Wiregrass husband and wife discuss their cancer battles

(WTVY News 4)
Published: Jun. 4, 2018 at 9:37 AM CDT
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Roddy and Pat Cook have been practicing medicine for more than 30 years. Roddy is now a Doctor at First Med in Dothan. Pat is a retired nurse. Not only have they both treated cancer patients during their career, they were also once patients themselves.

"Without a doubt the worst year of my life,” said Pat Cook.

Pat was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1976.

"It was by the grace of god that put my hand at the right place at the right time,” mentioned Pat. “Because I didn't do self-exams."

And Roddy was diagnosed with neck cancer in 2015.

"Basically taking up with chemotherapy and radiation,“ said Roddy. “I was kind of a complainer.”

Throughout the battles, they leaned on each other.

"I turned to him,” explained Pat. “I would do my crying and then he would always say 'but you're going to get through this and that is not going to happen' and that meant a lot to me."

Roddy added, "Well she did better than she thought.”

"I went back to private duty nursing during his treatment,’ explained Pat. “Because I pretty much stayed home and took care of him."

The experience gave them insight into how to comfort and care for others battling the disease.

"After I had breast cancer, if a husband would come in with his wife, he would talk to the husband which he wouldn't of known how to do before,” said Pat.

Although both are cancer free now, Roddy continues to help fight the disease by treating his patients.

"I’m amazed at how well my patients come in and they do the same treatments that I had,“ mentioned Roddy. “They don't complain and they do a lot better than I did."

According to the American Cancer Society, over the past 10 years of research shows a decrease in cancer related deaths. It credits the drop to early detection and advances in treatment.