Revisiting a cancer patient finishing treatment as pandemic winds down

Pandemic Postcards

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – When Brad Johansen started Pandemic Postcards nine months ago, he visited a man who was faced with the idea of his own mortality.

A mole left unchecked for five years turned out to be cancerous. Johansen revisited that man, Kelly Clark, nine months later, coming out of this dark COVID tunnel.

“I never considered that I was going to die,” Clark said. “Thought I would live forever.”

That’s what Clark said in October 2020, when cancer from the mole they cut off his foot had spread to the lymph nodes in his groin.

A port in his chest channeled a chemo drip every three weeks. After his enlarged appendix was removed.

“When he biopsied it, it was cancerous,” Clark said.

He was reminded of his father.

“My dad was a two-time winner against non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and third time loser,” Clark said.

When asked if the cancer has changed her husband, Sarah Clark said it has.

“He gets really emotional,” she said. “He feels a lot more.”

Clark took to meditation and daily journaling.

“Three things to be grateful for: another beautiful day a beautiful family, and a great group of loyal friends,” he said.

And on the first day of June, he was that patient ringing the bell to signify his last cancer treatment.

“There are people being treated, laid out multiple rags, and they were clapping,” Clark said.

On July 13, he will have his first body scan to see if the cancer stayed away. For 53 years, Clark said he took his greatest gift for granted: being alive.

So, with or without cancer, he’s been regifted.

“You have a very limited time, whatever time that is, todays become pretty important,” Clark said.

This is the last of Brad Johansen’s Pandemic Postcard reports. Thank you all who submitted your stories. Revisit all Pandemic Postcard reports by clicking here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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