Medina man grateful for 100 months of being cancer-free

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 14 January 2023 at 8:52 am

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Rob Robinson of Medina toasts to being cancer free for 100 months.

MEDINA – Rob Robinson’s whole life changed in 2014, after what he thought was a routine visit to his doctor.

Robinson, 66, has always suffered from allergies, so kept regular appointments with Dr. Surinder Bath in Medina, during which Robinson routinely had blood work done. It was after one of those appointments that he got a call from the doctor’s office saying he had to come back to the office, “Now.”

“I arrived to find Dr. Bath with tears rolling down his cheeks,” Robinson said. “He had me booked at Roswell at 9 the next morning.”

His blood work showed he had multi melanoma, a cancer of the bone marrow.

“What has happened since is a series of miracles,” Robinson said.

The first few months were really rough, he said. He had to be driven to Roswell once a month, where he spent an entire day having his stem cells collected. Often, they couldn’t harvest enough and he would have to return again and again. Once, he had to go 12 straight days, arriving at 6 a.m. and lying in bed for six hours while hooked to a machine.

“I would lay there and watch the Rockford Files,” Robinson said. “When the show was over, I knew the procedure was half way through.”

His pastor, the Rev. Vince Iorio of the Calvary Tabernacle Assembly of God, arranged for someone to take him and come back and get him each day.

This regimen has continued for eight years, which includes taking three chemo pills a day and visiting the clinic at Roswell once a month.

“I’m in my 100th cycle now, meaning Jan. 26 will be my 100th monthly visit,” Robinson said. “The nurses have told me people rarely make it to the 100th month. All my numbers are miraculously normal.”

Robinson volunteered to be in a study, so the treatments don’t cost him anything. If they did, he would have passed the $1 million mark long ago, he said.

Robinson and his wife Cindy are eager to share his story to tell people the importance of early detection. Robinson, whose mother Virginia Bishop used to play piano at the Apple Grove, inherited his mother’s love of music, and has played piano in big-name area bands all his life.

When he decided 10 years ago to form his own band, which he calls the “A” Band, he decided to use the band to spread the word about early detection. His first wife died of cancer in 2006, and he has since played gigs on what he calls the “Kill Cancer Tour.”

He believes God’s hand is in his life, which is why he has been able to attain total remission. He also has a philosophy.

“It’s all about attitude,” he said. “There’s no laying around feeling sorry for myself. Besides my band, I started the Busker Festival during Ale in Autumn last fall. It was so successful, we are making it an annual event. I’m still involved in Scouting and work at my job as an electrical inspector.”

On Feb. 10, Robinson and his band will perform at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library in Medina for the Finally Fridays concert series at 7 p.m.

There isn’t a day goes by that he doesn’t give thanks for his miraculous life.