Having beaten the disease once, Senator Larry Dickerson is beginning a second battle against cancer. The Poteau legislator announced today he will soon begin undergoing a series of treatments to attack a malignant tumor in his lung. The survival rate for the type of cancer Dickerson has is almost 90 percent.
"I'm going into this with a very positive attitude and most importantly, the love and support of my family and friends. I've beaten this disease once and I don't have any doubt that I'll beat it again," said Senator Dickerson.
The legislator learned of his illness last week after undergoing a series of tests at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Physicians have told him his prognosis is excellent and that the survival rate for his form of cancer exceeds 85 percent.
"The odds are on my side and that's encouraging. I've been down this road before so I know exactly what I'm facing. There's no fear of the unknown this time. That makes it easier for me and my loved ones," said Senator Dickerson.
Dickerson will begin undergoing chemotherapy treatments immediately, shuttling between the Houston cancer center and his home in Poteau for the next several weeks. The treatment schedule will not affect his work as a state legislator.
"I'll continue to work on behalf of my constituents, whether it's in the district or at the State Capitol. In addition to the treatments, I think one of the keys to a speedy recovery is continuing my normal routine. That means I'll be out there working for my constituents," said Senator Dickerson.
After winning his first battle with cancer some two decades ago, Dickerson made it a point to work with other cancer patients, trying to put them at ease by relating his positive experience to them. That work, he said, has given him even greater strength as he begins his second fight against the disease.
"I'm very fortunate that I have a strong support group and a lot of people pulling and praying for me. With their help, I know I¹ll beat this thing."