Janet Meyer - Patient Story

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"Dr. Farma made me feel comfortable in a very uncomfortable and scary situation, and he was easy to talk to and had a positive attitude."

— Janet Meyer, Wife, Mother, Colorectal Cancer Survivor

In 2014, I had my five-year CT scan and follow-up visit with Jeffrey Farma, MD, FACS,  my surgical oncologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Dr. Farma actually used the words ‘cured’ and ‘cancer free’ to describe my health at that visit. It was a wonderful feeling to be that far out from my initial diagnosis of stage 2-B colon cancer.

Looking back, I realize that I had experienced small troubling symptoms—fatigue, constipation, not feeling quite right—before I had intense stomach pain one night in August 2009 when I was 48 years old. After that episode, my doctor referred me to a local hospital for a CT scan. I was told it could be colitis, and he recommended that I see a gastroenterologist for a colonoscopy. My pain increased in the interim. When the test revealed a cancerous tumor, both my doctor and I were surprised. I asked him how sure he was that it was cancer, and he said he was 99% sure. It was a surreal experience.

I was referred to a local surgeon who quickly realized that I should see a cancer specialist. Even though he answered all of my questions and appeared to be more than competent to perform surgery, I just had this nagging feeling that I wanted to go someplace where cancer was the main focus. I always believed that for a substantial health issue I would travel to Philadelphia and seek care at a hospital where they have more knowledge about the diagnosis. A few co-workers of mine had pleasant experiences at Fox Chase, so after I researched some Philadelphia hospitals, I decided on Fox Chase.

I called Fox Chase and was given the name of Dr. Jeffrey Farma. I was more than satisfied with his credentials and resume, and I felt even more assured when I met with him the first time. He made me feel comfortable in a very uncomfortable and scary situation, and he was easy to talk to and had a positive attitude.

Dr. Farma performed a laparoscopic right hemicolectomy to remove my right colon and tumor. After recovery, I began a six-month course of chemotherapy. He did a wonderful job with my laparoscopic surgery, and you cannot tell now that I ever had surgery. Since that time I have had three colonoscopies, the most recent in September 2016, and I have had clean results each time. I have felt fantastic since my treatment.

My husband, Dave, and I were married in 1986 and we have two beautiful daughters, Kerry and Shannon, who are in their 20s. We enjoy spending time with family and friends, going to the beach, riding bikes, and reading. After 30 years as a legal secretary, I plan to retire in a few years and fill my time volunteering for a nearby organization or hospital.

Dr. Farma is an extremely talented surgeon and I am forever grateful to him. I have nothing but praise for the nursing staff and every other staff member I came across during my stay at Fox Chase. I am a firm believer that you have to be a special person to work with cancer patients. The care and compassion the doctors and staff exhibit at Fox Chase is extraordinary.

Although it was very emotional the first day I stepped foot in Fox Chase and realized that every patient there is a cancer patient, it was also very reassuring. I can honestly say that as frightening as having cancer may be, Fox Chase was the right place for me.

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