Chief Spivey is participating in the "Real Men Wear Pink" campaign to benefit Breast Cancer Awareness Month. To donate to this cause, visit: Real Men Wear Pink
"To understand why I am participating in this campaign, you need to hear the story of Officer Toni Cox #1159," says Chief Spivey. "She is the most resilient person I know and if police officers are heroes, she is a Super Hero."
The Story of Toni Cox
When the doctor told me that I had stage 3 breast cancer, and they couldn't explain why I didn't know how to feel. I didn't know what the next year would be like, but I knew I wouldn't be able to perform my duties as an officer of the law. That was the first of many setbacks mentally that I had during this year. I tried to stay active, but if you have ever had the pleasure of going through chemotherapy, it's very difficult. I used to run 3-6 miles 5 days a week, but I was lucky to walk 1/2 mile every few days during my chemotherapy.
I could no longer perform my duties as a police officer while going through treatment, so I worked in the jail during my 5, grueling months, of chemotherapy. I had to wait a month after chemo for my first surgery, but luckily the lump had decreased in size tremendously. I had elected in the very beginning to have a double mastectomy and full hysterectomy, due to the aggressiveness of the cancer.
I went back 6 generations and NONE of my family had ever had any type of cancer, including skin cancer. I was the first.
The first 12 weeks of chemotherapy, was the hard, heavy hitting (BAD STUFF). They called it the Red Devil for a reason. That was every 2 weeks, then I moved to weekly for 2 months. None of it was fun, but the nurses at Texas Oncology Flower Mound, took very good care of me as well as ALL of my doctors (Dr. Bradley Hubbard-Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Vibha Thomas-Oncology, Dr. Melissa Kinney-Cancer Surgeon). I went to all of my appointments alone, with one big thing to look forward to, warm blankets, a comfortable chair, and my favorite pop tarts with a can of cranberry juice. They always knew when I came in and who I was because I always asked for the same thing and boy did they provide.
In March 2019, I had 5 surgeries, and came out of the surgery cancer free, Praise the Lord for that. I needed one more surgery before I could get back to work, but was still having complications from the chemotherapy that helped kill the cancer. I had numbness in my fingers and toes and was told that the numbness would never go away. WOW, I'm a police officer, will I be able to make it back was a HUGE question going through my head. This caused a lot of anxiety and depression, but I'm stubborn and strong, I can do this.
After my final surgery in July 2019, I started feeling a little better, and within 3 weeks, I was begging to get back to work. I talked to my previous Lieutenant, who was all for me going back to being a police officer and back to my normal perky self. I took the gun qualifications the next day, along with my fitness test, and was back to work that Thursday night.
I had a whole lot of bumps and bruises along the way and was sick for a lot of my time working in the jail, but I had a lot of support from my fellow Detention Officer's and Police Officer's. Almost every day, somebody would come in the jail and check and see how I was doing.
Needless to say, it has been a trying year, but I'm thrilled to say that I am going to do my first 5K this Saturday, after not running for over a year. I'm ready to get back to 100% and will continue to achieve that. The only reason that I made it through this year was having support from Irving and Jesus Christ.
I hope that at least one person will benefit from my story. That is the most important thing to me. If not for my monthly exams, my story probably wouldn't have ended as well as it did. I believe that with both the financial assistance from the department and the kind, uplifting words from many that I am here today.
Why I Wear Pink
Breast cancer affects everyone - it doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman. That's why I'm stepping up to fight breast cancer with all I have. Since I'm in a position to make a difference within my community, I believe I have an obligation to do so. By raising money and awareness through Real Men Wear Pink, I'm helping to save more lives from breast cancer.
Why I Support the American Cancer Society
Every day, the American Cancer Society is saving more lives from breast cancer than ever before. They're helping people take steps to reduce their risk of breast cancer or find it early, when it's easier to treat. They provide free information and services when and where people need it. They fund groundbreaking breast cancer research and they're working to ensure access to mammograms for women who need them.