83.2 F
Cape Coral
HomeLocal News & SportsGuest EditorialMarine discovers art, optimism following lung cancer diagnosis

Marine discovers art, optimism following lung cancer diagnosis

Marines like Murray Bryant are taught to tough it out. Grind through the pain.

In early 2021, Bryant noticed he would sometimes lose his balance, and his golf game wasn’t up to par. Something just wasn’t right.

Rather than grin and bear it, Bryant visited a doctor.

After a few tests and visits to different doctors, he was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer, which had spread up his body and into his brain. Within a matter of days, physicians at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Lee Health and Advocate Radiation Oncology collaborated to develop an individualized treatment plan that included infusions of cancer-fighting drugs and radiation oncology.

“There are several factors that give cancer patients the best chance of survival, including expert physicians, state-of-the-art technology and an early diagnosis,” said Dr. Arie Dosoretz, managing partner at Advocate Radiation Oncology.

“No one knows your body better than you do. If something doesn’t feel right, get a medical opinion as soon as possible.”

That quick decision led Bryant to Dosoretz’s office, where cancerous lesions involving his brain were treated with stereotactic radiation, a form of radiotherapy that precisely targets and kills cancer cells in one to five treatments while minimizing treatment to healthy surrounding tissue. That often means patients experience fewer side effects like fatigue, nausea, skin changes and hair loss.

At one point, cancer patients had to undergo many weeks of radiation treatments. Advances in technology, however, mean skilled physicians can effectively destroy cancer cells in just a few visits, sometimes requiring only a single treatment.

“My goal is to get patients out of here,” Dosoretz said. “I want them to be at home doing whatever they love to do – not spending time in the doctor’s office.”

While Bryant was undergoing treatments, he hung up his golf clubs in favor of a paintbrush. The Fort Myers resident discovered liquid acrylic art, or fluid art, which is an abstract painting technique. It allowed Bryant to express his creativity while resting, a key component in recovery.

“I try to achieve some beauty in the art that I do,” Bryant said. “I’m not looking for accolades. I just enjoy seeing my results.”

With help from his daughter, Bryant has sold some of his canvas pieces on Etsy and continues painting for enjoyment. Now more than a year removed from his treatments, Bryant is back enjoying life as a retiree in Southwest Florida.

“My golf game still sucks, but other than that, I feel fine,” he joked.

Like all cancer patients, Bryant is continuing to stay in touch with doctors and recognizes he’s in good hands. Despite the close call two years ago, he isn’t overly concerned about a recurrence.

“Oh no,” Bryant said. “God’s got me and knows where to find me when he wants me.”

latest articles

explore more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!