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A Radcliff councilman diagnosed with liver and colon cancer in December returned to city council on Tuesday night after a brief hiatus.
Don Shaw said doctors have removed the cancer from his colon but he continues undergoing chemotherapy treatments to combat liver cancer. The crowded chamber hall applauded as he announced his progress.
Shaw said the liver cancer is in stage 4 and incurable, but he exuded confidence in addressing the city. He told those in attendance his doctors have assured him there are patients with his condition who are still fighting and active in the program five to seven years after a diagnosis.
“I’d like to be one to beat it,” Shaw said as he grew emotional.
Doctors discovered blood in a stool sample Shaw submitted during semi-annual testing in December. A colonoscopy immediately was scheduled, which found colon cancer. Shaw said a subsequent full-body scan also found traces of cancer in his liver.
Doctors wanted to schedule surgery to remove the colon cancer but the liver cancer called for immediate attention, he said. The surgery would have prohibited doctors from treating the liver for roughly a month.
Shaw’s diagnosis has required him to undergo intense eight-hour sessions of chemo, several of which he already has completed. He said Tuesday he will consult soon with his doctors on what’s next but understands another phase of chemo is necessary.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
Shaw said he was hospitalized for nearly a month between February and March. He underwent surgery, where he lost his appetite and shed 41 pounds. With the aid of medication, Shaw’s appetite has returned, and he has regained seven of those lost pounds.
“I’m eating like a horse now,” he said with a chuckle.
Mayor J.J. Duvall welcomed Shaw back before the city engaged its voting agenda and said looked well considering his recent ordeal.
Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or firstname.lastname@example.org.