Real People, Real Stories

Throat cancer survivor

Jon Norman

It was June 2007, and I was on the golf trip of a lifetime in Ireland. On my final day of the trip I checked emails at the hotel and my ENT doctor had sent the results from testing done before I left. He informed me “my world was about to change” and that I had throat cancer. This wasn’t me, they must have messed the test up, I’m the guy that had just that day walked 36 holes of golf at Bally Bunion Golf Club and was in great shape for 51 years. After the denial and my return to Houston, the next week I got my number at M.D. Anderson and the journey began. During my treatment, I soon began to realize that I was the luckiest person on the planet. When you think things are not going your way and you begin to feel sorry for yourself, a person learns that they don’t have to look very far at a cancer hospital to find someone who is going through a lot more than themselves.

This is what motivated me to become a cancer volunteer and begin my association with CanCare. I am a weekly volunteer on the Oncology floor at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital spreading the word about CanCare. If for a brief moment I can make a cancer patient smile, maybe get them to think that if that guy can make it through treatment then I can also, then I am the one receiving the blessing. As I like to say, “Cancer is not a dead end; it’s just a bump in the road of life.”

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.