Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 27, 2014


One local man is giving thanks this holiday season after receiving good news pertaining to his rare form of cancer.

Michael Stewart, a field-engineering assistant at PowerSouth, was diagnosed with a rare form of appendix cancer at the beginning of the year and told it was treatable, but not curable.

However, Stewart returned this week from a check-up at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center where he was given a report of NED no evidence of disease.

“I was there last Monday and Tuesday and got a clear scan. We can proceed now with other procedures and surgeries,” Stewart said. “I felt that it was going to be OK no matter what. It was, and we will be able to proceed and hopefully get back to where I was a year and a half ago.”

Because of this good news, Stewart said he would be going back to Texas to repair the damages of the surgeries.

“We’ll go back out in two weeks and get a skin graft,” he said. “We’ll do a scan in six months, and do an operation to reattach the muscles at the same time.”

Stewart credits his family, his friends, his church and the doctors who treated him; but especially to his faith.

“I give God all the glory, and thank him,” Stewart said. “God has had his hand in all of this.”

What started off as stomach issues treated by a local doctor, escalated to a trip to a Birmingham doctor who recommended that Stewart see a surgeon.

“I have a lot to be thankful for,” Stewart said. “The way we found out was thanks to God’s plan.”

Stewart said this particular type of cancer would not have been detected without a scan, and a scan would only be warranted if there were a procedure or problem that required it.

Stewart said through the surgeon in Birmingham, he was introduced to the doctor who treated him at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

“God sent us to Birmingham, then to a surgeon who knew someone in Texas who could do the operation,” Stewart said. “We didn’t have to do all the digging and searching because it was kind of planned out for us.

“God put these doctors and surgeons in our path to help us,” he said. “He has a way to work through us and get our attention, and make us better people.”

He said the doctors and nurses at M.D. Anderson were always uplifting, and when they were down they never showed that to the patients.

“That’s one thing I’m thankful for,” Stewart said. “I would send anyone out there without hesitation, if that’s where they need to be.”

Stewart said the illness has changed his life, but he still remains thankful and has a better understanding of other people going through hardships.

“I’m mighty, mighty thankful, and why I am is because I have Jesus in my heart,” Stewart said. “It’s important to be supportive to others you know are going through the same thing, He is going to take care of us no matter what.”

He said people never know what another person is going through.

“It’s left up to you to make their day a little brighter, because you never know,” Stewart said. “I know people are going through situations now any little thing that is positive is something to be thankful for.”

January will mark one-year since Stewart found out about the cancer, and he is looking forward to returning back to life as it was.