The Story of Zac Stice
No doubt a cancer diagnosis is a life changer, your schedule changes, your family has to make changes, you may even have to travel regularly or move to a different area. But it doesn’t all have to be negative. I was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in December of 2013. At the time I was an engineer working in research and development, a husband of 2 years and father of a beautiful 1 year old son. Needless to say the news changed a lot of our plans. I had a port installed in my left chest on Christmas Eve by a fantastic surgeon and then started a chemotherapy protocol on January 3, 2014 in Tulsa at St. John’s. After a few treatments there I started researching the best opportunities for me which eventually led me to a great Oncologist at Stephenson Cancer Center. Fortunately my job allowed me to pick up and move to the Oklahoma City area to pursue treatment there. The best advice I can give is to advocate for yourself, find a treatment plan and facility that works for your specific case, then find balance in your life. Do not let the treatment control your schedule any more than necessary, continue to be active, keep your routine as well as possible, your body needs to stay strong.
No matter the diagnosis it’s important to keep a positive attitude through it all and try to find the positives in your new lifestyle. Beyond being a disease it is more importantly a unique life experience that you get to endure and you should take the time to learn about it, and make the effort to be educated about your condition and treatment. More importantly develop the empathy for what the people around you are going through and how you can do little things to make others lives better.