Real People, Real Stories

Throat cancer survivor

Lee Strain

Lee was accustomed to being the man in charge, as the owner of his business and the family man that his wife and kids could always count on. Having cancer might be the fastest way for anyone to learn that you are no longer in charge. After six weeks of radiation, the miraculous day came when his doctor told him that he had beat the cancer. Having been totally focused on the battle, Lee didn’t know what to do or think when he heard the good news. He looked at him and said, “What do I do now?” His doctor said, “Live your life, do what you want to do, and get on with it!”

Lee took his doctor’s advice to heart. He now lives his life knowing he has the strength to deal with life’s greatest challenges. First and foremost, he knows that he’s not always in charge. Second, he decided to choose how he wants to live his life, not only recognizing his obligations to others, but also finding time to do things that are important to him. He always wanted to ride a motorcycle but never did because of the risks and his fears.

Not long ago, Lee got his motorcycle license. When asked if he was bitter or if he would change anything that’s happened to him, he said emphatically, “not one thing.” It’s a club he didn’t ask to join. It’s a club with a difficult initiation, but it’s a club that has also brought him many wonderful experiences.

Before embarking on a journey, we all like to talk to someone who has gone before us. Lee now serves as a mentor for other cancer patients, by being there when they need him. He helps ease their worries and fears, listens to their experiences, and helps people remain hopeful during the most difficult times. You see, as part of his “getting on with it,” Lee became a CanCare volunteer.

CanCare has been serving people with cancer since 1990.  All services are confidential and free of charge.  To talk to someone surviving your diagnosis, click here.