A cancer survivor’s story
|Captain Robert Webster is a cancer patient, a survivor, and a cancer support advocate. He bravely shares his story below, and in the video that follows.|
Rewind my life back seven years. I walked four miles twice a day. At 6 foot-3 inches and 230 pounds I was in pretty good shape. I participated in many public walking events like the D’Feet Breast Cancer Race for the Cure with my wife and friends. Retired from a career with the Parks Board in Plano, I’d recently moved to Galveston with my wife and young daughter. I worked part-time as a captain at Texas A&M in Galveston while studying there – first for my bachelor’s and then for my master’s degree in Marine Resources Management. I just started working on my PhD. Life was good.
A couple of months before my 50th birthday, I started having to take at least one break per walk at the portable restrooms located along the seawall. My body was trying to tell me something was wrong. As I kept trying to convince myself that this was just part of getting older, I started to worry it might be something more serious.
When I turned 50, I decided, with prompting from my wife who happens to be nursing faculty, to schedule a colonoscopy. The test revealed a problem. My long journey as a cancer survivor began.
It has been nearly seven years since that colonoscopy, and I’ve been fighting back against a very aggressive cancer ever since. If it hadn’t been for all the different health professionals at UTMB who have been fighting alongside me every step of the way, I am sure I would not still be here today.
I have heard so many stories from others I’ve met on this journey who reached a point at other cancer facilities where they were told there was nothing else that could be done to help them. They were basically told to get their affairs in order and give up the fight.
After conversations with me, they learned they did have other options – at UTMB – new tumor ablation techniques for example – that could give them more precious time. People I’ve talked to who thought they were at the end of the road learned that UTMB had options they’d never heard of. And UTMB had people who would fight for them and with them every step of the way. I’ve been blessed to be able to share this information with numerous cancer survivors for whom it has made a tremendous difference.
UTMB has brought me into contact with so many special people – doctors, nurses, and many different staff members who have helped me so much over the course of many years. I’m so grateful to have had every moment of that time to spend with my wife and daughter.
Another thing that has meant the world to me is the opportunity I have had to share my stories with other patients who didn’t know where to turn for support and information before they met me.
In order to help other patients who have colorectal cancer, the UTMB Cancer Center is forming a support group that will begin meeting soon to help people like us work together to figure out how to deal with the wide array of challenges that we face. It’s a group for men and women and their spouses and/or caregivers. At the first meeting, we will figure out together what goals we hope to achieve and what steps we need to take to get there. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with colorectal or GI cancer and are interested in possibly taking part in this new group, call the UTMB Cancer Center at 409-747-4087. I look forward to meeting and working with you and welcoming you into the UTMB family of cancer survivors.
In order to help other patients who have colorectal, GI and similar cancers, Robert Webster and the UTMB Cancer Center are spearheading a new support group for men and women and their spouses and/or caregivers.
Galveston Texas Area Gastro-intestinal Cancer Support Group meetings are typically held on the second Tuesday of each month at 5:30. Meetings are held on the UTMB Campus, Rebecca Sealy Building, Room 1.132 (corner of Market and 8th Street). Parking after 5 p.m. is available in open lot RHT on the corner of Post Office and 8th streets. Use the access door on Post Office to enter the Rebecca Sealy Building.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with a gastro-intestinal cancer (including colorectal, liver, pancreas, stomach, appendix) and would like more information about this support group, please call the UTMB Cancer Center at (409) 747-4087 or Robert Webster at (409) 789-5074.
UTMB, together with Susan G. Komen and Reconstruction of a Survivor, also hosts monthly Breast Cancer Support Group sessions at Christus Victor Lutheran Church located at 2098 West Main Street, League City, 77573. Get details
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