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Darryl Hall - Patient Story

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"My experience with Fox Chase and Dr. Reddy was completely different from my experience at the other hospital."

— Darryl Hall, Colon Cancer Survivor

I decided to get an appointment with my family doctor when I realized something wasn’t right. I had not been to a doctor for several years, but when I continued to be constipated and to have trouble with bowel movements, I decided that I should make an appointment.

My doctor ordered a CAT scan and an X-ray. When a cancerous mass was detected, the doctor referred me to a surgeon at my local hospital, who performed two colonoscopies and exploratory surgery. Even after that, I still did not have any answers about my condition. I was also frustrated because my doctors at the hospital did not seem to communicate with each other about my condition. I knew I needed a second opinion.

My wife, Margaret, was going in for her six-month follow-up appointment with Dr. Margaret von Mehren at Fox Chase Cancer Center at about that time. Dr. von Mehren had successfully treated Margaret for sarcoma in her thigh. We told Dr. Mehren about our frustrations of dealing with the doctors at the other hospital, and she suggested that we see a doctor at Fox Chase for a second opinion. She had a nurse navigator call me the next day, and a few days later I went in for my first appointment with Dr. Sanjay Reddy, a surgical oncologist at Fox Chase.

My experience with Fox Chase and Dr. Reddy was completely different from my experience at the other hospital. Dr. Reddy was prepared for my appointment, and he was calm and straightforward. He explained that I had colon cancer and said that I would be OK. He recommended that I have surgery so that he could understand more about my condition. I agreed. I trusted him and knew that my situation would get better.

Dr. Reddy performed a procedure to move a segment of my colon. Afterwards, Dr. Efran Dotan, a medical oncologist at Fox Chase, joined my treatment team. Dr. Dotan recommended a course of oral chemotherapy for several months. After three months, my blood levels had improved, and I didn’t need to continue taking the drugs.

I talked to Dr. Reddy about whether the ostomy that my doctors at the local hospital had performed could be reversed. The ostomy was a nuisance for me, and I knew my quality of life would improve without it. Fortunately, he was able to reverse it in a second surgery. I have a lot of gratitude for Dr. Reddy, who gave me my life back and made sure I was as comfortable as possible.

I encourage other people like me to get a second opinion if they are not happy with their current treatment plan. Both my wife and I received the best of care at Fox Chase. We are grateful to our doctors, and we recommend Fox Chase to anyone needing cancer care. Today we are both doing well and can enjoy the time we spend together and with our five grandchildren.

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