Jim Chastain, whose fight for survival was chronicled in The Oklahoman and on NewsOK.com, died Thursday morning after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 46.
Chastain was a Norman author and poet who worked as a lawyer for a state appellate court judge. His written works include an autobiography, "I Survived Cancer But Never Won the Tour de France," and two poetry books, "Like Some First Human Being" and "Antidotes & Home Remedies," which was a finalist for an Oklahoma Book Award in 2009.
He participated in poetry readings across Oklahoma and the southwest. His writings are humorous and poignant, based largely on his experiences with cancer.
Chastain first was diagnosed with cancer in 2001. Attempts to remove it from his right arm proved unsuccessful, and the arm was amputated in 2004. For three years, he lived cancer-free, only to learn in 2007 that he had developed colon cancer, which had spread to his liver. Other apparent tumors were found in his lungs.
When The Oklahoman began profiling him in January 2009 in a series called "Life is real: writing the final chapters," Chastain believed he would be lucky to survive until May, when his oldest child was due to graduate from high school.
Chemotherapy slowed his cancer's progress, however, and he lived to celebrate his 46th birthday in December. That month, he posted on his NewsOK blog: "I'm still alive, but my health has really been slipping in the last two months. Hope to get some posts out soon, but I rarely feel like writing."
He is survived by his wife, LeAnn; a daughter, Maddye, and a son, Ford.
Plans for the funeral service are pending.