"It wasn't looking good when I flew out to Mayo. So, I had basically one chance at survival and basically that was that the emergency chemo treatment they gave me there would work. That the cancer would respond to that and the tumors would start decreasing," Doug Lee said.
Before he left for Mayo Clinic, Doug Lee was told to do the hardest thing he's ever faced.
"The first thing was to bring my three kids in to the hospital room to say goodbye to them. In more or less words, my physician said, you need to say goodbye to them. Do you understand what I mean? It may be the last time that you ever speak to them," Lee said.
Since then, Lee's been through several rounds of chemo and has struggled both physically and mentally. But because of the lessons he's learned, he wouldn't change a thing.
"You appreciate your family so much more. Not that I didn't before. It's just so much more relevant and focused on people being the most important thing. Because everything else gets washed away," Lee said.
Lee says it was his faith and the love of his family and community that made his recovery possible. His wife Jan was his rock.
"Jan took on so much so I could fight. All I had to do was just fight, because she took care of everything else. And that was a tremendous blessing," Lee said.
On Monday, Lee posted a final message on his Caring Bridge page to share some last thoughts with those who showed him so much compassion and support.
"And you know what? God knows and cares. He gives you the good days to forget the bad. The rain comes, but the air is sweeter and the sun brighter after the rain," Lee read from his Caring Bridge post.
Now that he's cancer free, Lee wants those just starting their fight with cancer to know, the journey will get better.
"There's people that really, really care. And there will be incredible blessings that will come out of it. Even though it looks so scary right now, and so unknown. And there will be amazing things that happen and at some point you'll be able to say, this was a really good thing that happened to me," Lee said. "And even though it was hard, hard doesn't always mean bad or evil, but it can mean really good things. It can reveal blessings and love that can come out of it."
Lee says he feels 100 percent back to normal and that he most enjoys being able to live a normal life again.