Amazing Story Of Survival: Sheriff Vic Regalado Shares His Cancer Journey

Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado just marked his one-year anniversary of being diagnosed with cancer. He says he's never endured such pain, and even though the battle brought him to the brink of death, he's never been so filled with hope.

Tuesday, May 21st 2024, 10:18 pm



Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado just marked his one-year anniversary of being diagnosed with cancer.

He says he's never endured such pain, and even though the battle brought him to the brink of death, he's never been so filled with hope.

News On 6's Lori Fullbright has known Vic for many years and asked him to sit down with her and share his amazing story of survival.

Vic Regalado has always been a big, fit guy. He has survived 30 years in law enforcement with plenty of dangerous moments, so he felt pretty invincible. That is, until last March when a persistent pain in his ear continued even after two rounds of antibiotics. An urgent care doctor urged Vic to see a specialist.

And he did on March 13th, 2023--the day his life changed forever.

"He said, look, I think you have cancer, and I was like, what? What are you talking about? He says I felt a tumor back there. I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach. I couldn't breathe. I just remember not being able to breathe," said Sheriff Regalado.

He learned squamous carcinoma is deadly, and the tumor was too big to operate, so he was looking at daily radiation for seven weeks, followed by heavy-duty doses of chemo.

"I thought, I'm pretty much a tough guy, I'm going to muscle through this, been hurt, sick, but I was completely wrong. From the daily radiation, I got third-degree burns in my throat and from the chemo, I would throw up and there was acid in my mouth, so painful I passed out a couple of times, and the chemo was a whole different level of hell," said Regalado.

He almost went into kidney failure; he lost 70 pounds, and his skin turned grey, but in the end, he says he took more from cancer than cancer took from him.

“As negative as that was, let me tell you something, Lori, this is what's so beautiful about it. You can go through radiation and go into a chemo room, and you see people. As bad as I was, they were worse than mine, and here's the deal: they were so strong and courageous, it was incredible," said Regalado.

He says it's made his relationship with his family stronger and God stronger, and every time he was in a why me, why God moment, God taught him a lesson.

Like, on one of his sickest days, he went to radiation at 7 a.m. and learned the machine was broken and he'd have to wait hours. He was having a pretty good argument with God in his mind when a gentleman approached and wanted to talk.

"I thought I come over and say you're doing a great job. Really nice, thank you and put my head back down, completely rude and dismissive, and continued my argument with God, and then I hear him say, 'Sheriff.' I look up and say, 'Can I help you?' And he said, 'You're here for cancer, aren't you?' 'Yeah.' He says 'I'm here for cancer, and so is my son.' I hadn't even seen his son next to him. His son looked terrible, third bout of brain cancer. He was going through prostate cancer, advanced, and I instantly stood up and said, 'Sir, I want to apologize. Yeah, I'm here for cancer and having a bad day.' He said, 'I know,' put his hand on my shoulder and said, 'Can we pray over you?' Like, wow, after I'd dismissed him, but that was the kind of people you met," said Regalado.

He says that in a community of suffering, it didn't matter what race, age, or income people were; they all had a bond and were all pulling for each other.

He says things he used to worry about no longer seem that important.

"We're living in a world right now with such conflict; everybody knows that political and wars looming, and this is a problem and facing this and economy going down, and it's all true, but you know what, don't waste your life dwelling on that stuff, you're wasting your life," said Regalado.

He says the best advice he got was keep moving, no matter how sick, just don't crawl in bed and stay there.

His advice for others is don't wait for a catastrophe like cancer before you appreciate life and focus on what's important and remember human decency is all around us.

He still deals with the side effects of his treatment and was told he'll likely get cancer in 10 to 15 years because of the radiation, but he says he's not living in fear but choosing to live in joy.

logo

Get The Daily Update!

Be among the first to get breaking news, weather, and general news updates from News on 6 delivered right to your inbox!

More Like This

May 21st, 2024

June 22nd, 2024

June 22nd, 2024

June 22nd, 2024

Top Headlines

June 22nd, 2024

June 22nd, 2024

June 22nd, 2024

June 22nd, 2024