Phillip Moore, III
Lung cancer - Stage IV
This testimonial includes a description of this patient’s actual medical results. Those results may not be typical or expected for the particular disease type described in this testimonial. You should not expect to experience these results.
View CTCA treatment results for lung cancer
When I was 63 years old, I began experiencing a persistent cough that was worsening. At one point, I was going through a bag of cough drops every day. Nothing was helping.
At the VA hospital in Houston, Texas, where I live, I had some tests done. The doctors determined I had stage IV lung cancer.
I decided to get a second opinion at another regional hospital. There, the doctor did a biopsy, which had not been done at my first examination. The conclusion was the same.
Then I received an e-mail from a friend mentioning Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA). I had never heard of CTCA, but after receiving a second e-mail mentioning CTCA from another friend a week later, I took the initiative to call.
I made an appointment for a preliminary visit at CTCA at Southwestern Regional Medical Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As soon as I arrived, I could feel the care. Everyone was eager to help. I met with doctors who answered all of my questions. The care model and services were explained to me. I met several healthcare professionals, including a pain specialist, lung specialist, mind-body therapist, dietitian and naturopath. Anyone who would be involved in my care, I met. Being in a room where everyone comes to you was completely different from anything I’d encountered before.
Ups and downs
Chemotherapy was very difficult at first. I had a lot of side effects (pain, nausea, diarrhea, appetite issues, sleep issues and hiccups), and I had no idea how to deal with them. But for the symptoms I encountered, my care team gave me medication or would recommend some other strategy. But it’s not necessarily reassuring to be told there’s something to help you through the side effects. I had to focus on every little movement. I was fearful and I lost a great deal of weight in about a week’s time.
My care team also taught me how to manage the side effects. A few days after I returned home from a treatment, someone from the hospital called to ask if I was having any issues. They kept me from panicking. Gradually I was able to handle the treatments better. I learned how to avoid dehydration, how to watch my blood and how to get rid of the metallic taste in my mouth. Sometimes when you’re on your own, it’s easy to think your situation is worse than anyone else’s. But as I learned how to manage the side effects, I realized I could get through this.
As I went through treatment at CTCA, cancer changed from being a death sentence to being something to survive. And I have been surviving. I have had several bouts with new tumors appearing, but I’ve learned to understand the disease better and to be realistic. There are ups and downs, but that is what happens with surviving. There are always highs and lows.
Along the way, my oncologist has always told me my options. She tells me what she recommends and all the pros and cons. She speaks in plain language. She doesn’t use big medical terms I don’t understand. It’s like being cared for by a relative.
My message to anyone with cancer, especially with advanced lung cancer, is: Don’t let anyone tell you how long you have to live. The truth is no one really knows. You have to believe it’s not the end.
I encourage anyone who has cancer to listen to what the doctors at CTCA have to say.
Since my diagnosis, I have seen my daughter graduate from junior college. I made it to 66 years old, and I’m looking forward to 67.