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200810 August 10, 2020


Five-Year Survivor
Tommy Towery
LHS '64
    I have kept this little secret for a long time, but after my wife posted it on Facebook last week I decided I should share it with the rest of you.    

    August 6th of last week marked the anniversary of when President Harry Truman ordered the Enola Gay to drop the atom bomb (A-Bomb) on Hiroshima in 1945. Five years ago, on August 6th, I had the C-Bomb dropped on me. I have a history of kidney stones so when I started passing blood in my urine I was sure I was once again facing dealing with another kidney stone. You cannot image how my mouth dropped when the urologist came out point blank and said “Oh, here’s the problem – you have cancer!” It was bladder cancer and not kidney cancer, but anyone who has ever heard those words spoken to them knows how hard it hit me.
I had never known anyone with bladder cancer and I had no idea what I would be facing in the future. How long did I have to live I wondered. How will I be treated – radiation or chemicals? Will they remove infected areas and make me end up on a device and be trapped at home for the rest of my short life? Thousands of questions and options raced through my mind.

    The doctor did not seem to be too concerned. It turns out bladder cancer is one of the easiest cancers to treat. I soon found out the treatment would be neither radiation nor chemical. Instead my treatment would be Immunotherapy, which causes the body’s own immune system to attack the cancer cells. I was scheduled for a once a week for six weeks treatment of a procedure called Bacillus Calmette-Guerin or BCG. BCG is a germ that's related to the one that causes tuberculosis (TB), but it doesn’t usually cause serious disease. BCG is put right into the bladder through a catheter. It reaches the cancer cells and "turns on" the immune system. The immune system cells are attracted to the bladder and attack the bladder cancer cells. BCG must come in contact with the cancer cells to work. This is why it's used for intravesical therapy.

    In simple terms, once a week I went in and had a catheter inserted and my bladder drained. Then a 500cc dose of live tuberculosis serum was flushed into my bladder and I had to hold it there for two hours before I could relieve myself of it. I did that for six weeks in a row at first and after a test it was decided I needed to repeat the procedure for another six weeks.

    There were only some uncomfortable side effects about two or three times during the procedures and after the last one there were no signs of cancer cells  but still a few abnormal cells. Finally after one of my every three month procedure things were normal.

    To me, August 6th was the anniversary of when the cancer was discovered and so I consider myself a five-year cancer survivor based upon that date. At first I had to have a recheck every three months but after my test in February of this year it was pushed back to a recheck every six months. This Tuesday will be my first every-six-month check. Basically it is a Cystoscopy and takes about 15 minutes but I am in and out quickly but spend the remainder of the day resting. The doctor takes biopsies of the tissue and sends them off to a lab which takes three or four days to process before I get the results.

    I find I am more grateful for every day of my after going through this and look forward to announcing the day I become a 10-year survivor.


        Memphis, TN -  Thanks for all the Army updates made last week. I have been working with the new software called PhotoStage and I think it will work great to create the show I want and will have it ready by Veteran's Day in November.

        This week I am listing the other branches of military and hope that you will look at it closely and if you are a veteran and your name is not on this list or the Army one from last week you will take a minute and fill out the attached form so that your service will be recognized in my tribute.

Known Veterans from 1964-1965-1966-1967



Don Blaise
Wayne Deason
Johnny J. Sharp
Joel Weinbaum 


Bob Alverson
Sherman Banks
Ron Blaise
Rick Edmonds
Robert Gorum
Phillip Radzinski
Fred Sanders
Jerry Sandlin
Joe Schultz
John Turrentine
Rodney Vandiver


Mark Bentley
Lewis Brewer
Charlie Hancock
Bill Hines
John Hudgens
Marin Lee
Glenn Swaim
Bryan Towery


Gary Betterton
Kenneth Dundon
Tom Gilbert
Harold Shepard

Air Force


Jim Betterton
Mike Boggs
Jack Dickerson
Stan Hortin
James Pierce
Steve Roberson
Spencer Thompson
Diane Tidwell
Tommy Towery


John Kent Bushart
Dennis Faber
Mike Garrison
Jack Grant
Terry Martin
Fred Sanders
Joe Schultz Air National Guard
Don Stroud


Donald Catlett
Gary W. Hatcher


Stanley Canaugh



Joe Barren
Richard Ricky  Simmons


Mike Cortright
William Glough
Mike Kuettner
Jim Myrick
Lamar Taylor


Charlie Hancock
Eddie Jones
Roger Pentecost
Marty Phillips


David Mallory
Jimmy Kiger
Ed Huff
Wayne Smith
Sam Smith
Bob Thomas

If your are a Veteran and your name is not on this list, please complete the form below. Thank you.

Veteran Information

This Week's Name That Group

NTT 8-3-20

1. What are the five songs?
2. Who is the Group?

Max Kull. LHS '67 supplied these answers.

Recognized the first four but had to "cheat" and search the catalog on number 5.

1) Walk Don't Run
2) Hawaii Five-O
3) Secret Agent Man
4) Pipeline
5) Walk Don't Run '64 (I think?)

The group: The Ventures