This is the first in a series of survivor articles leading up the Relay For Life Celebration in Lonoke on Friday, May 2, at the Gina Cox Center on the Lonoke High School Campus.

By Jimmy Southerland

In March 2006, I was having pain in my right side. After a cortisone shot didn’t help Dr. Anderson decided I should go and have a CAT Scan to make sure nothing was going on.

The scan didn’t show anything on the right side where my pain was but it revealed a tumor on my left kidney. The doctor who read the scan told me it was cancer and that I probably would have never known it was there until I started having some serious problems.

I believe with all my heart that the Lord allowed the pain in my right side which was probably a strained muscle to lead me to having the scan. The doctors told me the tumor was small and it looked like it was contained in that one area.

I would need surgery to remove it. The surgery went well and the malignant tumor removed. I went home feeling good but about a week later I started getting dizzy. I would nearly pass out as soon as I tried to stand up.

Cherry rushed me back to the emergency room where it was discovered that my spleen had been nicked during the surgery. This led to a major operation and prayers were certainly needed. Eight pints of blood were removed from my stomach during the surgery.

After the surgery, my creatinine level should have been between 0.6 and 1.2. If the level gets to 2.9 that is considered kidney failure. Mine was at 3.9.

A blood clot developed and things looked pretty bad for the first two days. On the third day I woke up feeling good.

My kidneys were working fine, the blood clot was gone, and my oxygen level was normal. God truly answers prayers! I have had CAT Scans for the last seven years and so far nothing has returned. Each day is a blessing.

Upcoming rallies

A Relay For Life Kickoff Rally will be held tonight at 7 o’clock at the Lonoke Community Center. Team rallies will be held March 27, April 10 and April 24, at 6:30 p.m. at the community center.