WEBSTER COUNTY, Ky. (5/8/13) - Webster County Relay for life will be hosting its 2013 event on Friday May 30, at Trojan Field in Dixon.
As we prepare for the event, The Journal-Enterprise would like to take an opportunity to honor a few Webster County residents who have won their battle with cancer. Their stories are all different, but each one is an inspiration.
For Onton resident Greg Ranes, being diagnosed with cancer has all been about time, and the appreciation of it that he has gotten.
“Since the fall of 2005 it seems like I have been surrounded by cancer,” said Ranes. “My mother was diagnosed with cancer in 2005. She had a brain tumor. She died three months after being diagnosed. I had a childhood friend who was diagnosed in 2009 with the same cancer I got diagnosed with in 2010.”
In 2010 Ranes noticed a spot on his lip that looked a lot like a fever blister. Dr. Tristan Lineberry urged him to have it checked out, but he says he didn’t have time. Six months later, Ranes said, his wife and Dr. Lineberry got together and told him again. This time he decided to listen.
“It’s not the dermatologists fault, but he thought it was just a fever blister,” Ranes said. “I took him at his word.”
Six months later the spot had grown, so he got a second opinion.
“I remember the call I got after the second opinion,” he said. “It was June and I was cutting hay. Someone from the University of Louisville hospital told me I had squamous cell carcinoma and that we needed to set up an appointment and get started.”
Ranes went through a range of thoughts and emotions, but he said the first thing he thought was that he didn’t have time for this.
Having already been through this cancer with a friend, he knew going in that it could be beat.
“God, in being God, gave me peace,” said Ranes. “Nobody is prepared for cancer. It caught me so off guard. It didn’t fit into my plans. I didn’t have time for cancer.”
A month after the call from Lousiville, Ranes was on an operating table. Doctors kept him awake during the surgery.
“I remember thinking, Lord I need your peace,” he recalled. “Give me your peace and peace just filled the room. He took my mind to what was waiting for me when I woke up. My family. There was no fear.”
Doctors, in hopes of preventing the cancer from coming back, took out more than they had to, including 75 percent of his bottom lip. The procedure lasted most of a day, and proved to be effective. The cancer had gotten into his lip and chin, but had stopped just short of his lymph nodes, which can cause cancers to spread faster.
He spent the next ten days with much of his head bandaged, leaving him unable to eat or to speak.
“That was some of my worst suffering,” he joked. “But you can believe I made up for it!”
Ranes was told that he would not require chemo or radiation, just a check up every six months.
In 2011 doctors told Ranes that he was cleared, and from that day on he said that he has looked at the world differently.
“Things in my life that I used to come unhinged about, don’t bother me,” he said. I don’t have time for that nonsense now. I appreciate people. There is so much out there that I was missing because I didn’t have time. Now, every day is an opportunity.”
J-E News Editor
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