At last, doctor says he is free of cancer
No matter how large the political battle, it seemed like a quick skirmish to state Rep. Bob Wooley.
Wooley, 65, beat one form of cancer this year, only to learn that his doctor feared he had another.
But on Monday, as Wooley sat in a committee hearing at the state Capitol, his troubles melted away.
He learned that he was free of cancer.
“I was very concerned. I did not want to go into a 60-day (legislative) session undergoing chemo,” Wooley said in an interview.
He had follicular lymphoma and needed chemotherapy to combat the disease last winter. Wooley, R-Roswell, missed about five of the 30 days in that legislative session.
More recently, he said, his physician became worried about Wooley’s weakened immune system and low count of white blood cells.
The doctor told Wooley there was a chance that the lymphoma had metastasized and attacked his bones.
But the flash of news he received was all he could have hoped for.
“I’m all clear,” he said. “Now I’m hungry.”
Wooley and other legislators had 45 minutes for lunch, but he finally ate a meal with peace of mind.
Along with health problems, Wooley went through other difficult times in 2012.
Redistricting threw him into competition with his friend and officemate, state Rep. Dennis Kintigh.
In a campaign that pained both men, they ran against one another in the Republican primary election.
Wooley won the race, but said he also lost something.
“Dennis and I will never have the same relationship again,” he said after his victory.
Wooley had no opponent except the threat of cancer during the general election campaign.
He is a Vietnam veteran and a retired pipeline safety inspector. Wooley said the demands of legislative work convinced him that he needed to leave his regular job to focus on his duties in the House of Representatives.
“It’s been a rough year,” he said.
But on a wintry Monday in December, it got brighter.