From OHC, Specialists in the Treatment of Adult Cancers and Blood Disorders
March 25, 2020
Brad Peters’ sisters kept bugging him to get a colonoscopy and, like a lot of people, he just kept putting it off. He didn’t like what he had heard about the prep and the test, and he felt fine. Nine years later, he was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer that had spread to his liver.
Now Brad is teaming up with OHC to share his story in the hopes he can encourage other people to not wait to get their screening colonoscopy and to offer inspiration about new treatments at OHC.
“When I was first diagnosed, I had to take time to think about what was happening, to just let it sink in. I immediately decided I wanted no part of chemotherapy because of my dad’s experience,” Brad said.
He did agree to have a colonoscopy to allow doctors to remove the tumor in his colon.
“While they were preparing me for the colonoscopy, my family and friends were all there gathered around to support me. And then my son and daughter-in-law told all of us, right there at the hospital, that they were going to have a baby. After hearing that news and thinking about my options, I changed my mind about chemotherapy. I decided to move forward with any treatment that would keep me here to see my grandchild,” said Brad, a resident of Liberty, Indiana.
Brad was referred to OHC’s Piyush V. Patel, MD, MS, a noted medical oncologist and hematologist at OHC’s office in Hamilton. During his initial visit, Dr. Patel explained Brad’s condition, outlined treatment plan, answered all of his questions and made sure he completely understood everything. With Dr. Patel’s blessing, Brad decided to get a second opinion.
“Dr. Patel was fine with it, and after getting a second opinion, I came right back to Dr. Patel and OHC. It confirmed that I was in the best hands,” said Brad.
Once Brad started his appointments at OHC, he immediately discovered he had another “family” to help him through his treatment – the staff, volunteers and other patients at OHC.
“Everyone at OHC, they’re more than doctors and nurses. They’re my family, and they make it easy to come here for treatment. They just make my heart smile,” Brad said, putting his hand over his heart.
“I really like Dr. Patel. He’s a great doctor and he’s always so positive,” Brad explained. “The first scans after I started treatment showed that my tumors had shrunk. I was so happy and appreciative. I couldn’t thank him enough. And Dr. Patel’s response was so humble. He said, ‘Don’t put me on a pedestal. I’m just a tool of God. He had his hands in this.’”
“The nurses at OHC are all phenomenal. They genuinely care about the patients and they make sure everything is done right and you’re good. And there are three other guys who are here the same days as me getting treatment. We call ourselves the Cool Kids Club. They have also been a great source of support.”
Another source of support from a clinical aspect are the clinical trials OHC offers that gives patients early access to the newest, most promising treatments. OHC has two clinical trials evaluating new treatments for colon cancer tumors. One is the drug, Pemigatinib, designed to inhibit fibroblast growth factor receptors. The other is Galinpepimut-S, an immunotherapy vaccine being developed to target one of the most common cancer-associated proteins. If successful, these treatments will stop the growth of the tumor with fewer side effects and provide patients with better options and a renewed sense of hope.
“I believe that as long as you’re breathing, there’s hope,” said Brad. “My experience with cancer has definitely changed me. My relationships with my family, friends and God have changed. Every morning I wake up happy. I enjoy the sound of the wind blowing through trees and the laughter of my grandchildren. And in July I’m going to visit South Dakota for the motorcycles, Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse.”
“My message to everyone is, ‘Have you had a colonoscopy?’ said Brad. “And to people who are going through the same thing as me, I recommend you first take a couple days to just let it sink in. Then think about your options and get a second opinion just for confirmation. Turn to God for help. Turn to your family and let them know how you’re feeling, what your fears are. It’s been a year now and I’m still here, and I believe I’ll be here next year. I’m glad I chose OHC.”Comments (4)