Nacogdoches cancer survivor shares success story

By Donna McCollum - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - 'Making Cancer History" is the theme of this year's Relay For Life, a celebration for people who have battled cancer. The overnight fundraiser is Friday and Saturday at the Nacogdoches County Exposition Center. The event gives people hope for life after cancer.

Nacogdoches cancer survivor Butch Poe has special reason to celebrate. He's entered the radiation treatment center 37 times. Today he celebrates his very last treatment for prostate cancer.

"He is a perfect patient," said Kim Rulf, a radiation therapist that tended to Poe. "And his results will be great," agreed Richard Bannon, another therapist.

Poe got to know the staff quite well in the last month. He just never paid much attention to the décor, such as a bell patients ring after their last treatment. His wife Vicki made sure he noticed it today.

"How do I do it?," joked Poe to his wife. As the ringing sound echoed through Nacogdoches Medical Center's Loma Laird Cancer Center the staff laughed and cheered. Poe had a huge grin on his face.

"It just made my heart leap with joy. I'm so proud of him," said Vicki Poe, whose parents had cancer.

Unlike some patients, the cancer experience didn't change the optimistic man's outlook on life. " To me it doesn't play into anything. I just accept it," Poe said. "I believe, faith in the people treating us. I have faith in God that he will do what's right for us and so I never worry about it."

Poe attacked cancer. It's an attitude that works. "You have to go into it with the winning attitude and also just having the strength to make it through and know you're going to do good on the other side," said Dr. Kathryn Lewis, Poe's radiology oncologist.

"I don't have time for cancer. I've got other things to do," said Poe.

He's not kidding. Poe leaves Sunday for Saudi Arabia. The offshore worker's schedule is back to normal.

©2010 KTRE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.