BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – It was March of 2017 that Gary Housteau was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. He fought it hard, but on Monday, he was told the cancer is going to win.
On Friday afternoon, Housteau sat in the bocce pavilion at Boardman Park where he’d just finished a one-hour walk. He talked about the doctor’s news from Monday that he had three to six months to live and maybe a little more with immunotherapy.
“It’s a prison sentence, if you will. A death sentence. I don’t know what it is, Stan, but it’s one of the saddest things because you think hearing you have cancer is bad, but when you find out there’s nowhere to run, you know,” he said to First News Reporter/Anchor Stan Boney.
Housteau is 56. He’s a writer/photographer, passions that started when he and his late brother Chuck ran a sports publication in the 90s called The Valley’s Playbook.
“I finally consider myself a pretty good photographer. I’ve tried hard to become good the last couple years, and my time is done,” Housteau said.
Watch Stan Boney’s full interview with Gary Housteau in the video above.
Dealing with the prognosis and dealing with cancer has been tough.
“The pain was so intense. I would have blew my head off,” he said.
Does he have a bucket list?
“My bucket overflowed this past summer, if I could say that,” he said.
Housteau and his daughter Chloe took a road trip to the west coast where they touched the Pacific Ocean.
“We had a 21-day experience, Stan, that was incredible with incredible hosts along the way,” Housteau said.
He loves Ohio State football, and he and his daughter have visited the Horseshoe. He’s had press credentials for 21 straight years.
“I had a colostomy bag on my stomach attached in 2017 and it was the toughest experiences I ever had, but I answered the bell every week,” he said.
And though it sounds all bad, Housteau is thankful for the time he’s had.
“And I could have died that summer or died right away. When people have cancer, they’re gone, but I’ve got to live four years and impact people’s lives in those four years,” Housteau said. “If I wasn’t around…”
Gary Housteau knows it’s crazy, but one thing he’s going to miss are the football games between Ohio State and Notre Dame in 2022 and 2023. He was looking forward to photographing the Buckeye’s at Notre Dame stadium.
Unless there’s a miracle, he says he’ll be watching from the top of the golden dome.