Clay Watts

Pancreatic Cancer wont stop Clay !

Meet Clay, a participant from Season 7 of W2W in Canberra, Australia.
Although Clay only joined the W2W family in 2020, his journey to becoming a Warrior started long before he joined us!

In November 2018, Clay was in Queensland, Australia on a business trip when he experienced stomach pains that kept him from sleeping. The next day, the stomach pain persisted, and Clay went to a doctor to get some pain relief. At the appointment, the doctor noticed Clay suffered from Jaundice, a pigment in the eye that can be a symptom of tumours. The doctor expressed his concern and they sent Clay to have a series of blood tests. Fortunately, Clays blood tests returned negative but his stomach pain persisted. Determined to find a solution, Clay’s doctor sent him for a CT scan which would change his life forever.

When you are diagnosed with cancer, there are two directions you can take. You can fight it the best way you can, or just let it beat you. There is no way I will let it beat me

When the results of the CT scan came through, they immediately summoned Clay to the Doctors surgery. Here, the doctor informed Clay that he had a 5-centimetre tumour on his Pancreas, which could be cancerous.

After a biopsy, Clay was informed that the tumour was cancerous, and in an advanced stage. Pancreatic cancer is one of the world’s deadliest forms of cancer, with a survival rate of just 9%. Due to the size and location of Clay’s tumour, it could not be removed. With a lack of options to choose from, Clay began chemotherapy in an attempt to reduce the size of the tumour.

Chemotherapy was brutal on Clay, both physically and emotionally. Although Clay felt constantly weak, he made a conscious effort to stay active throughout the process in an attempt to fight the cancer. Thankfully, the chemo was a success and the tumour shrunk to a size which made it operable. In June 2019, Clay had the ‘Whipple’ procedure, a complex surgery that is performed to remove cancerous tumours from the Pancreas. After an 8-hour surgery, Clay awoke to the best news of his life; the tumour had been removed and he had successfully beaten cancer.

Although Clay had claimed victory over pancreatic cancer, his battle was far from over. The effects of the surgery continued to derail Clay, as he dropped over 25 kilograms in weight and could barely manage a short walk. Committed to returning to his old self, Clay signed up to the Warrior Training Program to regain his fitness, strength, and confidence.

Over the course of the 20-week Program, Clay experienced a range of emotions. At the beginning of the Program, he found the 6 am start times difficult, but soon realised the positive impact the training sessions had on his physical and mental health. Still recovering from his battle with cancer, Clay learned to pace himself and to rest on the weekends, to ensure he could give 100% during the training sessions.

Thanks to Clay’s mental fortitude and willingness to become the best version of himself, Clay felt the full benefits of the Warrior Training Program as he regained his cardio and returned to his pre-surgery weight!

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