'My Cancer' Returns: I Fell and Couldn't Get Up

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The 'My Cancer' Blog

A journalist for more than 25 years, Leroy Sievers has worked at CBS News and ABC News, where he was the executive producer at Nightline. You can follow his story and share your own at his daily blog.

I've been away from Morning Edition for a while ... six months or so. After two years, my cancer decided to get serious. It attacked my spine. For those first two years, I was able to hold on to a fairly normal lifestyle. Even when chemo made me sick, or procedures made me sore, I could still do most of the things I had always done.

That changed when I had to have major surgery. The doctors removed a vertebra that had been attacked by the cancer, and replaced it with an artificial one. Nine hours on the operating table caused a stroke that affected my vision in one eye.

I got a staph infection during the operation, which almost killed me. So the doctors had to do spinal surgery all over again, to clean out the infection.

I was home recovering when the cancer struck at my spine again. This time, I fell. And like that old commercial said, I couldn't get up. So, spinal surgery ... for the third time. Now, I'm home again, gong through rehab so I can get around without a walker sometime soon.

It's been rough. I feel pretty beat up. I've had some tough times before, but this has been different. For the first time, the cancer has truly changed my life. I probably won't drive again. I won't be able to be as active as I was. And to be honest, it makes me mad.

We've hit the cancer with chemo, radiation, heat, cold, hot glue and surgery ... and it still keeps coming back.

I know that in the end, it will most likely get me. But at least I know that I've made it work. And there's some satisfaction in that.

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