SAN ANTONIO — Getting cancer treatments can take long hours, but Texas Oncology San Antonio Northeast is celebrating Halloween early to help make those hours go by quicker.

  • Cancer patient decorate pumpkins
  • Part of Texas Oncology San Antonio Northeast's Scare Off Cancer event

Patients and staff are getting in the Halloween spirit by painting pumpkins for the annual Scare Off Cancer event.

Trisy Arceo’s pumpkin design is inspired by her husband Robert's fight against cancer. They've been married for 23 years. Robert Arceo is in his fourth round of chemo for pancreatic cancer.

"I started getting pain on my right hand side, I thought I pulled a muscle,” Robert Arceo said. “The pain started getting worse. I had to go to the emergency room. It took a couple weeks to figure [out] what it was until I had a second scan. They put a small microscope down my throat and that's when I found out I had a tumor on my pancreas."

Robert said he'll finish 12 rounds of chemo in March. Until then, they are turning to the treatment center to lift their spirits.

"We have had great strides in cancer medicine over the last several years and many of our patients are living a lot longer than they used to and having a good quality of life," Dr. Allyson Harroff of Texas Oncology San Antonio Northeast said.

The Arceo’s said painting pumpkins makes the time go by faster.

"I have a little monster in the front but then in the back I have the things that we are striving for here like strength, love, hope, faith, and just to fight the cancer,” Trisy Arceo said. “Fight's my favorite word, that's what we have to do. We have to fight."