Shannon Jones battles back from stage four cancer

Published 4:57 pm Tuesday, January 25, 2022

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By SASHA JOHNS | Special to the Reporter

“I found out on 9-19-19, two days after my 44th birthday.” Shannon Jones, local store owner and coach at Shelby County High School, said about the day he learned he had stage three colon cancer.

“It’s kind of like your birthday. It’s a date on the calendar you won’t ever forget,” he said.

Jones, a very active member of the community, found himself sidelined, struggling to learn how to slow down in the wake of a diagnosis that threatened his life.

He worked with foster families, coached and mentored kids, was a businessman and became the owner of the Columbiana Corner Shops, making him someone who was always on the go.

But as it sometimes is, the cure was as challenging as the disease.

He began his treatment with a round of chemo and surgery to remove his colon.

But soon after, he ran into complications in his treatment when a leak in his gut presented itself and began to take his health even further away from his goal of healing.

In an alarmingly short period of time, he lost 80 pounds and found himself in the hospital with his kidneys shutting down.

It happened in a three-week stretch during an intense struggle with infection before his health began moving back in a positive direction.

“For four months after I got home, I sat in a recliner watching cars drive by,” he said, describing how hard it was to cope as learn to heal.

Then, as he started to finally heal from surgery, he was dealt another blow when he learned the cancer had spread to his liver and upgraded to stage four.

At that point, he was told most people diagnosed with stage four cancer don’t make it another year.

Jones, however, decided he wasn’t going down without a fight, so he contacted the Cancer Treatment Center of America in Atlanta and met a doctor of naturopathy there who led him to a treatment for cancer that used the common plant mistletoe.

Jones was directed to Dr. Mark Hancock of Humanizing Medicine, also in Atlanta, who is one of the few medical doctors using the treatment.

Jones said he learned the mistletoe is not an experimental treatment, but that it is actually used in several countries with very positive results.

Since undergoing mistletoe treatments along with chemo and a few alternative treatments, Jones is now learning that his stage four cancer is gone.

His scans have shown that the tumors on his liver have not only shrunk, but disappeared. He hasn’t had chemo for a year now, and his scans have been clear since August.

“I used to ask ‘Why me?” Jones said. “But as I made friendships and met other folks going through the same or worse than what I was going through, especially the kids fighting, I’ve learned to ask ‘Why not me?’ The day I said ‘why not me’ was the day my healing began.”

Jones has come to embrace the fact that this journey has taught him some valuable lessons and given him opportunities to share his faith. He’s willing to tell anyone his story, especially if they are just starting their own cancer journey and can always be found at the Corner Shoppes on Main Street in Columbiana.