their voice, but Hector Garcia, a retired public affairs professional, noticed something was off in his and went to his ENT physician to be checked. The doctor noticed a growth around his glottis, the part of the larynx consisting of the vocal cords and the slit-like opening between them, which affects voice modulation through expansion and contraction.
Using a laser, his doctor removed 90 percent of the growth and sent a biopsy of it to a lab for analysis. It turned out to be cancerous. For an entire month, five days a week, Hector received radiation therapy at the Kelsey-Seybold Cancer Center.
Hector, a long-time Kelsey-Seybold patient, feels lucky that the cancer was caught early. Once the diagnosis was made, he faced it head-on.
“That’s been my style all my life. Every challenge is just that. My ability to deal with whatever comes my way is what keeps me alive,” he said. “I take it as a way to continue growing.”
That’s the advice he gives to others. “Look it in the face. You can’t change it. So deal with it,” Hector said. “In fact, if I could send a message to cancer, it would be: I wish you didn’t exist, but because you do, I see you as something to defeat.”
This was Hector’s first – and hopefully last – experience with cancer, so he doesn’t have any experience with other Cancer Centers. Yet, he has a hard time believing other centers would surpass the care he received at the Kelsey-Seybold Cancer Center.
“It boils down to the human element and the staff at the Kelsey-Seybold Cancer Center is just outstanding. They’re completely there for you. They’re the nicest people you’ll ever meet – just good, caring people who also happen to be skilled at what they do,” Hector said. “That made a big difference. Having that feeling that you’re not alone just gives you more strength.”
Although retired from public affairs, Hector keeps busy as a consultant. Throughout his cancer treatment, he continued working, stuck with his exercise program and “didn’t allow myself to feel sorry about it.”
With the support of his medical team and his wife, Hope, Hector is a survivor.
“I thank God every day for the opportunities I’ve had in this life and for a great family,” he said. “I can’t ask for much more.”