Growing up, Robert Logan was said to be a prodigy. He was intelligent, well rounded, and good at just about everything. He had the grades, the athletic talent, and the personality that was approachable to anyone who he came in contact with. Although Robert was blessed in all of these areas, his health was not always up to speed.
At just age 16, the age in which a high school teen looks forward to nothing more than getting their driver’s license, Robert was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, along with another condition called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC). Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease, and PSC is a disease of the bile ducts and liver.
“With my conditions, I was told I was no longer allowed to eat spicy foods, ice cream, or any dairy products in general,” Robert said. “I also had to see a doctor every six months, and have two colonoscopies a year.”
After regulating his Crohn’s disease and changing up his diet a bit, Robert grew up to play tennis and golf through high school at Marquette and college at Lewis and Clark Community College. At that point, Robert, his family, and his long-term girlfriend Kayla Arbuthnot thought he was finally finished with his health troubles. Robert graduated college and got a job as a tennis coach for Alton High School, as well as a position as a teacher.
“Even though Robert’s health was under control,” said Robert’s mother, Theresa Logan, “I was always worried because the doctors continued to tell me that he is at high risk for cancer with his conditions.”
This past year in early January, Robert, who is now 26 and recently married to his long-term girlfriend, Kayla, got a call from his Crohn’s disease doctor after getting his routine blood work done. Robert and Kayla were informed that some of the results on his liver were abnormal, and a tumor was found. His doctors needed to do a biopsy to find out if it was cancerous.
After the test came back, Robert and Kayla heard the words from the doctor that no new married couple ever wants to hear: “It’s cancer.”
“The doctor didn’t seem very optimistic with my type of cancer,” Robert said. “The cancer I was diagnosed with was new, and there were only 60 other known cases of it worldwide.”
Kayla reacted like any other wife would in this situation.
“My first thoughts were what was to come of Robert and I’s future. He is only 26, we’ve only been married five months. Will we be able to have kids, or will he even be around for that to happen?” Kayla said.
At that point, Robert and Kayla had to break the news to their parents and families. Their first move was to go see Robert’s mother and father.
“It was an unexpected visit, so I got a little excited thinking Kayla might be pregnant,” Theresa said, “but the look on Robert’s face as soon as I saw him clearly showed that this news was not going to be good news, and right then and there I almost just knew.”
Robert then had to inform his brothers, Kayla’s family, and the rest of their family and friends.
After visiting the doctor again, Robert got one more scan to see if the cancer had spread since his initial biopsy. With news that the cancer hadn’t spread, the doctor told him that they wanted to do the surgery as soon as possible and hopefully if everything went as planned, remove the tumor for good. They set the date for Feb. 11, 2013.
Being such a well-known person in his community, Robert then had the support and love from everyone around him. Many people said they did not understand how someone like Robert could have cancer. The thought just didn’t make sense because of him being such a good person and the health struggles he’d dealt with the past ten years. He didn’t deserve it, and many of his friends and family, including his brother Patrick, wished they could take his place and free him from his illness. However, if there’s anyone with a positive enough mindset to beat a disease, Robert was the best candidate to fight.
After a 6-hour surgery, and the removal of 3/8 of Robert’s liver and his gallbladder, Rob was in an exceptional amount of pain, but hopeful that this was the first step in curing the disease for good. Throughout the next 6 months, with the help of Kayla and his parents, chemotherapy, prayers, and a close watch from the doctors on his liver, good news was soon to come.
“Rob was extremely strong throughout his entire treatment,” said Robert’s cousin, Sam Scheiter. “You almost couldn’t tell he was sick because of how positive his attitude was. Rob has the best attitude of anyone I know, sick or not.”
There was a benefit called “Ace for The Cure” held at L&C to raise money for Robert’s family and gave the opportunity for everyone in the community to show their love and support. The turnout was more than Robert and his family could have ever hoped.
Robert completed his very last intravenous chemotherapy treatment on Sept. 23, 2013, and got to ring the bell at the hospital that signifies good news for cancer patients. That day in September, Robert got his good news. His fight with cancer had finally come to an end.
Robert is now 27, has returned to work, his coaching job, and as Kayla said, “I’m finally getting my old husband back.”
“If there’s anything I’ve learned through all of this, it’s enjoying the little things,” Robert said. “I never realized how nice it was to breathe without being in pain, to take a shower on my own, or even to get to lie on my stomach. Those things have become priceless to me now.”