Facing an uncertain future was a scary time for Andy Loder.
But he’s always been a fighter and is more than thankful this difficult time is behind him.
Now he can add survivor to his mantra.
The 62-year-old resident of the Summerside was diagnosed with rectal cancer in 2015. He had his first surgery in February of 2016 and then went through chemotherapy and radiation in both St. John’s and Corner Brook later that year.
“Two years later, I’m perfect,” Loder said Friday.
He’s feeling great these days, but he still remembers the uncertainty in his life as he fought the deadly disease that has caused grief for so many families from every nook and cranny in this province.
“There’s a lot of stuff that goes through your mind and there’s a lot of stress on the family,” he said.
Loder will show his support for fellow cancer survivors and the fight to end cancer once and for all when he participates in his first Corner Brook Relay for Life event — being held today from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. at the Corner Brook Civic Centre Studio.
His wife Karen, undoubtedly one of his biggest supporters throughout the journey, has been an active participant in the Relay for Life and continues to do so as a member of Gary’s Gang, so the two will join hands this time around.
One of the highlights of the event is the survivor’s lap and Loder admits he’s nervous because he’s not the most outgoing person around, but he knows it’s important to show support and he knows a lot of other people never got the chance to participate because cancer got the best of them.
He’s healthy and happy now, but doctors have him on cancer surveillance for the next five years, so he will have to get a checkup each year to ensure cancer hasn’t found its way back.
“Every time you go in and get a test done and it comes back that everything is good and there are no signs, it’s always a happy time in the family,” he said.