Jul 11, 2013 11:12 PM by Angela Douglas - MTN News

Cancer survivor combines modern day medicine with Native American treatment

ASHLAND - Steven Fisher Sr. has come a long way since June of 2011 when two tumors were discovered in his left leg.
"I cried a little bit at first," Fisher admitted. "But I just told myself that I wasn't going to lay down and let it take me.
Fisher was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancerous tumor of the muscle attached to bone. That diagnosis didn't come quickly. It took roughly three months of testing to determine what they were up against.
"They couldn't just start treating me because they couldn't pin point it exactly," Fisher explained. "It was such a rare cancer."
In fact, only several hundred new cases of Rhabdomyosarcoma are reported in the U.S. each year.
"It was so huge for me to stay focused mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally at that time because I couldn't really do anything," Fisher said.
For the next year, Fisher battled for his life and limb. He did so in a non-traditional way. He took his Native American heritage and combined with current day medicine.
"Right from the get-go I just said, 'I'm not choosing one over the other. I'm just going to take both of them and look at them on an equal basis and mix them together,'" Fisher explained.
Fisher's Native American culture prepared him as he endured more than a dozen rounds of chemotherapy and 68 treatments of radiation.
"It's called a cloth ceremony," Fisher stated. "He wiped down all my family. My family got together all in one circle and they all prayed for me and then I went off to Billings and started doing the chemo."
That combination of modern day medicine from doctors, paired with the herbs and roots of his medicine man. Proved to be the perfect recipe for Fisher; he has now been cancer free for 13 months.
"Went from six weeks, to 90 days, now they're every six months," Fisher beamed. "It's a pretty good feeling that I don't have to go back into those places where I was having to go, like everyday."
It's an outcome Fisher and his family couldn't be more grateful for.
"We watched him go through all his treatments and was still able to get up and walk around," said Steven's mother, Geraldine. "He really took good care of himself and he fought it all the way."
Fisher hopes to inspire those currently battling cancer to never lose hope.
"Don't lay down and let the disease take you. Stand up and fight everyday for your life," Fisher urged. "Never give up."
Friday night at Billings West High, Steven Fisher will lead the Survivor Walk for the St. Vincent Healthcare team at the Yellowstone County Relay for Life event.


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