My Name Is Webb Smith Jr And This Is My Story
My wife had been imploring me for months to go to the doctor. I had been having some bowel issues, but it’s easy to pretend “it’s nothing serious”, and just keep going. Turns out, that was hardly the case. On November 19, 2013 I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer. It had spread to the liver and at that point, the doctors did not give me much hope.
They said they could treat me with some chemotherapy, but basically, they gave me maybe two years or so. At only 45 years old, needless to say, coming to grips with this realization turned my world upside down. That week of tests and doctors appointments was what I refer to as my “hell week”.
Although my faith was strong, it was difficult to come to terms with the fact that I may not be around to walk my two beautiful daughters down the aisle or grow old with my wife. My family pulled together and we spent some time praying, crying and hugging, then we prepared ourselves to fight!
We were not content to settle with this diagnosis, and we immediately set out to get a second opinion. The pastor at our church had been diagnosed several years earlier with the same exact disease and now had been cancer-free for four years. I called him, had a very encouraging talk, and found out who had treated him. As soon as my wife had this information, she called the doctor and made the appointment. His first available appointment was a month away.
Meanwhile, my current doctor put me on some chemotherapy medication, and we begun the process of killing my disease. Over the next few weeks, I got very ill. They thought it was the chemo meds, but I was in a lot of pain and could not eat or drink. I lost about 40 pounds, and was very weak. The cancer was taking it’s toll on me. Finally, the day came for our appointment with our pastor’s doctor, Dr. Harris. As soon as he saw me, without hesitation, he went into action. He told us the primary tumor in the colon needed to come out, (that was the reason for all the pain I was in) and I needed to be admitted to the hospital immediately. He also told us, he knew exactly what I needed, and he could have me feeling better by the next day! He spoke with such confidence and was so reassuring and empathetic to my condition we knew on the spot, that God had predestined this doctor for us.
7 Questions with Webb
I woke up the next morning feeling better than I had in weeks. From that point on, I have continued care with Dr. Harris until the time came for him to refer me to Dr. Kemeny, a world renowned liver cancer specialist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital in New York City.
(Incidentally, we had tried to call her directly in the early days of diagnosis to get in to see her… I mean why not just go straight to the best doctor in the country, right? They politely told me that “Dr. Kemeny has very strict criteria for whom she accepts as a patient”)
Both my doctors are working together now to give me the best care possible. Under Dr. Kemeny’s care, I have received a hepatic infusion pump, that delivers chemotherapy directly to my liver, and they have resected the right side of my liver to remove two tumors. I’m responding well to the chemo, and in the near future will hopefully be undergoing another surgery to remove the cancerous left lobe of my liver. And then, by the grace of God, at that point, I will be cancer free! I serve an awesome God!
Thank you for your interest in my story and may God Bless You!