September 24, 2019
When Mark Eaton, 55, drove to an emergency clinic in Lenexa, Kansas, he expected to hear he had another kidney stone. Instead, he was diagnosed with appendicitis and sent by ambulance to an area hospital for an emergency appendectomy.
Later, Mark was shocked to hear his health troubles were not over. His appendix was gone, but it had been cancerous. And now, he had tumors on other surfaces in his abdomen, including his colon.
Because Mark works as a chemotherapy sales manager at Teva Pharmaceuticals, he has contacts at some of the most prestigious cancer centers in the country. He asked them where to seek treatment for appendiceal cancer.
“Without exception, these physicians all told me to see Dr. Mazin Al-kasspooles at The University of Kansas Cancer Center,” he recalls. “They said he’s the HIPEC guru.”
Mark required an extensive cytoreductive surgery to remove all the cancer, including a large resection of his colon. Dr. Al-kasspooles, a surgical oncologist, also recommended 4 rounds of systemic chemotherapy after Mark recovered from surgery.
“With each treatment, we hope to increase the odds of my survival,” says Mark.
Mark is optimistic about his future. He and his wife, Karie, are planning a spring trip to the Rocky Mountains. This summer, their 2 adult children will join them on a 2nd vacation to the Rockies and beyond.
“I want people to know the treatment is not worse than the disease,” Mark says. “The road to recovery is slow, but it’s certain.”
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