Radio DJ still recovering after cancer, stroke -

Radio DJ still recovering after cancer, stroke

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) -- Once a staple of FM radio in southeast Missouri, Scott Hartline now is relearning how to speak.

Hartline hosted a 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. show on Real Rock 99.3 in Cape Girardeau until the summer of 2008, and also voiced commercials for other stations.

But the Southeast Missourian newspaper reports that it all stopped when Hartline felt discomfort in his groin.

"We took him to the urologist," Scott's wife, Cyndy, told the newspaper. "We were given antibiotics and it just got worse."

It turned out to be testicular cancer. Chemotherapy cost Hartline his red hair and beard, and left him severely weakened.

"When he started the chemo he had every intention of getting through it and going back to work; an eight-week protocol and then back to it," Cyndy said.

But he didn't make it back to work. The chemotherapy caused a stroke on July 20, 2008.

"He fell out of bed, disoriented, not knowing what was going on after the first stroke," Cyndy said. "He was hospitalized for one month at Southeast Missouri Hospital and in the beginning, it was touch-and-go. They didn't know if the clot in his carotid artery would break off and kill him."

Two months after the first stroke came a second one, in September 2008.

Now, Hartline is on a blood thinner. But seizures are now common for him, some that required hospitalization. Because of the seizures, Hartline cannot be left unattended.

"They say he's stable now, but we have no idea what to expect," Cyndy said. "Scott is in, like, a fog, and he knows it. So, for us, there is no normal."

The couple's 5-year-old daughter's memories of her father before the stroke are quite vivid. At times she asks, "When will Daddy start talking again?"

Despite the hardship, there are signs of hope. Hartline has regained most use of his right leg and some of the feeling on his right side. He can walk. He makes the bed in the morning, makes toast for his daughter and can work the television remote control.

Speech therapy is slowly helping him regain the speech that once provided his living.

"It could have been so much worse," Cyndy said. "But we're very fortunate at how stubborn of a man he is. The community has reached out and embraced our little family. ... We are humbled and so very grateful. We just treasure every day together because our girl still has her dad and I still have my Scotty."

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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