Police juror, teacher still smiling after cancer fight
April 13, 2007
Eddy Shell talks with students in his Speech 110 class at Bossier
Parish Community College. Shell, a professor at BPCC and a Bossir
Parish police juror, has been battling cancer for the past 10 months.
(Jim Hudelson/The Times)
"How do you beat cancer? Faith, attitude and courage."
By Janelle Rucker
The only sign that Eddy Shell has gone through a battle with any disease is the walker he uses to get around.
his attitude, sense of humor and overall disposition, very few would
guess he'd been through major surgery, chemotherapy, radiation
treatments and physical training in the past 10 months.
And through it all, he continued to serve as a Bossier police juror and a speech professor at Bossier Parish Community College.
was trying to show my knuckle-headed students that cancer doesn't mean
death," Shell said, noting that one of his students has a mother with
Overall, Shell said, he missed only five or six days of teaching.
70-year-old educator was diagnosed with a spiral sarcoma in his
buttocks area last year. "I had four tumors wrapped around each other,
A port and tube plugged into an artery that leads to his heart were implanted in his chest so he could receive chemotherapy.
In November, Shell went through a nine-hour surgery to remove the tumors.
"November 15. There are just some dates you don't forget."
surgery left some nerve damage to his left leg; he can barely lift it.
Doctors told Shell it will take 18 to 24 months for the nerves to
Shell praises his wife, Barbara, for taking
care of him the past 10 months. "I personally believe cancer affects
the caregiver more than the person who has it."
It's been a long road for Shell, full of falls, pain and lack of energy. He handled his diagnoses and recovery his own way.
do you beat cancer? Faith, attitude and courage. No. 2 is with a
caregiver that will go to the wall for you. The third element is
When he's talking about family, Shell makes it clear it's not just his wife and children but also his church and work family.
His fellow police jurors also offered encouragement.
"We keep up with each other above and beyond," Shell said.
made a lot of the meetings," said fellow juror Bill Altimus. "He never
complained. At any opportunity, he was there. And a lot of time, he
would have his radiation treatment and come. He may have been late, but
he was there."
Shell's co-workers at the Bossier City college have even joined his team for this year's Relay for Life fundraiser.
16, Shell will go through what he hopes is his last surgery to remove
the port in his chest and some other minor maintenance work. He
considers it a "cakewalk" compared to the first surgery.
"It can come back. If it does, we'll deal with it when it comes back."
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April 13, 2007