Cancer diagnosis gives WPTV NewsChannel 5 employee the fight of his life

James Boatwright has worked at WPTV for 15 years

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - In the midst of a hectic holiday season, what truly matters can be overlooked. A member of the WPTV team just received his wake-up call and is now in the fight of his life, battling cancer.

You can usually find James Boatwright in a small, quiet room with a lot wires. He has been an IT Engineer at WPTV-TV for 15 years. Recently, though, he's been busy with other things.

"I just kept getting these mysterious fevers and they'd go away after one or two days," said James. "Oh, I'll be all right. I'll take some aspirin. I'll eat some chicken soup and I'll be fine in the morning."

In July, those fevers proved to be a sign of something much more serious. That was when he was diagnosed with cancer. "The worst case scenario went through your mind. What are we going to do? What's going to happen now?," he asked himself at the time. His prognosis was not positive.

James' parents are in the medical field, and with James, they opted to treat his Hodgkin's Lymphoma more than a thousand miles away in Houston, Texas. The night he arrived at MD Anderson Cancer Center , his organs began shutting down.

"I knew I was close to death," said James. "I knew I was close to dying."

Once again James found himself in a small, quiet room with wires everywhere. Doctors gave James a strong first dose of chemo-therapy. "My body was swelling up just from all the medicine I was getting," he said.

After six days in the Intensive Care Unit, signs of life began returning to his body. James documented much of his treatment with photos posted to Facebook. "Once I got off restricted diet, I was like 'I want McDonald's'," he said of his recovery.

James is back to work at WPTV. His chemo treatments conclude in January. Life for him goes on after coming so close to death. "Some people from the hospital didn't make it - and some did." James, 39, is not in remission, but his doctors are hopeful about his progress.

WPTV General Manager Steve Wasserman is on the 'visiting' board of directors at M.D. Anderson where James is receiving much of his treatment.

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