Veteran News Reporter Aungelique Proctor has stomach cancer
The news came as a shock to many across the Metro Atlanta area when veteran Fox 5 news reporter Aungelique Proctor announced that she has stage 2 stomach cancer and is currently in treatment.
Most people would retreat inward after such news, but Aungelique is not being silent about her condition saying, “By me sharing my cancer story, it might help someone else, to remove the stigma of, ‘This is something we shouldn’t talk about.’ This is something you fight quietly in the dark alone. I plan to fight in the open, and if it’s God’s will, I will win.”
During a recent news story with her station Aungelique said, “Cancer was the last thing on my mind. To find the mass was really shocking.” Aungelique, who has been with the station for 26 years, was experiencing fatigue and stomach pain when she took time off to find out what was going on. She first thought her symptoms stemmed from thyroid issues.
When her doctor checked her blood, her hemoglobin was dangerously low, which can be a sign of internal bleeding. So, he ran the test again.
“That’s when he called me and said, ‘You need to go straight to an emergency room right now,” Aungelique said. “That’s when I learned there was a tumor about 5 inches across.”
Aungelique began treatment at Emory Winship Cancer Institute for what doctors call a rare gastrointestinal stromal tumor. Her doctor, Maria Diab, told Fox 5, “The good news is we have not seen any evidence of spread outside of the stomach, and for Aungelique’s case, the plan is to do a few months of the Imatinib medicine, and go back and have surgery, hopefully.”
For the next six to nine months, Aungelique will take a daily pill, Gleevec, a targeted therapy, designed to shrink the tumor so she can undergo a less invasive operation to remove it, which is likely to happen next summer. Dr. Diab said her prognosis is good.
Using the internet, Aungelique began her own research on her condition and learned that the median survival for someone with this tumor was just five years. Because hers was caught early, Aungelique feels positive that she has a much higher chance to beat the diagnosis.
Despite the news of the tumor, Aungelique says she is in a really good place emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. And even with the difficult news, she is ready to face it head-on.
In sharing her story, Aungelique hopes to help others. She said it is news like this that needs to be shared, needs to be talked about, and hopefully might help someone. “I just always seek truth, and I’m always being upfront. I am a transparent person,” Aungelique told Beth Galvin from her station. “And so now, I think it would almost be hypocritical if I didn’t share what’s happening with me.”
Aungelique’s doctors have encouraged her to get back to what she loves doing. “My doctors said, ‘We think you should go back to work. You’re healthy.’ And they said their patients who sort of normalize things do better. This is not about a pity party. I’m feeling strong, and I’m feeling good,” she said.
Focused and centered, Aungelique has chosen to be open about her diagnosis and says she is even answering questions from people who reach out to her.
Our SPOTLIGHT family sends Aungelique our well wishes. She and her family are in our prayers.