Arbuckle Shares Story of Breast Cancer SurvivalReprinted with permission from the October 26, 2005 issue of the Elgin Courier - Elgin, Texas
The last thing on Ronny Arbuckle's mind seven years ago when he was in Oklahoma City attending a Big 12 baseball tournament was cancer. But he found a tiny knot beside a nipple and didn't ignore it.
And that's a good thing.
With the help of his wife, Sydna, the journey began quickly with a trip to a doctor for a biopsy. The doctor assured them not to worry, because he had been practicing medicine for 20 years and he not seen a case of male breast cancer. Ronny was age 62 at that time.
However the story changed when the doctor met with them afterwards and the Arbuckles were told that Ronny had aggressive breast cancer, along with one bulging lymph node. Ultimately, that statistic would increase to 19 lymph nodes that tested positive.
The Arbuckles plunged into uncharted territory of aggressive treatment for the cancer that was threatening their world.
Ronny was fortunate in that he had two doctors in Austin who had no intention of losing him and his treatments included chemotherapy, stem cell treatment, radiation and a bone marrow transplant. He donated his own bone marrow for the transplant.
It was a long and difficult journey, but seven years later, Ronny is now able to visit the doctor every six months instead of the constant barrage of doctors' appointments the Arbuckles had to keep up with early on.
Ronny is now able to play golf, one of his favorite past times. He has made a concerted effort to communicate and assist anyone who is stricken with cancer and let them know there is hope.
Their daughter, Ronda Kirk, 46, of Waco, is also fighting an aggressive case of breast cancer. Ronny's mother had colon cancer and his grandfather also had cancer.
Ronny and Sydna are both advocates of early detection, which is a factor in Ronny's seven-year success in fighting the disease. They urge everyone they know to seek an evaluation if something out of the ordinary is noticed.
Ronny is a prime example of the saying that 'early detection can be life-saving.' Even though the statistic on breast cancer for men is that less than one percent of men develop breast cancer, that percentage translates into 1,400 men per year in this country.
Ronny, along with Sydna were interviewed by KVUE television this month and the KVUE Web site will carry the story and the important information about breast cancer throughout the month.
KVUE's Web site is www.kvue.com.
Dr Danette M Vercher