BOLIVAR – Life takes on new meaning after surviving stage 4 cancer, according to Southwest Baptist University’s Robbie Bryant. Like never before, each day becomes an opportunity to thank God for His goodness and to walk by faith.
“You put your faith in God,” he told The Pathway, “and you know that He is directing each one of your steps.”
As a cancer survivor, Robbie and his wife, Julie, shared the story of Robbie’s victory over cancer through a video that was shown during Citizens Memorial Healthcare’s annual Burgundy Ball on Sept. 16 in Springfield.
Robbie, MEP (Maintenance, Electrical and Plumbing) maintenance supervisor within the university’s physical plant, was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer during the summer of 2016.
“I just thought stage 4. That’s like a death sentence,” Julie said in the video.
“My wife and I and kids even, we just cried and cried and cried. It was very tough news,” said Robbie, who was 38 when he received his cancer diagnosis. “But then I told my wife after this day we will try not to do that. We’ll put both feet on the ground and we will continue forward and I will still be Robbie Bryant and we will still go forward.”
Every day, Robbie later told The Pathway, he asked God to guide his “thoughts, actions, steps and words.”
“Then my feet hit the floor, and I was ready to meet the day, knowing that He is on my side and that I have nothing to worry about.”
With their faith in Christ’s healing power and a talented team of physicians at the Carrie J. Babb Cancer Center at CMH in Bolivar on their side, Robbie is living proof that stage 4 cancer can be overcome.
“I went through six rounds of chemo, and I also went through 15 rounds of radiation. My PSA when I started this was 506, which is very, very high,” Robbie said. “Today, and for the last (several) months, my PSA has been less than 0.1. The way I feel today compared to when I first started this journey is just amazing. I am virtually pain free.”
Robbie told The Pathway that the faculty, staff and students at SBU were extremely encouraging as he and his family fought his cancer.
“This is the best place I’ve ever worked,” he said. “You can come to work, and it doesn’t matter what your need is, you can walk up to anybody here and say, ‘Will you pray with me?’ And they will stop what they’re doing and pray.”
Julie, who is an associate professor of education at SBU, is thankful that Robbie was able to receive his cancer treatments in Bolivar, where she could teach in the morning and go be with Robbie at the cancer center later in the day.
CMH produces a video telling one cancer survivor’s story each year for the Burgundy Ball, a fundraiser for the cancer center. (See Robbie’s video below).
(This story includes reporting by Charlotte Marsch, director of marketing and communications at SBU, and Pathway associate editor Benjamin Hawkins.)