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Lung cancer almost took my life

Guy Wilcox smoked cigarettes for almost four decades before he was diagnosed with lung cancer.

“When I was a 17-year-old guitar player, everybody else was smoking, and so was I,” Wilcox says. “By the time I was 35 or 40, people called me chimney, because I was smoking so much.”

But in his late 50s, Wilcox found it harder to do some of the things he enjoyed, like running the Atlanta Peachtree Road Race.

“It occurred to me that  it was a little harder to run up the hills,” Wilcox explains. “I attributed it to age, but my doctor said, ‘I think we need to take a look.’”

The painful truth

After doctors x-rayed his chest, Wilcox received the diagnosis he had been dreading all along. He had lung cancer, and he had to have surgery.

“I felt denial the whole time until I looked into the surgeon’s eyes, and I saw concern and I saw competence,” Wilcox says. “The quality of care was as good as I could possibly imagine. Every person that I worked with was amazing. It was like having somebody who really cared.”

The surgery saved his life, and now Wilcox can get back to the ones he loves the most.

“I have grandchildren that I really want to see grow up,” Wilcox says.  “And these doctors did everything right to make sure that I get an opportunity to do that.  And I can’t thank them enough.” 

Piedmont is the only healthcare system in Georgia to become an affiliate of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a program of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. This collaboration ensures patients receive cancer care based on best practices developed by one of the nation’s leading cancer care providers. Click here to learn more.

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