Our website will soon be relaunched with a fresh look and improved user experience. Take a look by visiting our test site.
Call us 24/7 at (888) 552-6760
Cancer Treatment Centers of America

John Gibson

Colorectal cancer - Stage IVA

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 colorectal cancer

Overview

My story

I was born and raised in rural Connersville, Indiana. I am married, I have one young daughter, and I manage the liquor department at our local grocery store. I am also a wine steward.

In October 2015, after noticing blood in my stool, I had a colonoscopy and was diagnosed with colon cancer. My head was swimming when I heard the news. I had lots of questions. When my wife and I got back home from the doctor’s office, my whole family was there waiting for me. My wife had texted them and told them what was going on and that they needed to be at our house when we got back. I went to work the next day and told everybody there. I felt so supported and loved. 

About a week later, I went to see a surgeon. But before he performed the surgery, he wanted to do a scan to get a better picture of what was going on inside. A week later, we got the results, and the surgeon said the cancer appeared to have spread to the liver. He referred me to an oncologist that day, and I was later diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. My wife and I were in disbelief. The first couple of days after receiving the news, we didn’t do much. We just took it all in. However, once we moved past the disbelief, we knew there was work to be done and starting pursuing additional options.

Finding hope

One day, my wife, Miranda, and her parents started researching cancer treatments. That is when they found Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA). My wife was a little hesitant to call because she saw the commercials on television and thought that it sounded too good to be true. So my mother-in-law picked up the phone and called. The Oncology Information Specialist told her, “Let’s see what we can do. Do not give up hope.” After the initial conversation, my wife called me and told me that I was going to CTCA®. I trusted my wife and knew that she was doing everything she could to take care of me.

The next week, we drove to CTCA. My first appointment was December 28, 2015.

Walking into the hospital, we were greeted right away. We completed our check in, and then  received a guided tour of the hospital. We couldn’t believe how many doctors, clinicians and specialists were onsite and under one roof.

Before I arrived, my CTCA doctors obtained my medical records and health history and reviewed them. During my initial evaluation, I met various members of my care team, including my medical oncologist. I also underwent a number of diagnostic tests and procedures, because the doctors wanted to confirm my initial diagnosis. I was so impressed by how fast we completed them and got the test results. The tests confirmed I had stage IV colon cancer.

While delivering the news, my doctor sounded optimistic. My care team worked with me to create a personalized treatment plan. It felt so wonderful to have options and choices. The doctors and clinicians took the time to make sure I understood my treatment plan and let me ask any and all the questions I had.

A bright future

My treatment began with a chemotherapy regimen, one round every two weeks for a total of 13 rounds. With the first set of scans, we could see my tumors were shrinking. When the chemotherapy ended, in November 2016, I had another set of scans performed. I held my breath waiting for the results. My medical oncologist came in and told me that scans showed no signs of residual cancer. I exhaled with excitement.

In mid-December, I underwent  surgery to remove the part of my colon affected by cancer.. The surgical oncologist also took multiple biopsies of the liver  to determine whether the cancer had spread. I was in the ICU following the surgery, and the staff was amazing. They were attentive to my needs and  answered all my questions.

I was so happy to be out of the hospital in time for Christmas. But the best gift of all was getting the surgical biopsy results back and learning that the samples taken were all non-cancerous fibrous tissue. Final pathology tests revealed no evidence of cancer within the colon or liver at that time.

Today, I continue to return to CTCA for follow-up appointments, and I also returned to work. I am getting back to my normal life.

My experience is why I am a big believer in never giving up. You have to try, no matter the stage or cancer type. I also believe that prayers work and that God will lead you. He definitely led us to CTCA.

Through it all, my wife has been my rock and caretaker. She’s pushed me and led me to CTCA. She’s continued working while I’ve been off and taking care of our family. She is an amazing woman, and I am grateful to have her in my life. My family and friends have been a great support as well. It makes it a lot easier when you’re at your low point to know that you have such a strong support group.

I’ve heard it said that “cancer changes your life,” and now I know it really does. I feel like every day is a blessing, and I truly live life to its fullest. I squeeze more time into each day. I have stopped to pay more attention to the small things in life that we often overlook on a daily basis, like breathing fresh air, enjoying the sun and playing with my daughter. Every day is a special gift from God, and I appreciate the blessings much more.