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Cancer Rectal Cancer
Completed Treatment 2006
CTCA Hospital Treated at
Care Team Included
Treatments at CTCA
- Started On Eagles Wings Ministries, a faith-based cancer ministry
- Attended Celebrate Life® in 2010 as a five-year survivor
- Celebrating more anniversaries with his wife Debbe
- Working as a maintenance chief
- Speaks with others fighting colorectal cancer through the CTCA Patient-to-Patient Network
"I have learned that each day is not a given, but a gift from above. The grass is greener, the sky is bluer and every day is a gift."
Dave Turner, New Park, PA
In September 2005, I went to see a doctor about a number of symptoms I had been experiencing, primarily rectal bleeding and fatigue. I also had been feeling pain in my hips and the small of my back. I underwent a colonoscopy, which revealed a two centimeter mass in my rectum. Tests then confirmed it was rectal cancer.
The tumor grew quickly and within a month’s time had doubled in size. It began to grow closer to my prostate. I was advised to look into a cancer hospital and oncologists who were experienced in treating cases such as mine.
My wife Debbe recalled seeing a commercial for Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) during one of her favorite soap operas. She decided to give them a call for some information. I never thought I’d be thanking God for the soaps.
Debbe spoke with an Oncology Information Specialist, who provided information about CTCA. After they collected our information and I was approved by our insurance provider to treat at CTCA, we were able to schedule an appointment for a consult at the CTCA hospital in northern Illinois.
Debbe and I felt as though God closed one door and opened another. However, we were wary of traveling so far for treatment. We rarely traveled and a trip of more than 700 miles from our home in New Park, Pennsylvania was a huge step. Fortunately, CTCA stepped right up and took care of all the travel planning and made the process easy. I liked the fact we were met at the train station in Chicago and driven to the hospital. We didn’t have to concern ourselves with finding a cab or renting a car. After all, we had enough on our minds at the time. I also appreciated that our driver was so kind and welcoming. He gave us insight on what to expect once we arrived at CTCA, which helped put us at ease.
There are no words to adequately describe the sense of love and hope we felt when we first entered CTCA at Midwestern Regional Medical Center. My first appointment was with the pain management team, which helped me get the pain relief I needed. I also met with Dr. Levin, my medical oncologist. My doctors developed an aggressive treatment plan which included radiation therapy, chemotherapy (Xeloda®) and rectal cancer surgery (a proctectomy). I received the radiation and chemotherapy first to shrink the tumor. Then, I underwent surgery to remove the tumor and cancerous tissue.
My doctors offered confidence and assurance along with peace and hope. Each doctor, nurse and care provider was uplifting and compassionate. I felt as though God’s love came across in volumes, shining brightly from each person. Everyone went the extra mile for me and my family. Debbe’s concerns were always met with love and compassion and acted on.
During my treatment at CTCA, I also benefitted from many supportive therapies, including nutrition therapy, naturopathic medicine, mind-body medicine and spiritual support.
I stayed in the local Country Inns & Suites as I went through chemotherapy and radiation treatment. The accommodations were very convenient, clean and affordable. I then returned home for a month and a half before I came back to CTCA for the operation.
My journey with cancer was filled with mountaintops and valleys, but CTCA was there to help smooth out some of those valleys and make my journey more bearable. I miss the friends I made at CTCA very much, but I always look forward to returning for my yearly checkup and visit.
Celebrating every day
I have learned that each day is not a given, but a gift from above. The grass is greener, the sky is bluer and every day is a gift.
Every morning before I leave for work, I tell Debbe I love her. She was right beside me throughout my journey.
When I’m not working at my job as a maintenance chief, I’m very involved in cancer support groups like the CTCA Patient-to-Patient Network. I regularly speak with others who are fighting colorectal cancer and who are considering coming to CTCA for treatment.
Debbe and I have also been blessed to begin a one-on-one, faith-based cancer ministry called On Eagles Wings Ministries. My advice to the cancer patients I speak with is clear: Do not walk this path alone. There are so many before you who can lift you up. People care and are concerned about you. And, there is always hope. No matter how deep and dark the valleys, how thick the fog of depression or the mist of despair, there is always hope.