After successfully completing chemotherapy treatments and a rigorous rehabilitation program, State Senator Larry Dickerson is scheduled to undergo surgery Thursday morning in Houston to remove some final "suspicious nodes" related to his cancer treatment.
The local legislator made the announcement on Wednesday, saying he wanted to keep his constituents updated on his condition.
"The people of my district mean a lot to me and I wanted them to know what's going on. It's just like letting your boss know that you're going to be out sick for a few days," he said.
Sen. Dickerson has been battling cancer for the past two years and is hopeful that the latest operation will be the final stage of the treatments required for a full recovery. The surgery will be performed at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX.
"The surgery really isn't a surprise to me or my family. When I began chemotherapy two years ago, we knew that this kind of surgery might be needed to complete the final stage of my treatment program. I'm optimistic that this will be the last procedure that I have to undergo to make a full recovery," said Sen. Dickerson.
Last summer, the Poteau lawmaker underwent an operation that removed dead cancer cells that were neutralized by chemotherapy treatments. The latest surgery will remove some "suspicious" nodes that remain in his chest cavity.
Doctors have been monitoring the nodes for a number of months and recently gave Sen. Dickerson the option of treating them with more chemotherapy or removing them in an operation. He opted for surgery.
"Chemotherapy is physically draining and very time consuming. My doctors and I thought that surgery would be the quickest and most effective way to neutralize the nodes and get me on a speedier road to recovery. Both my doctor and my oncologist expect good results and I share their optimism," he said.
After undergoing surgery on Thursday, Sen. Dickerson is expected to remain at M.D. Anderson for a 10-14 day recovery period. After that, he will return to Poteau to continue his rehabilitation program.
"The doctors say it could be up to 14 days, but considering how ornery and restless I can get during a hospital stay, they'll probably want to kick me out after the first week," joked Sen. Dickerson.
"Seriously, I would like to get home as quickly as possible so I can be with my family and help walk my son to school. I'm also looking forward to preparing for the 2002 elections. By getting this final treatment out of the way now, I'll be at full strength and ready to hit the campaign trail in a much quicker fashion."