Colorado veteran beats odds with same brain cancer that killed Sen. McCain

AURORA, Colo. -- When you look at the old pictures, count the staples in his head, and add up the number of brain surgeries he's endured - it's clear - if anyone can relate to Senator John McCain's brain cancer fight, it's Michael Moyles.

"Four brain surgeries, four reconstructive surgeries, 29 rounds of chemotherapy and 42 rounds of radiation," Moyles told FOX 31.

The retired Air Force colonel has been battling brain cancer for nearly 19 years.  But things turned far more serious when - a year and a half ago - he got the same diagnosis McCain did: glioblastoma.

"The prognosis for this particular cancer tells you why the tumor is nicknamed 'The Terminator.'  It is rumored to be the most fatal of all cancers," Moyles said.

But Moyles is an athlete.  He's Ironman shape.  And he's convinced that has helped keep him alive.  His doctor at UCHealth, it's one of several factors.

"Things are looking good, and we're very happy with where Mike is and hopeful for where he's going. And certainly imaging is very promising right now," said Dr. Ryan Ormond, neurosurgeon and director of the brain tumor program at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital.

It's so promising that last month, Moyles' latest cancer screening showed him in remission.  No sign of the cancer.  Hard to say what the future holds, but for now, he and his wife and daughter are hopeful.  Inspired by a fellow veteran, who fought the same cancer with grace and vigor.  But yet also fully aware, one day, he may not be the winner in his two-decade-long race against cancer.

"It's coming back. Glioblastoma recurrence rate is 100 percent. Mortality rate is 99.8 percent. It's coming back," Moyles said.

"Someday brain cancer will take my life.  But not today.  And I approach everyday like that. One day cancer may take my life.  But not today.  And get your shoes on, get out the door, get on your run, do what you do, because it's not going to be today," Moyles said.

Michael recently retired from the Air force, and now spends his time giving motivational speeches about his health and his faith all over the country.  But he's constantly on top of his health, and still has to get cancer screenings every few weeks.

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