Cancer survivor Glover 'makes the most of it'
Published: Friday, April 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2012 18:04
Bill Glover said the Lord has led him through many high and low times in his life, including having his stomach removed in 1971 and being diagnosed with colon cancer in 2005, but he doesn't feel sorry for himself and he would not change a thing in his life.
"[Cancer] runs in my family,” Glover said. “But you can't sit down and cry about it. God gave you this day so you've got to make the most of it.”
He was born in Dallas on July 9, 1937, as one of 10 children: five boys and five girls.
"She was a good mom,” Glover said about his mother, who died at the age of 80. “Had to be with 10 kids!"
His father was diagnosed with cancer when he was a young boy and passed at the age of 55; so, all of the kids had to pitch in to help pay for the house and food.
"I was driving cars and working when I was eight or nine years old,” Glover said. “I would sit on top of my brother and he would push the gas and brake when I'd tell him and I had to sit on top of him so I could see out the windshield, and we'd drive."
He bought and paid for his first car when he was 12 years old, a 1937 Chevrolet Coupe. He said that he and his brothers would make money by buying old cars from junk yards, fixing them up themselves and selling them for a profit. That's where he said he learned so much about engines, which helped him get a job as a diesel mechanic.
"We made more money when we were 13 and 14 than most grown ups were making back then," he said.
Glover grew up and got a job driving big rigs all around the country during the weekdays and fixed diesel engines on the weekends.
"I put in 112-115 hours a week, working all through the week and weekends, then coming back to work on Monday," he said.
In 1971, after having constant pain from ulcers in his stomach, which bleed constantly and caused him to bleed from his mouth, he had major surgery to remove his stomach. He told the story of the nurse feeding him a small square of jello which he said made his small stomach feel like it was about to explode. The doctors sent him home and ordered him to rest up and recuperate.
"The next day I was out laying concrete for my neighbor," Glover said. "I was a busybee wasn't I?"
He married his second wife, Melinda, in 1988, a few years after his first wife died of cancer. They both came from similar backgrounds, both having daughters die at young ages. Glover's daughter from his first marriage died when she was only a few months old, and Melinda's daughter from her first marriage died when she was 24, just two years after she was married.
His wife had health problems, and he said he took care of her and helped her get through a lot. But in 2005, it was her turn to take care of him.
"In 2005 I was diagnosed with colon cancer, which then moved into my prostate and my left lung,” Glover said. “We didn't tell any of my family until 2007 because we didn't want them to worry so much about me."
Glover has had 10 major surgeries for his cancer since then, and three operations in one week, having two in one day during that stretch.
"Those were hard times, but the Lord led us through it,” he said. “I remember not being able to sleep but 15 to 20 minutes at a time and waking up and dragging myself to the bathtub. I had pieces of me coming out cause of all the cancer and radiation. I took care of her for a while, and now she takes care of me. She was with me and helped me through all of it."
He said that he is now cancer free, but went from 194 pounds to 111. He is now back up to 152, but still has to go every four weeks to get the bags and tubes in him cleaned and replaced, which still causes him a lot of pain.
"I don't like to complain, though," he said.
He said he loves going to church and to reads his Bible every day. He and his wife attend the Church of Christ in Commerce.
"The good people in this world you don't have to worry about,” he said. “You need to help those that are bad and pray for those who are bad. That's what the good Lord wants. It's sad when you know the bad people and not do anything to help them."
At 75 years, he has lived a full life that has been through things that not many people have been through. But he said he's a fighter.
"There's an old Hank WIlliams song called 'I'll never make it out of this world alive,'” he said. “That's true. I don't mind dying, but I'm not going to die without a fight."