The year 2020 will get off to an optimistic start for cancer survivor Marvin Thomas.
Marvin’s cancer journey led him to the Columbus Cancer Clinic in 2019. Six years earlier, he had been feeling ill at work. One day Marvin came home and called his brother to tell him how he had been feeling. His brother came to his home, but when he arrived he found Marvin unconscious. It wasn’t until a week later when Marvin woke up. He had fallen into a coma and then was on life support for two weeks. The team of physicians at Mount Carmel West found out Marvin’s aorta was dissected and that he needed surgery to repair it. After being hospitalized for ninety days, Marvin was released.
During a post-surgery exam, Marvin’s physician recommended that he go to the Cleveland Clinic for more repairs to his heart. Five months later, he was back at the Cleveland Clinic for heart surgery. This time they could not operate down the front of his chest; they had to enter through his side and back. The physician said it was great that he came when he did because his aorta had started leaking again.
Marvin was once again on the road to recovery. From 2014-2017 he had to travel to Cleveland for routine heart check-ups. During one of his visits, the doctor saw what appeared to be a spot on his lung. Marvin questioned what it could be – because he has never been a smoker – and the doctor said it looked like cancer but for him to return in three months to see if it grows. It turned out, Marvin’s doctor was right. So he was scheduled for surgery to remove the tumor and 1/3 of his lung. The physician assured Marvin that he was cancer-free by the end of 2017.
During his monthly appointment, another tumor was discovered, but this time the cancer was more aggressive, which required him to undergo radiation and chemotherapy for nine weeks. Marvin began his cancer treatment on February 14, 2019, at Riverside Hospital. That is when the nurse navigator referred him to the Columbus Cancer Clinic.
CCC took Marvin by the hand and continued his cancer journey by his side. He received a Gift of Kindness to have his car repaired, was invited to participate in the Night of Hope and Support, and his was one of the families adopted for Christmas.
“This was one of the most wonderful times of my life,” he said of participating at Night of Hope, a fashion show and fundraiser for the Columbus Cancer Clinic. “Hearing the crowd cheer for me was like being on cloud nine. I have never been in a situation like that before in my life.”
Marvin said that the one thing he feels especially thankful for is the support system and the life-long friends he has made.