Life turned upside down pretty quickly for Kevin Scott in 2009 when, during a routine medical checkup on December 1, he heard three of the scariest words many can imagine: “You have cancer.”
Thinking it was a regular medical appointment, Scott wasn’t expecting much on the way into the doctor’s office, however, on the way out not only did he have to cope with a new and scary diagnosis but he also just found out that he would no longer have a family doctor to help guide him through the process of treatment and check-ups.
“How do I tell my family,” Scott asked himself on the way home. With a family member’s recent passing, another diagnosed with ALS and his daughter planning her wedding, he was worried to tell them the news.
Although he had been a police officer for many years and seen his share of scary or violent situations, Scott had not been this scared before.
“Nothing compared to the three words, ‘you have cancer,’” he said.
After more testing, Scott was told he had stage four throat cancer and would have to undergo seven weeks of radiation and chemotherapy. Through his treatments, Scott lost his sense of taste, saliva production, his ability to eat and drink as well as speak. Even swallowing water was an ordeal that required a lot of pain medication. At the end of March, Scott had finally finished his treatments and just a couple of months later took part in his first survivors’ banquet at Relay for Life.
“It was highly emotional,” he said about the banquet itself. As the group of survivors left the banquet they made their way from North Nova Education Centre to the Parkdale track where the event was held at the time. Scott said it was incredible and emotional to walk on to the track and see hundreds of people there to cheer him and the other survivors on during their survivors’ lap. He has been attending the annual banquet ever since.
“This will be my 10th survivor banquet. For the survivors out there that haven’t gone I highly encourage them to,” Scott said.
Now in remission, Scott has been a supporter of relay since his battle; he was very humbled to be asked to represent the event as the community champion this year. He is happy to give back in some way.
“It was certainly an honour to be able to take on this role and I’m grateful to give back to the community that was supportive in my journey,” Scott said. “No one has to face cancer alone. The survivors offer hope to those battling as well.”