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Gerry’s Journey: Battle with Cancer Continues

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WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Doctors have given him four to six months to live, and now, a man diagnosed with stage four colon cancer has invited us into his life during this very intimate time.

We introduced you to Gerry Ayers last week. The man from Lycoming County hopes his story will help others better understand the very delicate subject of death.

It can be a very sobering experience to walk into the Geisinger Cancer Center in Lewisburg.

We quickly found out Gerry wasn't just there for treatment. Since his diagnosis three years ago, the nurses and staff have become part of his support system.

"It was hard to get up this morning and to get down here because I was really running low on energy. It took everything I had just to eat a bowl of cereal just because my mouth was so dry," Gerry said.

For months, Gerry Ayers came to the Geisinger Cancer Center in Lewisburg for treatment to cure his cancer.

Instead of chemotherapy, he's here in search of comfort.

"I call it a power boost infusion. They are putting liquids in me because I have been semi-dehydrated since my last stay in the hospital, and I haven't regained all my strength back," Gerry said.

Diagnosed with stage four colon cancer, after trying all kinds of treatments, Gerry's doctors took him off his medications last week.

Gerry didn't want to take part in a clinical trial in Baltimore. He wants to spend his time living here rather than at a clinic hours away.

For now, Gerry has run out of options. He's been given four to six months to live.

"My cancer mutation wasn't a good match to do the immune therapy. That's why I couldn't do it."

And Gerry doesn't want to travel.

"I don't want to tell people I'm giving up by not going to the trial. I just felt in my case, I've had, in my case, an incredibly good life. I can't let three bad years bring the teeter totter down here. I have to look at the good 53 years that I've had. The 53 years will always outweigh the last three bad ones I've had," said Gerry.

"I knew that he wasn't responding to the drugs as well as we had hoped he would. I kind of knew that was coming. It's heartbreaking because you want the cure, but you don't get that all the time," said Susan Goldberg, R.N.

With each patient comes a unique story. Some end in remission. Others do not.

In this most difficult chapter, Gerry has found his strength in others who are now by his side lifting him up.

"It's hard especially when you have someone that's leaving and enrolling in hospice and you know you may not see them again. It's hard. What do you say to someone in that situation other than, 'I'm here for you?'" said Jenie Reinard, R.N.

Gerry wanted to make sure that our viewers know we plan on sharing some more positive stories in the future. Even though he is sick, he is enjoying life and still works multiple jobs.

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