AFTER BEING DIAGNOSED WITH COLON CANCER, TEXARKANA/ NORTHRIDGE COUNTRY CLUB GENERAL MANAGER, BILLY POWER, CARRIES OUT HIS LIFE WITH AMBITION AND PURPOSE
by FERNANDA HERNANDEZ
The speed at which life moves along seems to slow down for no one. For some, each day is lived at maximum speed, and a to-do list tends to take center stage in one’s life. Future projects, responsibilities, careers, and other tasks hold complete monopoly over our time. That is, until something forces a person to slow down the dash and concentrate solely on the moment in which one is currently living, instead of the moment that is yet to come. In the case of Billy Power, Texarkana/ Northridge Country Club general manager, a multi-tasking entrepreneur, tennis pro, husband, and father, life moved at an incredibly rapid tempo; and it would be an unexpected diagnosis that would slow down time dramatically.
Billy received the tough news of colon cancer that inhabited a part of his body. The discovery cast a blinding spotlight on the things that truly mattered in his life. Thus, leading Billy to submerge himself into his existence in a way that enabled him to treasure time spent carrying out meaningful tasks like nurturing relationships and enjoying every moment. The unfavorable news seemed to have one positive outcome; they highlighted and bumped up the things that carried the most weight and value. Thus, demanding Billy’s undivided attention and full mental and physical presence. “I never really got scared. The way I described it to my friends is that I’ve never been more present,” explains Billy. “I’ve always been forward thinking and looking ahead, and in these moments, everything seems so insignificant,” he adds. Immediately after receiving the diagnosis, Billy had to navigate through the uncertainty of the severity of the situation, as well as the steps he needed to take to rid his body of the cancer.
The cancer came very unexpectedly. A few days after celebrating his forty-sixth birthday, Billy began experiencing some stomach pains and bleeding. After ruling out diverticulitis as well as hemorrhoids, he visited his gastroenterologist who recommended an immediate CT scan, followed by a colonoscopy two weeks later. However, these plans did not unfold quite the way they had planned. After receiving and reviewing the results of the CT scan, Billy received a call from his doctor’s office telling him that he could not wait two weeks to undergo the colonoscopy. Still not thinking much of it, Billy made his way to the doctor to undergo the procedure, completely unaware of what was to come soon after. “I woke up that afternoon, and my wife said, ‘You have colon cancer,’” explains Billy.
No more than 24 hours after receiving the diagnosis, Billy was under Dr. Meko Radomski’s care and would be going into surgery to remove the cancer found in his colon. “It all happened really fast,” recalls Billy. “The reason why we did surgery so quickly was because they said the cancer had been in my body 4-5 years,” he explained. Ironically enough, prior to the surgery, Billy’s medical team thought the cancer to be the size of a lemon, but once removed, doctors informed Billy and his family, that the cancer was the size of a tennis ball. Initially, receiving the news of the cancer and everything that followed it, seemed to be only negative. However, that was not the case. What was believed to be Stage III cancer (which means the cancer has grown into nearby tissues and lymph nodes), turned out to be Stage II which was incredible news that meant the cancer was small and only in one area of the body. Further ruling out the necessity of him undergoing chemotherapy was a huge win and relief for Billy and his family.
Though the news did not come easy, Billy is back to living a normal life and has made significant changes to his diet and his overall life in order to reduce the probability of the cancer returning. However, the routine checkups and immense change Billy made to his diet are miniscule in comparison to the way this experience changed Billy’s entire mind-set and the way he carries out his life. “I heard a quote that says, ‘Cancer changes everything but it also changes nothing,’” explains Billy. “I thought it was so poignant because cancer changes you so dramatically, and it makes you see everything so differently, but at the same time nothing around you changes. The world around you is still going,” he adds. These words rang true in his life.
Today, Billy is more present than ever and continues to pour himself into his role as Country Club manager, though to him the role is so much more than a job with a to-do list. His position is merely a vehicle that has allowed him to reach an immense amount of people, giving him the opportunity to continue to help people reach their full potential while also bringing happiness to every member and staff member at the clubs.