Marine faces toughest battle yet - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Marine faces toughest battle yet

By Ryan Houston - bio | email

ALBANY,  GA (WALB) –Recently, Sergeant Jon Swan was promoted to Gunnery Sergeant at the Marine Base. He's a war veteran of Operation Iraqi freedom.

But he's up against his toughest battle yet, which is Cancer. The Swan family said cancer is a battle that starts in the mind.

June 16th is a day that he'll never forget. "I developed pneumonia, fractured T-9 vertebrae, and I had two tumors.  I asked what do we know about the tumors? He said 'it's cancer,'" said U.S.M.C. Jon Swan.

It took a while for him to accept that it was cancer. "It didn't really hit me right off the bat. It was kind of like "How does a guy get sick at my age?" said Swan. 

Doctors have categorized his cancer as "thymine" and ordered him to undergo aggressive chemo treatments. "I was basically doing about 6 hours' worth of chemo a day for 5 days," he said. 

Sergeant Swan fought in the war in Iraq, but this battle is totally different. "It's more of a one- on-one fight. But I do have my wife here helping me, and she's been great," said Swan. 

"I kind of play off his emotions. I have to be strong and positive," said wife Shelly Swan. Part of being positive is how he deals with the condition mentally.

"Once I accepted the fact that I'm not in control. All I can do is fight for her. It just makes it a lot easier to deal with," said Jon Swan. 

"So much of it is a mental battle.  I believe if you can win mentally your body will respond," said Shelly Swan. 

Responding to life's unexpected situations is something their adjusting to. "My husband could die, it's a real possibility. But I have to be that strong rock  he needs," she said.  

"It's a struggle, but we just recently got good news and we're moving forward. Holding on,  moving forward, with a new rank and attitude.

The good news is that in two weeks, he'll have surgery to remove the tumors. The Swan family wanted to thank the MCLB and Heritage Bank for all their support.

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