A fight for life and community
LIBERTY - Joe Anderson has spent the past 19 years serving the community with Frontier Waste Solutions and its predecessor LT’s Garbage Service, where he happily spends the day in “his office.”
In July of last year, following a family vacation in Las Vegas, that joy hit a bump after being diagnosed with vocal cord cancer, forcing him off his truck and into a battle for his life and voice. Now after several months of treatment and many prayers, Anderson, 49, is back and better than ever.
“I came back, and I felt like there was something in my throat,” said Anderson after that family vacation.
He sought out medical attention and was immediately referred to Methodist Hospital, and they were able to pinpoint the issues and get him scheduled for treatment. Both chemotherapy and radiation were necessary to battle his disease.
“There are a lot of people that have this cancer and you have to get fit into the schedule,” he said.
In the meantime, Anderson was fitted with a feeding tube and a port in preparation for the battle of his life.
A battle that would see the local man endure a very restrictive and uncomfortable process as he underwent treatments. He was required to wear a mask over his face while being bolted to the table five days a week, over seven weeks.
“It was a process that I don’t think anybody could be prepared for,” said Anderson.
He had another option, but that would have required surgery and left his voice impaired, a voice he was grateful to have today, for him to share the story of his fight.
After enduring the treatments, Anderson underwent a pet scan and was found cancer-free. He was able to ring both the radiation and chemo bells the day before Thanksgiving, bringing true thanks to his family.
A father of six, Anderson has been married for 20 years to his lovely wife Tomika and the two have raised six children together here in Liberty. He is proud of the successes his children have become.
Part of that success he feels is because of the Liberty community that he loves serving so much.
“I want to thank the city of Liberty for giving me the opportunity to do what I do,” he said.
Anderson had the chance to speak on behalf of Frontier when they first established their contract with the city, and he is forever grateful for that and the support from the community.
That support also came from Frontier, who Anderson said was right there by his side the entire way.
“They showed me real loyalty and it felt like I never left, he said.
In January he got back in the swing of things, riding with other drivers while getting his feet back under him.
“It kind of made me feel like a rookie,” he laughed.
Now you can find him back in his office on a full-time basis, while he continues to heal from the treatments, still needing to utilize the feeding tube as his throat grows stronger, Anderson is about 75% along and hopes in a few months everything will back on track.
Now you can find him again in “his office” serving the community and doing the job he loves.
“It’s satisfying after you get done each day,” Anderson concluded.