Take Charge

William's Story

April 13, 2016

William640.jpg Meet William, merkel cell cancer patient

I had a growth on my right hip and I was keeping an eye on it and it changed colors a little bit. We had the nodule removed and the guy in the clinic said, “don’t worry about it, it’s 99 percent no problem.” Two weeks later, I got the word I had merkel cell cancer. I was kind of taken back, to be honest with you.  When someone says 99 percent sure, it’s always that 1 percent. The winds were out of my sail but you move forward.

We went for a PET scan and the PET scan showed the tumor was on my heart, which is very rare. That’s when I got into Dr. Harrison, he was the radiologist. He took me under his wing..with me every step of the way.

As a matter of fact, one time his daughter was graduating from college up in New York and I said, “I guess I won’t be seeing you” and he said, “Oh no, I’m flying right back, I’ll be seeing you in the afternoon.” Lo and behold, he was back and he did what he said he was going to do – minimum damage to the heart but maximum to the tumor.

I came down to retire and I want to make sure I get at least 15 more years of retirement, but I know they are giving me the best. I don’t want to say it isn’t going to work because I have say it’s got to work.

Do I wake up feeling 100 percent? No, but I don’t wake up hating to wake up. My glass is half full. I’m here because Moffitt is the place to be. You can’t ask for much more.