Four Years Later: A reporter’s reflections on a personal cancer journey

Despite a number of mountain-top moments, the past 12 months continue to offer sobering perspectives.
Tonight’s winning lottery numbers are most likely not 7-21-18, but July 21, 2018 is the day my life changed.
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 7:51 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Tonight’s winning lottery numbers are most likely not 7-21-18, but July 21, 2018 is the day my life changed.

That’s when doctors said, “Mr. Crump you have cancer.”

It happened four years ago this week.

“How’s Steve’s Health?” WBTV anchor John Carter asked me recently on QC Morning.

”Steve is one day at a time,” I replied. “We’re doing what they’re telling us to do. I will say God is good. We’re still here with through his grace and mercy.”

Grace and mercy allowed me to cover a number of major stories over the last year.

Returning to parts of the tornado-ravaged south and midwest adds perspective, despite one’s own health challenge.

And among the moments on my personal highlight reel is going back home to Churchill Downs and covering the Kentucky Derby festivities for our sister station WAVE 3 in Louisville.

Over the past year, I’ve produced documentaries on former North Carolina Chief Justice Henry Frye, the first African American to sit on the North Carolina Supreme Court bench, and Charlotte Civil Rights attorney Julius Chambers.

Despite a number of mountain-top moments, the past 12 months continue to offer sobering perspectives.

On a recent WBTV podcast, I shared my journey with anchors Jamie Boll, Alex Giles and cancer survivor Glenn McDermott.

”Twelve hours after my initial diagnosis, there was one of the doctors who suggested hospice for me,” I told the audience.

My message is for people to get tested and checked for colon cancer.

It was an honor to be chosen to ride shotgun in the 24 Hours of Booty pace car, but at the last minute I had to be pulled from the ride.

Blood contamination led to another stay in the hospital, and this past spring COVID-19 sent me back in for another six days.

Still, I managed to find a way to get back in the game by covering Bruton Smith’s funeral, which put me back in the field for my first live shot in four years. And during our recent conversation on QC Morning, John Carter made an astute observation by acknowledging the great work of my chief caregiver.

“Your inner strength has been amazing, and we have to mention your wife,” he said.

“Cathy is the rock,” I told him. “Cathy is a superstar.”

Four years later I remain grateful, blessed and full of hope.

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