LaGrange resident to mark 5-year-milestone in remisson

Published 9:00 am Saturday, September 10, 2022

Later this month, a LaGrange resident will be one of nearly 1,200 patients from across the country to be recognized by the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) for hitting the milestone of five years or more since beginning cancer treatment.

LaGrange resident Scott Davis was diagnosed with stage-three colorectal cancer in 2014. At 50-years-old the self-described “gym rat” was in the best shape of his life when he received the diagnosis.

At the time, Davis said he had been training for an amateur body-building competition and was down to about 8 to 10 percent body fat.

“I wasn’t Arnold or anything. I was more of a body composition guy,” Davis said. “I think I had been eating 2,800 calories per day high protein, carbohydrate, low fat, working out five days a week, for an hour and a half to two hours per day.”

Davis said being in good shape really helped with his recovery during his 12 rounds of chemotherapy but going from eating that many calories per day to not wanting to eat because of chemo really shrank his body.

He said when he lost the will to eat he went from 220 pounds down to 143 pounds.

To make matters worse, Scott said he really likes to eat. He and his wife are avid foodies and love to cook. The couple was featured on Food Network in 2004 and came in second place in a cooking contest.

“One or two of the chemo [treatments] killed my taste buds, but I could still smell food, but couldn’t taste it,” Davis said. “I actually lost my will to eat. I had to force myself to eat because they threatened to put me on a feeding tube.”

Davis said his fitness helped him with recovery, but it was actually worse for his multiple surgeries. He had to have 18 inches removed from his colon. Doctors told him the surgeries were more difficult because the average 50-year-old simply has more room in their guts to work with.

Davis is currently in remission but still has annual doctor’s visits to make sure the cancer is gone.

“I’ve been cancer free for seven years now,” Davis said.

“I did not physically start to feel better until July 2016 because of the lingering effects of the chemo.”

“The worst part of all was the chemo brain. I just couldn’t remember anything. And I work for a credit card company, so high security. If you can’t remember your passwords, you get locked out. I was out for nine months. They actually held my job. I still work for the same company.”

Davis said there were two points where he felt relief that the cancer was finally over. The first was when he found out he was cancer free after the chemo and the second was when he was able to pass a test to return to work.

Health awareness should be on the top of everyone’s priorities, Davis said.

When Davis first discovered blood in his stool doctors thought he just had a hemorrhoid, but he knew his body and knew something was wrong. The blood in his stool continued, so he showed his doctor a photo and he immediately knew something was wrong and scheduled a colonoscopy.

“Either I wasn’t describing it, or he wasn’t hearing it,” Davis said after telling his doctor about the issue for two months. “You have got to be perseverant. It’s your health. The doctor is there to facilitate your health. If the doctor is not hearing what you’re saying, you’re not getting the answer.”

Davis said that while he was at CTCA he got very depressed seeing himself wasting away in the mirror.

“I had to be pushed around in a wheelchair. A year before I was deadlifting 600 pounds, and now I can’t even pull myself out of the bed. That was a real hard point,” he said remembering his treatment.

Davis said therapy at CTCA really helped his emotions along with prayer services there. Davis also underwent acupuncture, which he said helped with pain.

Davis’ five-year cancer-free diagnosis occurred during the height of COVID, so CTCA invited him to be recognized at their Celebrate Life event on Sept. 23.

The celebration will recognize and honor those who reached the five-year milestone during the pandemic years of 2020, 2021 and 2022.

During Celebrate Life, survivors will enjoy a red carpet walk and receive a leaf-shaped plaque at CTCA Atlanta in recognition of their recovery.

“We are thrilled that Celebrate Life is back this year,” said Dr. Anita Johnson, chief of surgery and leader of the Women’s Cancer Center at CTCA Atlanta. “Reaching this five-year milestone is a significant triumph for these celebrants, and Celebrate Life uniquely brings us back to why we do what do. We are humbled to honor their incredible journeys.”