NICEVILLE, Fla- Northwest Florida's Head Basketball Coach Bruce Stewart has been battling a brain tumor since September. He's back in Niceville after his first round of Chemo-therapy and radiation, we talked with coach about his journey through treatment, and what it has been like being away from the game.
Life can change dramatically in just a matter of minutes...
"When a doctor walks in your room and you read his body language and then he tells you that you've got a brain tumor your it changes your whole priority system." Stewart said. "You hit your knees pretty pretty quick, and winning the next game really doesn't matter that much."
In September Coach Bruce Stewart was diagnosed with a primary malignant brain tumor known as stage IV Glio-Blastoma. Doctors told him he might only have six months to live...his first thoughts were about his faith and his family.
"I was worried about my relationship with Jesus Christ." Stewart added. "Number two I wanted to see my family again, and I wanted to hug them every chance I get. And the other one was something I grew up with in the last three weeks. I didn't realize how much people cared about other people. I've always been worried about winning the next game, winning the next championship, signing the next best player, and now I realize how much people care for each other. They pray fro them they're generous. It's just blown my mind and it's opened my heart to people who need help."
Once he got over the initial shock of the diagnosis his focused turned to winning his fight for life...
"It's something that we're battling, we're praying about and I feel like we're going to win."
Coach underwent chemo-therapy and radiation at the Shands Cancer Center in Gainesville. "Radiation wears on you a little bit, obviously I've got a new hair-do. It changes your voice, your tastes buds, it changes some things. But like I said if this is what we have to do to get healed, to get cured, then we have to do it."
His fight isn't over yet but he's been able find a way to remain positive despite the the tough road ahead.
Coming up in part 2 of this special series we'll explain how Coach Stewart made the decision to step away from Basketball to receive treatment for his brain tumor.