Facing cancer, Georgia couple grateful for 2nd opinions and 2nd chances

Gliding across the hardwoods in their Grayson, Georgia home, David and Pat Cloud have a comfort level that comes with having been together for more than 50 years.

But now, they say, these moments feel even more precious.

"You know we didn't do this for a long time," David Cloud says. "We couldn't do it for a long time."

David's diagnosis came first.

In November of 2016, after months of bleeding and difficulty urinating, he was told he had cancer of the urethra, the tube that drains urine from the body.

The news quickly got worse. 

After surgery to remove the cancer, a CT scan revealed David's cancer had spread into his lower abdomen and lungs. Now, suddenly, he was facing stage 4 lung cancer.

"I was devastated," Pat Cloud says. "I thought, I'm going to be a widow. I couldn't imagine my life without him."

David began chemotherapy at CTCA in the winter of 2017. But about a year after his lung cancer diagnosis, Pat's doctor found two suspicious moles on and her nose and neck.

"They did a biopsy on them,  and said, 'melanoma,''' she says. "That's the worst kind of skin cancer.'

"I was devastated.  I thought, 'I'm going to be a widow.'  I couldn't imagine my life without him."

— Pat Cloud

David Cloud says they were in shock.

Pat also decided to become a patient at CTCA, where David was undergoing his treatment.

"I'll never forget that I was in surgery, and he was upstairs getting chemotherapy," Pat Cloud says. 'I thought, 'This is pretty sad.' Then. I thought, 'But, we're both getting treatment. That's the best thing, you know.'"

David Cloud says helping his wife through her two melanoma surgeries helped him.

"It took a lot of my focus off of just me, because now I was a caregiver. And I wanted to take care of her," he says.

It's been almost three years since David's diagnosis.

Pat is cancer-free.  David is now on the immunotherapy drug Keytruda, which seems to be holding the cancer in his lungs and abdomen at bay.

"I think it's made us live, live life to the fullest.  Be kind to each other.  Just be aware we were blessed and given extra time."

— Pat Cloud

The Clouds are at 51 years and, they hope, counting.

"Go and get a second opinion," David Cloud says. "Go and find out.  Don't just accept the first thing you're given. Because had I accepted that I wouldn't be here today."