On his wife’s urging, Larry McVay got a prostate checkup and got the news that changed his life.
“You just never know what’s going to come your way,” said the Destrehan resident. “I’d never believe at 52 years old I’d come down with prostate cancer. It’s so important that men get checked starting at age 50 to help curtail cancer.”
It was on his wife’s urging that he did the checkup and then his doctor notified him about getting a biopsy. On May 21, 2008, he went in to the hospital to remove his prostate. On that same day, he went in alongside his mother who had a cancer biopsy done on her shoulder.
“She was going one way and I was going the other way,” McVay said.
His mother was diagnosed with bone cancer. By Aug. 17, 2008, she was gone.
McVay is still fighting cancer and its complications.
When the surgery was done, he was told by his doctor that it was already in his blood stream so he knew it could surface in the future, adding, “We just didn’t know when and where.”
By 2014, the cancer spread in his thyroids and now it’s in his spine, pelvic area, ribs and several other spots, which he describes as a “setback.” More recently, he’s dealt with two broken femurs with rods in both legs, and an additional plate and bone graft in his left leg. It’s further complicated by his leg not healing, which could also warrant a femur and hip replacement.
He’s used a variety of medications and even undergone a clinical trial on a test drug, as well as did some radiation. The latter treatment contributed to his left leg not healing. McVay got a second opinion from M.D. Anderson, but said it would use the same treatment was getting at Tulane Cancer Center so he remained there.
Before he was diagnosed, McVay was in the safety industry and traveled extensively from Louisiana to the West Coast for 22 years.
“I try to stay positive, despite ups and downs with cancer, and the sickness,” he said. “I try to do what I can and continue to have a positive outlook,” he said. “There’s always hope.”
He looks to his wife, who he calls “my rock,” who has been with him step by step. And he loves his grandchildren, who help him keep going, too.
McVay also deeply appreciates Perry’s Posse that helps cancer patients in the area. The group provides cards, encouragement, prayers and even financial assistance.
“It’s a wonderful organization and support group,” he said. “It’s comforting. They are people I don’t know personally praying for me and my family. It gives you hope and brightens your day.”
It’s hope that McVay needs as he is in limbo about the status of his cancer.
“We’re kind of holding tight until the next scan, which is every 12 weeks,” he said. “It could be chemo treatments in the near future, but I’m waiting on what the scans show.”