ST. TAMMANY PARISH, La. (WVUE) - As he enters the final year of his first term, St. Tammany District Attorney Warren Montgomery is dealing with the biggest scare of his life. Six months ago Montgomery learned he had cancer, and as he undergoes treatment he’s got a message he wants to share.
Warren Montgomery rushes to a meeting with state lawmakers setting forth his agenda.
He is on his way to a meeting that may have never happened had it not been for some alert doctors.
“I’m in the battle whether I’m ready or not,” Montgomery told FOX 8 in an exclusive interview.
For much of last year Montgomery suffered with a persistent cough which he chose to ignore.
“It got so bad I called an EMT and said I can’t shake this thing,” he said.
In September he noticed his weight was dropping and some say, they saw his color change.
“I lost 30 pounds,” he said.
Montgomery’s doctor ordered a scan. It detected cancerous growth on one of his kidneys and smaller growths in his lungs.
“So I went in and took my left kidney out I’ve got a big split down the chest, a very serious surgery,” he said.
“For me it was a moment to take stock and say is this is it?”
Though one kidney is gone, there are still spots on Montgomery’s lungs. He now takes part in an experimental immuno therapy at Houston’s MD Anderson, with 600 other people from around the world. And he says there is cause for optimism.
“I had a scan three weeks ago that showed a declination in cancer,” said Montgomery.
Though Montgomery says the early scans look good he’s not out of the woods just yet but could learn more next week. That’s when Montgomery will head back to MD Anderson for more treatments and tests.
“I don’t think I’m cured. I’m on the road to being cured. Next week I’ll find out for sure,” said the 64-year-old Montgomery, a non smoker.
He says his experience has taught him the value of life and the inportance of annual check ups and kidney scans.
“Get your physical and kidney scan especially if your mail between 60 and 65,” he said.
The St. Tammany DA says he’s ready to continue fighting a battle, which he likens to the D-Day invasion.
“I’m gonna get out of the water and on the beach then I’m gonna go all the way,” adding, “Unless God tells me he wants me out I’m gonna fight to stay in the world.”
Cancer.net says nearly 74,000 adults will be diagnosed with kidney cancer this year. The website says males will outnumber females nearly two the one, and the disease is rarely found in people under 45-years-old.