Rock n Roll with Q13’s Bill Wixey
Almost 30,000 people will run in Seattle’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and Half Marathon tomorrow.
26.2 miles seems impossible for many of us, but not for one runner who spent last year kicking cancer. I caught up with Q13 News Anchor Bill Wixey to talk about all that he’s been through, starting with his doctor’s appointment a little over a year ago.
“I sat in the doctor’s office and the guy told me I had cancer,” says Wixey.
The doctor knew it was some kind of lymphoma – there are about 64 types – but he would need further tests to make an exact diagnosis. Wixey was advised “not to Google” anything about cancer while he waited for three days for his results.
“I thought, ‘Well, this could be it,'” he says. “It truly could have been. It could have been something real horrible. It could have killed me, and it could have killed me quick.”
He was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, cancer of the lymph nodes. Wixey felt lucky because the cure rate with that type of cancer, if detected early, is about 90 percent. Confident he could “beat it,” he decided to share his cancer treatment with Q13 viewers. He did more than a dozen TV news stories, and blogged about the journey – from the drug regimes to combat nausea, to chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Wixey shared the pain, the struggle, the scientific breakthroughs, and even a few moments when he tried to make light of his own situation.
“I loved being bald,” says Wixey. “I had this huge mop of hair and shaving it off was kind of liberating in some ways. It’s nice and smooth and you put some oil on there and get it all shiny and then you go out and get some sun on your head and it feels great.”
He can joke about it now, but last year the wasn’t laughing as he ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, half way into his chemotherapy treatments.
“I got sicker as the week went on, so my goal truly was to finish that half marathon and keep everything in my stomach,” Wixey says.
He made it. In October, Wixey found out his cancer is gone. Now he’s ready to take on the full marathon to benefit the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation program. His wife Catherine will be doing her first marathon. She’ll be by his side running, which is where she’s been throughout his cancer battle.
Along the way tomorrow, Wixey says he’ll think about all the support he’s gotten over the past year from family, friends and Q13 viewers. He’ll think about how he’s gained a better understanding of people who have adversity in their lives, and every step of the way he’ll remind himself, he “got through it.”
“I survived it,” he says. “I’ll think about those crummy days that I had, for sure, as I’m running this and my legs are killing me and my feet are numb. I’ll think about those crummy days and how I felt a year ago.”
Good luck to all runners, and drivers who will encounter several road and freeway closures between 7:00 am and noon Saturday.