By Nancy Gay
As Air Force veteran Floyd Cook shielded his eyes from the rising sun blazing from behind the American flag outside Moffitt Cancer Center, he reflected on how much time he had spent at the hospital.
Doctors diagnosed Cook with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2013. He underwent chemotherapy and radiation but it was CAR T, or chimeric antigen receptor therapy, that sent him into remission in the summer of 2018.
Cook thought his cancer battle was over. However, something didn’t quite feel right, and that September doctors diagnosed him with cancer for the second time – this time lung cancer.
Once again he geared up for the fight. He underwent surgery to remove the tumor and did not need chemotherapy or radiation. In fact, just weeks before being honored at Moffitt’s third annual Veteran’s Day ceremony, doctors said he was in remission again.
Cook, who spent 20 years working reconnaissance missions around the world, says it was nice to be at Moffitt as an honoree rather than a patient. Moffitt celebrated him and other men and women who have served in the armed forces at the annual Veterans Day flag-raising ceremony. “It’s an honor to be given this opportunity to celebrate my military career and my journey with cancer,” said Cook.
Breast cancer survivor Jessica Schwarzkopf presented Cook with a special plaque recognizing him for his service to our county. Schwarzkopf is the daughter of the late General Norman Schwarzkopf, who also battled cancer and was a fierce advocate for early screening.