Gautier officer who beat colorectal cancer urges others to get screened
GAUTIER, Miss. (WLOX) - Not today cancer. That’s the mantra of the Gautier Police Department as one of their own announces he’s finally cancer free.
It’s been a three year journey for Sgt. Benjamin McQuagge. Despite the complications, he’s remained on the police force, serving whenever he was not getting treatment or going through surgery.
McQuagge remembers how tough those early days were after receiving his diagnosis.
“They found out I had stage 4 colorectal cancer. It was like a kick in the stomach. I was destroyed. My family was destroyed.”
McQuagge said a local oncologist told him to just get comfortable, and he was given a death sentence of a year and a half in the summer of 2020.
But comfortability is not an option for McQuagge. Action is what runs through his veins.
“I wasn’t keen on that diagnosis. I ended up going to MD Anderson, which is a cancer treatment center in Houston. They were able to put me on a treatment regime that they thought would get me under control and three years later here I am.”
McQuagge was in for the fight for his life, but he wasn’t doing it alone. He says the thin blue line carried him through the battle.
“There were some days that really sucked where I would puke out the side of my patrol car and get back in and get back to work, but it really helped me to work. Not just staying at home all day staring at four walls going nuts.”
McQuagge was able to continue working thanks to a chemo infusion pump, which would deliver his chemo treatments on the go
At 39 years old, McQuagge has a lot of life left to live. He wants to make sure others have that opportunity as well.
“It’s important to get screened. I had no idea. I was having symptoms for almost two years and I just kept putting it off and putting it off like I’m young. I’m healthy. I’m just having cramps. I thought it was just muscle spasms in my legs and when I finally got diagnosed, I had put it off so long that it was well more advanced than it should have been.”
Sgt. McQuagge and his fellow officers will be in full force at his bell ringing ceremony at Ocean Springs Cancer Center on November 21st.
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