Tony Williams // Father // Grandfather // Avid golfer // Outdoorsman // Founder and Owner of Infinity Marketing
You have to be your own best advocate.
Tony Williams was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2019 and upon learning about his diagnosis he went through all the five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and, ultimately, acceptance.
At age 64 his diagnosis forced him to take stock of his life and he recognized that he had significant room for personal and spiritual growth.
“This might sound strange but there is a positive in cancer. It forces us to learn. Forces us to adjust our behaviors. Forces us to be more reflective.”
Tony remembers the day of his first cancer-associated procedure. It was Valentine’s Day and prior to the visit he called his former wife and soulmate to talk through some of the doubts that were circling around in his head. “Dianne was like, ‘what are you doing? You know your body best and if this doesn’t feel right don’t do it or get a second opinion.’ She recommended he didn’t do it”
“At the time of my diagnosis I wasn’t an expert by any means, but I just felt uneasy about the course of action laid out by my doctor.”
Reluctantly Tony proceeded only to encounter complications during the administration of anesthesia. Due to some respiratory issues the procedure had to be aborted.
“While I was anxious to make progress on the action plan, in hindsight that delay possibly saved my life.”
Tony traveled to his winter home in Florida where he met with his regular doctor. He was looking for validation that he was making the right choices and the plan in place was indeed the right plan to have in place.
Had Tony not had complications with anesthesia, and proceeded with the surgery, he would have lived the rest of his life with coloscopy bag. His diagnosis of cancer was inoperable.
Be your own advocate.
“My blind faith in the experts would have caused me serious long-term harm. I decided that from that day forward I’d be fully educated on everything that was necessary to beat this cancer.”
Tony set out to create an action plan that he could have confidence in. He solicited input from a number of sources, including his holistic integrated doctor, Dr. Allen Liberman, who helped confirm his decided protocol – six weeks of radiation every day, chemo the first and fifth week, and 100,000 cc’s of Vitamin C.
“Today I’m focusing on what I can control. We are never ‘cancer-free.’ I haven’t encountered any setbacks but ultimately who really knows what’s going to happen. What I do control is what I put in my body. My approach to my mental health. How I engage with my family, and my professional career.”
Tony understands now that all of this was a warning from God. Get your life together.
“This journey has brought my family together. It’s forced me to know myself and, more importantly, love myself so that I can in turn love others.”
His advice for others? “As humans we’ve been conditioned to assume way too much to our own detriment. I’d also encourage others to find peace. I find peace through reflection and thoughtfulness. There is positivity in cancer. We’ve got room to grow.
As a part of his journey Tony has partnered with an organization that coordinates opportunities for individuals to visit and stay at his mountain house up in Jones Gap, SC. It was a healing place for him, and he wants to share with others along their journeys.
He’s also a big advocate for having a healthy diet. The Jones Gap property features a self-sustaining farm with organic foods.
“It’s important you understand what you are putting in your body and how those foods impact you as an individual. If those foods are having a negative impact stop and take some time to understand why. “Do you understand how those things are impacting your own health? If you feel like crap that’s your body producing a warning signal.”
“I don’t take any prescribed medicine. I’ve chosen a different path for my body, my wellness.”
Tony admits his spiritual and medical philosophies are blended together. “The eastern medicine philosophy, living in a western world mentality, resonates with me. It’s put my body and my mind at ease.
Interview by Michael McCullough / Photography by Patrick Cox