Ken Butler’s Story

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

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.

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KEN’S STORY

I knew nothing about cancer before I was diagnosed. No one in my family had ever dealt with cancer, so initially I was very afraid. But God had a plan for me.

When I received my diagnosis, it was the spring of 2014. I was coaching my son’s travel ball team, and life seemed pretty good. I was a young man in the prime of my life, with a wife and two kids. Then the unthinkable happened, and my life changed overnight.

One Friday at work, I began having severe chest pains. I thought it might be a heart attack, so I left early and went to the doctor. A few hours later the doctor told me he’d found a mass on my lung. It was cancer. I called my wife, Selena, and she immediately got our kids out of school and came to meet me at the doctor’s office.

It was very hard to take it all in. I was so scared, but as a Christian I knew I wasn’t alone. In those early days, I opened my Bible and began reading from Matthew 6:25-34, where Jesus talks about not worrying. It was such a comfort to remember that I am precious to God and know that I could rely on Him to take care of me.

LOOKING FOR ANSWERS

My original doctor got me set up with tests and appointments to confirm my diagnosis, which turned out to be an aggressive form of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, but I wanted to be sure I was doing the right thing. I didn’t know anything about cancer, so I called my sister for advice. She was the first one to mention Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) to me. I called CTCA® and talked to a representative who walked me through the process of setting up an appointment and making all the arrangements to visit the center. It was a huge relief to only have to talk to one person and let him take care of everything for me.

We had no idea what to expect, and Selena and I were blown away when we walked in the front door. It was more like a resort than a hospital. My wife was a nurse for twelve years, and she had never experienced anything like CTCA. People were smiling and upbeat, from the staff to the patients. I was struck by the positive atmosphere. We felt our spirits lift as soon as we walked in.


My wife and I had been praying about where I should seek treatment. I wanted a sign from God that Cancer Treatment Centers of America was the right place to be, and that’s exactly what I found. Our first visit was right before Easter, and when we came in there were little Easter eggs everywhere with messages of hope and encouragement from the employees written inside. We found a little egg that looked like a carrot, and it turned out to be a prize. The lady at the front desk gave us a door hanger in the shape of cross that says "The tomb was empty." That to me was the sign from God I’d been looking for to give me peace about treating at CTCA, and I keep the cross in my Bible now.

THE BATTLE BEGINS

We met with Dr. Randolph, who is also a man of faith, and he wasted no time in ordering the tests and procedures he needed to determine how to fight my cancer. Everything was done in four days, and I was impressed by how quickly the results came back. Another impressive thing was that I had a whole team of doctors working with me and sharing information with each other so that nothing fell through the cracks.

When the results came back, Dr. Randolph gave me several options for treatment. I told him, "I have faith in God that He sent me to the right place and I trust that you have the knowledge to take care of this. I’ll do whatever you tell me."

The treatment Dr. Randolph recommended was very aggressive, but he never rushed us. He took the time to go through every detail of the game plan and answer our questions. He was honest with me that the path forward would be hard, but because he shared my faith he also prayed with me and encouraged me along the way.

I started with chemotherapy to shrink the mass that was touching my heart, lungs and esophagus. The chemotherapy treatments were spread out over about six months. Then I went through radiation therapy. I experienced some side effects, but my care team was quick to adjust their plan to reduce my discomfort and help me stay strong with supportive therapies.

While I received excellent medical care at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, I also had all the spiritual and emotional support I needed at the hospital.

A FAMILY OF FAITH

The pastoral care team at Cancer Treatment Centers of America made a huge impact on my cancer journey. I met one of the chaplains, Harry Gatewood, when I was about to go in for bone marrow aspiration. I was really nervous, and then Harry walked in and asked if he could pray with me. We talked and joked for a while, and his visit really put my mind at ease before the procedure.

Another of the chaplains, Claire Whitlock, was part of my care team from the beginning. She was a huge comfort to me and my wife, Selena. She always seemed to know what to say to calm our fears, and it was like God was speaking through her to let us know everything would be okay.

Selena and I became really close with both Harry and Claire during my visits to CTCA. They both made a point of stopping by to pray with us and ask about the family any time we were there. We still see them from time to time, and it means a lot to know they care.

One thing we noticed at Cancer Treatment Centers of America was that an atmosphere of faith permeates the facility. Several of my nurses and doctors went the extra mile to pray with me and check in on me. They did little things to boost my spirits, like remembering my birthday and surprising me with a special dessert. I also was blessed by the faith of the other patients, and had the opportunity to pray with and support them as they supported me.

These people took the time to really get to know me and connect with my wife and children on a personal level. They became our friends and an important part of our lives. Many of the people we met at CTCA became an extended part of our family, and we could feel God working in us through them.

CELEBRATING THE VICTORIES

I am so thankful God led me to Cancer Treatment Centers of America. With their help, I feel better and I’m glad to be getting back to my normal life. I’m able to be involved in my children’s activities again, which is fantastic. I have seen some of the worst storms that I’ve ever seen in my life, and hopefully the worst I’ll ever see, but there’s a rainbow at the end.

My experience with cancer has given me a new purpose in life, to minister God’s love and compassion to other people who are hurting. I want to share my story and encourage people to put their faith in God during difficult times. And of course I highly recommend that anyone with cancer come to Cancer Treatment Centers of America. As far as I know, there is no other place like it. I have had wonderful care here, both medically and spiritually. CTCA is a place where I found people who loved and prayed for me and gave me the hope and support I needed.

We knew the second we walked into Cancer Treatment Centers of America that God had put us there for a reason and we still believe that to this day. He has confirmed that over and over. I’ve always loved God and had faith, but now it is a thousand times stronger. The same is true for my wife and kids. I don’t see anything we can’t get through now.

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