AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- Stephen Pietrowski was diagnosed with cancer in January of 2013.
"I knew I was dying for about eight and a half months, whenever I prayed and meditated each morning I would imagine myself, laying in front of my altar, so I knew I was very sick, dying," says Pietrowski.
Initially he refused to chemotherapy, but had second thoughts after talking with his son.
"When I asked him if there is anything that you can't forgive me for, he said that, 'you got cancer, and you refused chemotherapy, and you died, then I would never be able to forgive you for that.'"
He accepted treatment and a year and a half later Pietrowski is cancer free.
On Sunday, he celebrated National Cancer Survivors Day at Augusta Health where survivors came together to share their stories on how they overcame the disease.
Fitness experts and doctors also shared tips with survivors on how to live after cancer.
Sharon Spalding works with Augusta Health and said that staying fit is one of the most important things that anyone who has or has survived cancer can do.
"You go through chemo and radiation, you know it kind of beats you down and it's a way just to get your fitness level back up," says Spalding, "We know that fitness can help prevent cancer but we also know that it can prevent re-occurrence, which as a cancer patient is very important."
As they celebrate being cancer free Stephen and the others hope that people who are fighting cancer right now, will soon have something to celebrate too.
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