A Life-Driven Purpose

My name is Tommy Tucker, and I have been healthy all my life. I worked in a job for over 35 years and only missed five days due to sickness. I retired at the end of 2014 and entered the next phase of my life with my wife and best friend, Donna. We joined the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Disaster Relief Team in 2015 and were blessed to help others in overwhelming circumstances.

On February 14, 2016, I started to feel bad after eating a meal, but I didn’t pay much attention to it. While teaching a Sunday school class the next day, I received a text from my daughter that she was going to have emergency gallbladder surgery. Donna and I left church and went home to pack a bag. I started getting sick and vomited. I thought I had a virus, so I texted my daughter, telling her that we couldn’t make it. I was sick all night. Donna tried to get me to go to the ER, but I told her it would pass. But as the night turned into day, I was still sick.

Donna got me in to see a doctor, who thought I had gallbladder problems and requested a CT scan. It turned out to be a bowel obstruction. They then applied a nasogastric tube and transported me to another town, where I met with a surgeon. I went into surgery the next day and the doctors removed two feet of small intestines and numerous tumors.

I was diagnosed with carcinoid cancer.

I asked God the next morning if He would use me through this cancer as an instrument of His will. From that point forward, I had a host of prayer warriors praying for me.

I had a scan two weeks after my surgery. I met with my surgeon, and she told me that the cancer was in my liver and lymph nodes. I was overwhelmed by the news, but was trying to trust in God’s ability and not mine.

Two weeks after my scan, I went to see my oncologist and she told me that my scan was normal! I started a regimen of Sandostatin (octreotide) injections every 28 days. I’ve had four scans, and all continue to be normal. [Editor’s note: Octreotide is a naturally occurring hormone that is used to treat carcinoid syndrome, which may occur in patients with carcinoid or neuroendocrine tumors.]

Since my surgery, I have tried to cut out sugar and have a daily intake of turmeric, curcumin, and black pepper. I try to walk and stay active and have a daily prayer life.  Staying positive and active is a great way to combat cancer. I give thanks for every day that we are blessed with. I give God all the praise, for this ordeal has strengthened my faith and my marriage, and given me a purpose to serve others while honoring God.

For me, cancer has shaped my life and given me a life-driven purpose. Cancer can change your life, but let that change be a better life than before cancer!

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is a 501c3 registered nonprofit organization with offices at 615 Chestnut Street, 17th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19106 | 215.440.9300