Our patients are the reason we walk into work each day ready to tackle anything. So we think it’s important that you hear from them – their experiences, journeys and how they beat cancer every day. They’re the heartbeat of the Cancer Center of Kansas – and we’ve learned so much from their stories of courage and persistence.
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Please consider helping others going through the same experience by sharing your Cancer Center of Kansas Story.SHARE YOUR STORY
I am so thankful for Cancer Center of Kansas, where I got "big city care" in my little home town.- J. Miles
When the time came to make a decision on a Oncologist there are so many questions, and "what if's" to factor in. The decision became easy once I met Dr. Truong, and the nurses at Cancer Center of Kansas- Independence. There was no stress or extra financial burdens with traveling expenses or finding hotel accommodations. I received attentive one on one care from the nurses, who were always available if I had questions or concerns. I felt right at home during my treatments. They prepared me for everything that was going on, always explaining to me what they were doing and possible side effects. I never felt "out of the loop" or that my opinions didn't matter. When the day came I finally got to ring the bell, they celebrated with me! I am so thankful for Cancer Center of Kansas, where I got "big city care" in my little home town.
I observed many times the staff going above and beyond trying to not only take care of the physical and emotional needs of the patients, but even the family members.- M. Lindley-Woodward
I can't say enough about my care at the Independence branch of the Cancer Center of Kansas. Every single one of the nurses and even the receptionist were so kind and caring. I observed many times the staff going above and beyond trying to not only take care of the physical and emotional needs of the patients, but even the family members.
My family questioned whether I should get treated in a larger town, but I assured them that the quality of care I received in Independence was as good, in fact probably better, than any care I'd get in a larger city.
I also have to say that the financial counselors were extremely helpful. We had pretty decent insurance, but they still helped us get coverage for as much out of pocket medications, etc. as possible.
Undergoing cancer treatment is far from an enjoyable experience, but they made the unpleasant experience as pleasant as possible.
At the age of 33, I was diagnosed with stage 3 metastatic melanoma- M. Kelly
Not knowing much about melanoma, I had a lot of anxiety. Being a mom and wife, I was hoping that this was not going to be the end for me. When the general surgeon found that my cancer had spread, it was time to see an oncologist at the Cancer Center of Kansas. When my husband and I came for the initial consultation, I knew instantly that I was at the right place.
My doctor was extremely personable. I will never forget my husband asking ‘If this was your wife, is this what you would do?’ His answer was ‘yes.’ My care has been superior. I’ve never had such a team of cheerleaders and support from one facility. My doctor has seen me at my worst moments, and never once did he give up on me, send me to another office. My nurses every time I would call because I didn’t feel good or because I was scared, they took the time to talk me through it.
I received excellent care and advice from all nurses and lab staff- Wayne
I am very grateful for the care I received from the Independence branch of the Cancer Center of Kansas. Dr. Truong was very professional in providing a fast and accurate diagnosis of my CLL. I was in bad shape two years ago. Extremely weak with very low hemoglobin. Once treatment started at this center I received excellent care and advice from all nurses and lab staff. In particular, Val, Jen, and Alli were great in explaining lab test results and in administering the various chemo drugs. They also took time to ensure I was as comfortable as possible considering the hours it takes for receiving the IV administered drugs. I am happily in remission now but continue to go back for quarterly blood work. I am always greeted by a friendly and professional group. Thanks again for your compassion and care.
After the treatments were finished I found I could do the recreational things I enjoy so much. Hiking Yellowstone, Glacier, and that little gem we have in the Independence area - Elk River Trails.
From my first treatment, I felt at home.- Rogene
Two dreadful “C” words that no one wants to hear, Cancer and Chemotherapy. I heard those words in July by my family doctor in Winfield who then referred me to an oncologist in Wichita, which conferred the diagnosis. I knew about the Cancer Center in Winfield and asked that I take my treatments close to home. I am very thankful to the Wichita doctor that allowed me to do this.
I started my Chemo treatments in Winfield in September. My chemo experience was tolerable and not as horrible as I first thought. The ladies treat you as family. From my first treatment, I felt at home. There was a family atmosphere. Cindy, Kim, and Carrie, gave me the feeling that they really cared about me. They were willing to answer my questions and put me at ease with the treatment I was about to get. They made sure I understood about the drugs I was given and what they were doing to my body. When I went home after the first treatment, I really felt good and positive about the experience.
Dr. Dakhil was also so friendly. He explained about the treatment and what to expect. His paper about the Roller Coaster was very reassuring to me. I felt he fully understood about cancer and cared about his patients. After seeing him for the first time, I felt relieved and comfortable about my cancer. I felt uplifted after viewing the videos on the Cancer Center of Kansas website. They were very helpful in explaining cancer and the website was very informative offering other sites and information a cancer patient may want.
The atmosphere at the Cancer Center was very supportive. Being with others going through the same obstacles gave me strength and hope. I was able to communicate with others facing the same situation. We shared stories and gave each other the support we each needed. Every patient I met gave praises about the nurses and the care they were given.
I was also overwhelmed by the generosity and support that came from the community organizations and other past and present patients. During one of my treatments, I was given a chemo comfort bag with lots of helpful items. Another family brought cookies for all the patients receiving chemo. I also noted that the office door was covered with Christmas cards. I saw many pasts, present, and other family members bringing gifts and food to the ladies in appreciation for the quality of care and support they or their family member received from the Cancer Center. This was so reassuring and uplifting to see.
The main thing I received from the website, Dr. Dakhil, the ladies at the center, the other patients, and community organizations was that my attitude can control my outcome with cancer. It was not hard to be positive with that kind of support. Like most cancer patients, I have had my negative feelings; but I always remembered the positive feeling I got when I went for treatments and I knew that I could overcome this cancer. I have learned to live each day to the fullest. I don’t know what I would have done without a treatment center so close to home and being run by people that made me feel like family.
I do not regret the decision to have my treatments in Winfield. Thank you Cindy and Kim for being cheerleaders helping me get through the treatments, thank you Carrie for getting me the paperwork I needed, thank you Dr. Dakhil for being so caring and supportive, and thank you all for being there for me and all the cancer patients that use the Cancer Center of Kansas in Winfield, you’re doing a great job!
The staff at Cancer Center on Hillside are some of the sweetest people I have ever meet. I consider Dr. Page a friend and my doctor.- Jerry A.
I am excited to share my past 4½ years of the most comforting care from the Cancer Center of Kansas. At one time in the past Dr. Moore Sr. was my doctor he was a really great fellow and a good doctor. I was diagnosed with blood platelets being out of whack. He retired and Dr. Seth Page took over my care.
At this point and time he diagnosed me with myelofibrosis.
The staff at Cancer Center on Hillside are some of the sweetest people I have ever meet. I consider Dr. Page a friend and my doctor. He and his staff are very caring and through on caring for me. The gal’s in the front office are very pleasant and helpful.
Dr. Page’s nurse Sarah is a super young lady. We heckle each other every week, when I get my Epo shot. Lisa P. and Stephanie are so so pleasant and helpful. Heather O. on St. Francis take care of my special medications and we heckle each other also.
May God Bless you all as you serve other.
You have no idea how I respect you and your life given to your patients- Bev J. Warden
Thank you for seeing my daughter regarding the bladder tumor removed by Dr. Darwiche at Southwest Medical Center.
You have no idea how much better I feel regarding the tumor. I know it probably had nothing to do with the tumor, but I was diagnosed with the cervical cancer in 1972 when they had also discovered I was about 6 weeks pregnant with my daughter. They wanted to abort her and remove my uterus, but upon my refusal to do so, agreed to monitor the pregnancy and take her early if the tumor was to grow. In my uneducated mind of cancer I wondered if the cell implanted in her at that time from which this tumor grew. Don't laugh - it is what mother's think when their child is endangered that somehow they are responsible.
Anyway I thank you for your care and treatment which has me at almost 74, your care and treatment of my little brother during his life, and for your care in letting us know that my daughter's tumor is non-invasive. She will, of course, keep her appointments with Dr. Darwiche.
You have no idea how I respect you and your life given to your patients.
Through the good and bad, the staff has been there for me- Logan Vinopal
It started as a trip to the doctor with my wife for what I had thought was a respiratory infection. Next thing I know I was a 28 year old new patient of Dr. Deutsch for a rare germ cell tumor being explained a 4-course treatment plan. It has not been easy, but remaining positive throughout has given me the strength to have fought this fight. Dr. Deutsch put us at ease and nurse Donna has been like a second mother. Through the good and bad, the staff has been there for me. Each day is a new day, and better at that, as it is a step closer to ringing that bell [Treatment room has a bell you ring on your last day of treatment]. Never give up, fight like hell and stay positive! The team here at CCK will be there for you every step of the way.
I remember the day of my last treatment, I was over the moon to be done, but I found myself in tears because I would not be seeing all these wonderful ladies again.- A. Kear
Before my diagnosis, the Cancer Center of Kansas was a place that I hadn’t heard much about, but I was sure I never wanted to be a patient there. Now, I actually miss going there. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that my trips there as a patient are few and far between now, but I actually miss seeing my doctor and nurses on a regular basis.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age 33. I was in disbelief. I remember meeting with Dr. Dakhil and just being numb, still not believing that this was happening to me. Dr. Dakhil was amazing. He took the time to go through all the steps of my treatment, making sure I understood each one of them, assuring me that I was going to get through it. I remember asking him if I was going to lose my hair, he very quickly said yes, but then added, “it will come back, don’t worry, worrying will not help you get through this”. That was it. I believed him. It was time to fight. He never let me quit, never let me delay treatment because I didn’t feel good. He said fight, so I fought.
The nurses in the treatment rooms became my friends. I enjoyed going to see them each week, despite the fact that they were giving me horrible chemo that would make me feel worthless for the next week. They were there to answer questions, hold my hand, and laugh with me. I remember the day of my last treatment, I was over the moon to be done, but I found myself in tears because I would not be seeing all these wonderful ladies again.
I never want to be in that treatment room as a patient again, but I know that if it ever does happen, I will be taken care of.
They have a special way of forming an immediate connection with those they serve and providing reassurance to patients who are at a most vulnerable place in their lives.- J. Smith
Now more than six years since my father's diagnosis of Stage 4, inoperable lung cancer, my family and I still reflect often and with much gratitude on the exceptional care he - and we - received from the Cancer Center of Kansas at its Independence clinic. What could have been a frightening and overwhelming experience really wasn't, thanks entirely to the competence, professionalism and genuine caring of Dr. Phu Truong and nurses Valerie Davis and Alison (Schmidt) Carroll. They have a special way of forming an immediate connection with those they serve and providing reassurance to patients who are at a most vulnerable place in their lives.
Happily, I can report that after procedures recommended by Dr. Truong and treatments received at the local clinic, Dad remains healthy today. For him, the only down side to living cancer-free is the fact that his visits to the cancer center to see the 'girls' (nurses) he grew to love are now much more infrequent.
I have complete confidence in the professional, high-quality, effective care provided by CCK and would recommend it as the first and best resource for anyone facing a new cancer diagnosis.
Thanks isn't enough...- Bill & Joann R.
Dr. S. Dakhil & Staff,
Somehow, not only for Christmas, But all the long year through, The joy you give to others is the joy that comes back to you. God Bless you all for your wonderful and compassionate care! Thanks isn't enough but we do appreciate everyone of you, and everything you do for our son Erick! You added a warm and welcome touch to the holidays! Thank you for keeping our son Erick alive & functioning thru all his cancer, since 2008. (12.23.16)
...All the nurses and staff kept me going, and gave me the courage to smile through my treatments...- M. Landes
"Cancer Center of Kansas was an incredible team for my treatment. After my diagnosis, my friend recommended Dr. Deutsch She said "You have to see him, he was amazing for me!" From the first meeting, I felt like my case was treated with concern and everyone involved took the time to see me as a person, not just a patient. All the nurses and staff kept me going, and gave me the courage to smile through my treatments. CCK felt like a home for the hours I was there during treatment. My friends and family were made to feel welcome. I was so relieved and thankful that I had a team around my treatment, discussing my case and following my progress. That was what I hoped for. It was a long journey, but I felt like I had the best team possible. Dr Deutsch listened, cared and gave me the support I needed to get through that unimaginable time. I’m so grateful and lucky I had them. They rock!!"
...Being diagnosed with cancer is a life-altering experience, but the doctors and staff of Cancer Center of Kansas have made the journey much less difficult and more tolerable...- N. Reinert-Schuette
"I was initially diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, while living in another state. I received chemotherapy and radiation at a cancer center there, and felt my care was excellent. It was so good that when my husband and I discussed moving back to Kansas to be near family, it became a major topic of concern.
While visiting family in Western Kansas during the holidays in 2014, I became seriously ill. I was transferred to Via Christi Hospital St. Francis. I was diagnosed with yet another form of cancer. When Dr. Shaker Dakhil walked into my room, he was no stranger. He had been my fathers oncologist back in 1986. Dr. Dakhil was straight-forward and explained what I was facing and my options. I was so pleased with that visit that we decided to remain in Kansas for treatment at the Cancer Center of Kansas (CCK).
When I arrived at CCK for my first treatment I knew we had made the right decision. I was able to get my lab work, CT scans, PET/CT scans and see the oncologist all in the same building. Dr. Dakhil and/or Julie, the nurse practitioner, are always available to assess my condition and answer questions. I can’t say enough about the nurses in the treatment room. They are knowledgeable, compassionate, friendly and helpful. I have yet to meet a person I didn’t like at CCK.
Since I live two and one-half hours from Wichita, I was able to receive a portion of my treatment at one of the 22 treatment centers in Kansas. Patient comfort and convenience are just two of the goals of CCK. Being diagnosed with cancer is a life-altering experience, but the doctors and staff of Cancer Center of Kansas have made the journey much less difficult and more tolerable."
...I am very grateful for the Cancer Center of Kansas and their great staff of doctors and nurses...- G. Bayliss
I am very grateful for the Cancer Center of Kansas and their great staff of doctors and nurses. I started at the CCK in Wichita. I wanted to move to Parsons which is my home town. The deciding factor to my move was finding Parsons also has a CCK clinic. I feel I am in very good hands.
I can finally sit back and watch my baby grow every day without being sick and tired.- Brooke Potter
May 30th 2015, the happiest day of my life, the day I married my best friend Reece. We had the perfect dream wedding filled with family and friends. We went on our honeymoon to Florida and were blessed to return home only to find out I was pregnant. I was beyond thrilled and started dreaming about our future filled with children.
Not long into the pregnancy I knew this wasn't going to be an easy pregnancy. I started losing weight, about 12lbs. I was constantly run down and sick. I work with special needs kids at a school and felt like I caught every virus that went around. I just couldn't fight off anything.
In August 2015 (three months pregnant) I finally broke down and told my Doctor something was wrong. I noticed I had swollen lymph nodes in my neck. They did lab work and said I had Mono. I felt validated that I wasn't just being a "crazy pregnant women." But that was short lived. Several months went by and I still was not feeling well and no energy. My body began to rebel against me with intense itching and days filled with struggling to get out of bed. I could barely make it through the day.
My Doctor decided to send me to a specialist to rule out anything major. I could tell she was feeling less confident and at that point so was I. The appointment was arranged and I still felt like it was probably something weird and was in denial about what my body and symptoms were telling me.
December 3rd 2015 I went in for a biopsy. I was so nervous and worried about side effects to my baby being put under IV sedation. I chose to do a local anesthetic instead so I was awake during the whole procedure. The Doctor’s assured me that they would monitor the baby every step of the way. My mind was filled with all the worst case scenario’s. I was terrified of what they would find.
As the days went by I could see the stress and worried looks on my family and friends. I felt almost numb with stress. I kept telling myself “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." My mother “who is my rock" sent me quotes of inspiration. I kept thinking “what will I do, will my baby survive, how will my loved ones handle it if I have cancer, am I going to make it through this". I wanted to crawl in my bed and stay there but I knew I had to stay positive not only for me but my family.
December 11th 2015 around 3:30 I received the call. I was officially diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. This day will forever be etched in my mind. I do not actually remember dialing and calling Reece but just saying the words “can you come home." The hardest call was to my mother. I knew she was going to be devastated but I needed her at that exact moment.
The Doctor’s wanted to start treatment immediately. I had to find a place in my mind where I could tuck away the fear and prepare for the arrival of my baby girl. I put my faith in God that he would give me the strength to continue and guide me through this journey.
January 2nd 2016 our precious nephew was born by emergency C section. Reece and I were so excited to be this little boys aunt and uncle. Adelyn was going to get to grow up with her cousin as her best friend. We knew things were about to become even more complicated though as Aiden was only 31 weeks. Aiden was born with a very large omphalocele. After a few days of doctors doing everything they possibly could my brother and sister in law were faced with every parents worst nightmare. We lost Aiden Thomas on January 6th. Though we were very thankful for the few days we had with him it's not easy. I do know that I have the best guardian angel watching over us. He's with us every step of the way and I love him immensely for that.
January 7th 2016 Adelyn Grace Potter is born by cesarean 4 weeks early. She is a beautiful healthy girl! For that day all my fears where turned to joy. The moment I looked in my daughters eyes I knew I would fight every step of the way to beat this. She was my “Saving Grace”.
I was able to stay home for a couple of days and just be a “mom” and not a cancer patient before I began my treatment. I will cherish those days forever. I watched my husband be a father to our daughter and realized we would be in good hands with him watching over us. I also know if something happens to me my daughter would be well taken care of by this incredible person. It is funny how your brain shifts in its way of thinking when you have a child especially when you have cancer and you are responsible for this beautiful baby who is so helpless and has no clue what is going on. All she knows is that you are her mom and she depends on you. My life is about change dramatically.
January 14th I had a hard time breathing I just couldn’t catch my breath. I went to the ER and they found a mass on my chest. They started me on Prednisone and Allopurinol immediately. The Doctors wanted to start the process and the very next day it all started. Jan 15th I had the port- catheter surgery and Echocardiogram. Jan 18th pulmonary function test, CT scan and PET scan. I was exhausted and missed my baby terribly.
January 19th first day of Chemotherapy. I am feeling scared but determined. I have my family, friends and God in place. My precious baby girl is well taken care of and I am going to do this. I have lost all of my hair and I am rocking the bald look. My white blood counts have been dangerously low so I have been home bound to avoid sickness. The chemo has taken a toll on my body I have suffered from nausea, jaw pains, lack of appetite, extreme tiredness and pure weakness.
We all know life can be unfair but the one thing I have discovered is you just have to roll with the punches and keep positive. I will not be broken by this terrible disease. I want to use this experience to help others. Being only 22 I look at things in a different perspective. Every day is a gift.
7 months later after 12 rounds of chemo and 10 rounds of radiation I am in REMISSION! I can finally sit back and watch my baby grow every day without being sick and tired. I am so incredibly blessed and thank God that I have a second chance at this beautiful life.
...I owe all of that to them- Bill Wilson
On Jan. 29, 2016, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 rectal cancer, with lung mets. More than a year later, the tumor in my rectum is shrinking and the lung mets are stable, thanks to the expertise of Dr. Dennis Moore Jr. and the compassionate and expert nursing staff in the treatment rooms. Dr. Moore told me I had hope in the beginning, and he has approached my case in that fashion, treating the cancer aggressively and listening attentively to my concerns as they have developed. I feel better now than I have in years, thanks to the staff at CCK, and I owe all of that to them.
If you have been diagnosed with this dreadful disease then please make an appointment for the excellent care and put your life in their hands.- B. Ingram
I started seeing Dr. Mattar in October of 2009 with advanced cancer, He has kept me going throughout the years with all of the latest treatments. He and his staff have been very attentive and have given myself and other patients the most outstanding care that could be
delivered, I would highly recommend he and his staff. If you have been diagnosed with this dreadful disease then please make an appointment for the excellent care and put your life in their hands.
...Nurses are knowledgeable about treatments, side effects, healthy cancer diets and what to or not to do, while taking chemo. They are interested in patient’s lives, other than just cancer...- B. Huffman
Let me begin with ‘Cancer Sucks’ and chemo is a necessary poison, but we do what we have to do to beat it.
I wasn’t aware Labette Health had a Cancer Center until I needed. In the beginning, cancer is a full time job - Blood work, tests, chemo, doctor appointments, etc. If a person has a job, other than cancer, its a bonus to have the Cancer Center in Parsons. I use less time off work since appointments and treatments are local. Besides the convenience of location, the staff are very welcoming and actually seem happy to see everyone that walks through their door. Nurses are knowledgeable about treatments, side effects, healthy cancer diets and what to or not to do, while taking chemo. They are interested in patient’s lives, other than just cancer.
We are also fortunate to have Dr. Nabbout come here from Wichita. He explains things well and is honest about the illness. He and the nurses are very competent which is comforting.
I came every three weeks and will, hopefully, for a long long time. Personally, I am looking forward to growing old with every here, and I highly recommend others come here too.
I am truly grateful that I had this option of Cancer Center of Kansas.- P. Bronson
I am a 58 year old woman who in October of 2015 was diagnosed with a multi focal, multi tumor breast cancer. With the help of Dr Phu Truong and the nurses at Cancer Center of Kansas (Independence location) I was referred to a breast surgeon and started immediately on a chemotherapy regiment. Many well meaning friends suggested I go to Tulsa or Bartlesville for my treatments, I am very happy with my decision to stay with Dr Truong in Independence. Dr Truong has been very professional and kind, he has answered all my questions and listened to my concerns. The nurses in Independence have bypassed all my expectations with their professionalism, kindness and care with my chemotherapy treatments. The nurses also took the time to educate my on the drugs, the side effects, medications to counter act side effects, and also at times to just listen and care. I am continuing with my treatments as I continue to stay close to home, saving time and money on travel expense. I am truly grateful that I had this option of Cancer Center of Kansas.
...The nurses and staff at CCK are the BEST! They are always helpful, kind, caring, watchful, capable and do an excellent job of taking care of each and every patient...- G. Hensley
Thank you and I thank God for you and for all you’ve done for me (through Him). I am writing this so you can share with whomever you please. It is my honor to thank you through Jesus.
I met Dr. Mattar November 1, 2000 (my 60th birthday), when a third cancer (colon/rectal) was diagnosed in me. Dr. Mattar analyzed the situation for my husband (now in Heaven) and me. He assured me (and my hubby and family) that he would do his best with the gifts the Holy Spirit had given him, that he was a servant of Jesus, and that the results were in God’s hands. I remember well that then we knew we had the right doctor to help us through yet another cancer. Dr. Mattar did an excellent job of explaining to us what the procedure would be and what to expect. However, my husband unexpectedly passed to Heaven on December 16, 2000. So, my family stepped in to help me.
Dr. Mattar also has been the most pro-active doctor I know, doing tests on a regular basis to identify any new problem areas, so that we could begin immediately to fight each new spot. And, this did happen because the tumor recurred in the same spot in 2002, 2005, and 2007. Dr. Mattar continued to assure us that the new techniques, chemicals, etc. were being developed to fight cancer and that we needed to stay positive, which of course we did. Then, in 2011 when the cancer had metastasized to my liver, Dr. Mattar again set me in the right direction. After surgery (a partial Hepatectomy) and recuperation, I was back in good health again (the seventh time I’ve dealt with cancers). Unfortunately, or fortunately, however you look at it, I am still working through problems caused by the treatments (side-effects of the different treatments). I’ve had surgeries, radiation treatments, chemotherapy treatments, etc. But, I am still here an able to live my life, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Mattar and his staff. Dr. Mattar gives me hope for the future.
Dr. Mattar has been my “team leader” for all these treatments at his direction. He has been “on top of the game” ever since I met him. He knows the latest developments in cancer treatments, even those in other cancer agencies. He stays in close contact with me, keeps me in regular testing, and monitors my progress. He is very patient to answer all my many questions and explaining to me why something is needed or not needed. His self-assuredness is recognized because he has no hesitation whatsoever to send me to some other professional if he thinks it is necessary. He is honest, friendly, caring, capable, and has a good sense of humor. He is a job to be around and I’ve been privileged to have him as my oncologist/doctor and to see his beautiful family grow. I pray our relationship continues for many years (maybe until he retires!).
I met Julie Bergkamp, P.A., in mid 2011 and found her to be a very capable, caring, sincere, and honest individual. Julie is very knowledgeable about cancer and the problems the treatments cause. She has helped explain to me several of the problems I’ve developed over the years of treatments. Julie is also a pro-active P.A. She always analyzes a situation and promptly finds a good solution. She is kinda and also takes the time to visit with you. She also is a joy to be around; her positive attitude is contagious. Julie works well with all other staff. I know Dr. Mattar and the other staff members appreciate the efforts of Julie. I certainly do!
The nurses and staff at CCK are the BEST! They are always helpful, kind, caring, watchful, capable and do an excellent job of taking care of each and every patient. I enjoy them.
Jeremiah 29:11 states: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” I lay this cancer issue and Dr. Mattar as my earthly physician at the foot of the throne of my God, the Great Physician; and I humbly ask that He will continue to heal me through Dr. Mattar, Julie and the other staff of CCK, using the gifts He has blessed me with. I pray that this is His Will.
As for me, I will continue to try and be the best patient at CCK and do what needs to be done for treatment.
...I highly recommend treatments for cancer at the Cancer Center of Kansas. Dr. Dakhil, his nurses and staff have given me fourteen extra years of life from 2002 to 2016, because of the dedication to their profession...- L. McKown
I was first diagnosed with Lymphoma on my birthday, September 11, 2002, by Dr. Dakhil. I received treatment eight times, with three week interval between each treatment. Through chemotherapy Dr. Dakhil informed me that I was in remission after the last treatment from the results of the PET scan. Good news for me, my family and friends, who were frequently saying prayers for me. I thanked each for their interest during the treatment.
I was diagnosed a second time on September 22, 2005 by Dr. Dakhil. Dr. Dakhil recommended a new treatment scheduled through the Mayo Clinic. The experiment was going to be conducted on 45 patients throughout the United States, three from Kansas. The treatments where scheduled for eight treatments with three week intervals between each treatment. The treatments through chemotherapy were successful and Dr. Dakhil informed me I was in remission once again. The word ‘remission’ is such a blessing to hear after all the lab, PET scans and treatments.
I had triple by-pass surgery two days before Thanksgiving in 2012, which was successful, after being hospitalized for a week. I was recovering from the surgery when I was diagnosed with Lymphoma for the third time. Dr. Dakhil said they were going to give me as much chemotherapy as my system could stand.
I was to receive six treatments over a period of time with three week intervals between each treatment. I received treatment for eight hours on Monday and four hours on Tuesday for three weeks. I was going to lab on April 8, 2013 collapsed in the parking lot, with a cardiac arrest, at the Cancer Center of Kansas. I was taken to the fourth floor which is where the Cancer Center of Kansas is located. A nurse by the name of Julie knew what to do and administered treatment to me until the EMS people arrived. I received six zaps of the paddle until my heart started. Julie saved my life and if she had not been on the job, I would have died. I was at the right place at the right time by being at the Cancer Center of Kansas. I was across the street from Via Christi, where I was taken and hospitalized for a week.
Dr. Dakhil canceled the rest of my cancer treatments, due to the conflict of a triple by-pass and cancer treatments being so close together.
I was diagnosed with Lymphoma in the right groin area in October 2015, for the fourth time. Dr. Dakhil recommended radiation treatments rather than chemotherapy and sent me to Via Christi under the care of Dr. Bryant. I received treatments for five days a week for five weeks and the treatments were successful. The number when we started was a 16, which is high. The number when we finished was a 3, which is low. Dr. Dakhil scheduled a PET scan four months after the final treatment to see if the cancer was in remission.
I had a friend that was diagnosed with cancer and he went to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. He was told he could receive the same care at the Cancer Center of Kansas, in Wichita as he could their facility.
I highly recommend treatments for cancer at the Cancer Center of Kansas. Dr. Dakhil, his nurses and staff have given me fourteen extra years of life from 2002 to 2016, because of the dedication to their profession. I have had only good and successful results from their diagnoses’ and treatments. I chose the right place and right doctor when first diagnosed with Lymphoma.
We see Dr. Reddy and his staff very frequently and they have become like family to us. We know that without their care life for us would be very different.- Gene and Sharon
Gene became a patient of Dr. Reddy in 2010 when during a knee replacement the doctors discovered that he had Multiple Myeloma. I became his patient in 2012 when I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. I was later diagnosed with breast cancer. We were obviously devastated and unprepared to find out we had cancer. I suspect everyone is. No one wants to hear this. So began our journey with Dr. Reddy and the staff at Cancer Center of Kansas in El Dorado. Everyone in this office knows us by name and treats us as if we are their only patients for the day. Gene has had extensive treatment for his multiple myeloma including two transplants and several setbacks. Through his entire treatment we have been treated with exceptional courtesy and understanding . Every question we have asked has been answered in a professional way and we have never been treated as if we were taking up too much of their time. Hugs are given out when the nurses know that we are a little down. They are so reassuring. We see Dr. Reddy and his staff very frequently and they have become like family to us. We know that without their care life for us would be very different. Our children know that we are getting the best care possible from the best people possible and that is very reassuring to them.
Words cannot adequately express the gratitude I feel for all that you and the Cancer Center of Kansas staff have done for me...- Kimberly Fairbank
Words cannot adequately express the gratitude I feel for all that you [Dr. Mattar] and the Cancer Center of Kansas staff have done for me through my recent stem cell transplant. When I was diagnosed with multiple Myeloma on August 23, 2016, I was so thankful for when I could take my pre-transplant treatments at the Cancer Center of Kansas in Dodge City, under the direction of Shaker R. Dakhil, my Oncologist. To be close to our home and amazing support group was so powerful!
When it was time for my transplant, we moved to Wichita for 8 weeks. It was a time of new experiences and much uncertainty, but I was never uncertain about the level of confidence that we had placed in you and your staff. My stem cell transplant was textbook perfect. You, Patty Bluml, Kimberly Keller, and the nursing staff provided the best quality of care. My transplant process was very organized, and all of you took the "overwhelming unknowns" out of the overwhelming experience. The coalition of the Cancer Center of Kansas, Via Christi Hospital and American Red Cross for the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program is an awesome asset to the state of Kansas and to the patients seeking this treatment. I am so thankful for this program!
I always said that any doctor that wasn't willing to have a spirited, open communication with my husband, Rocky, was not the doctor for me. We appreciate so much your willingness and patience to always thoroughly explain everything and answer our questions. Rocky & I have many fond memories of our visits with you and Patty Bluml.
I am so blessed to be in remission. I thank God for the healing of my body, for my doctors and medical team, and for modern medicine that makes this all possible. It has been a medical marathon, but also a spiritual journey that has made me stronger in my faith, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Thank you for caring for me and about me, and for reminding me that God is the best One to handle my fears. What a comfort it was for Rocky & me to know that I had a doctor that believed in and would talk about God. God Bless You!
[...] you told us that you would take care of her like one of your own family.- Dennis Busenitz
Your thoughtfulness will always be remembered-
Thanks so much for the good care that you gave to Darla. Ten years ago you told us that you would take care of her like one of your own family. I've always appreciated that. I pray that God will help you with the decisions that you have to make for all your patients. I know that you [doctors] have a tough job and I wanted you [Dr. Mattar] to know that I appreciate what you do.
You'll meet the most wonderful, professional people ever.- Mrs. Nancy Tucker
I hope you never have to go to the Cancer Center of Kansas, but if you do, you'll meet the most wonderful, professional people ever. Dr. Reddy and his staff are like a big family there. I feel as if I have made friends for life. How one institution can have soo many sweet, caring, hard working people in the same building is a miracle.
Thanks to all of you.
Thank you to all of you.- Doris
The Doctor and Staff are Great here . Treatment is working and I was given a compliment that only 1 out of 3 patients respond this well. Hopefully it will continue like this. Thank you to all of you .
I was fortunate enough to be referred to the Cancer Center of Kansas for care and treatment- Carol
After a routine yearly mammogram, I was diagnosed with Stage IIA, Grade 3, HER2+, breast cancer on 7/1/2015. I was fortunate enough to be referred to the Cancer Center of Kansas for care and treatment. I had chemotherapy first and then underwent a double mastectomy. After the surgery there was no trace of the cancer. Since I do not live in the Wichita area, I was able to see my oncologist, Dr. Dakhil, at the Winfield location. I was also able to get all of my lab work done and take all of my chemotherapy treatments in Winfield, where it was a comfort to see familiar faces and people that I know. This was a huge blessing to me! The staff is so caring and knowledgeable and I was very grateful to get to see my actual doctor at that location. Now that I am done with all of my treatments, I am getting back to normal. I would HIGHLY recommend seeking treatment from the Cancer Center of Kansas! I know that I received care from one of the top physicians in the nation, at a location that was convenient for me!
Thank you for making a difference in our lives.- The Dreiling Family
Dr. Shaker Dakhil,
I(we) just wanted to take a moment and thank you for the care you provided for our son..... The care you took with us helping us understand the disease and how to treat it moving forward was so wonderful. We will not forget that or you. Thank you for making a difference in our lives.
I prayed God would send me the right treatment team and that's when I met Dr. Nabbout- S.F.
May 27 2011 was a day I will never forget. I arrived at the ER with excruciating back pain accompanied with muscle spasms. After a battery of labwork, x-rays,and body scans it was determined I had multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma is an incurable, but treatable blood cancer. I was frightened and did not know if I could survive the fight ahead of me. I prayed God would send me the right treatment team and that's when I met Dr. Nabbout. Prayers answered, he and his team have been phenomenal. The level of expertise and compassionate care I have received is outstanding! I would highly recommend CCK to anyone facing a cancer diagnosis.
They have laughed w/ me, cried w/ me, cheered me on, encouraged me...- Laura C.
I like to call the 4th floor the penthouse--makes going there seem more fun!! I was first a patient of Dr. Shaker Dakhil's in 2002 w/stage 3 hodgkins lymphoma where I received 6 months of ABVD treatment. Although treatment was extremely difficult, I loved the care I was given at the center by all those who I interacted with. Dr. Dakhil has become one of my favorites as I felt he treated me as if I was family to him as well as he was always, always straight up & honest w/me. For 10 years I visited the center until Dr Dakhil felt it was time to "turn me loose", making me promise to call if anything came up.
In 2014, as I lived in NM, I began to feel my health decline. After some tests it was determined that there was some active lymph nodes & w/o hesitation I knew who to call--Dr.. Dakhil. He was more than happy to consult w/physicians, After our move closer to Kansas, he took over my care where I received ICE treatment & also a stem cell transplant under Dr Mattar's guidance as well. I love CCK. I love this staff who've been so kind & helpful from the check-in to the finance department, to the pharmacy, to the nurses! They have laughed w/me, cried w/me, cheered me on, encouraged me that I would make it through & life would get better!
My heavenly Father led me here, has healed me, & he has used this place to walk through the ups & downs of this part of my life. I am truly blessed & thank you, CCK, for supporting me & my family! The journey continues...
...immediately I knew this was where I wanted to receive treatment.- Roy P.
I am so grateful for the Cancer Center of Kansas, Dr. Shaker Dakhil and his wonderful staff.
I was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer in 2007. We immediately started looking into visiting a large cancer center out of state, but had also heard what a well known and respected oncologist Dr. Dakhil was. We decided to meet with him first and immediately knew this was where I wanted to receive treatment.
The CCK offers so many "clinical trials" which is the only way to beat this dreadful disease. After receiving many cycles of Chemo I was able to stop 7 months ago due to my cancer being in remission. I participated in a clinical trial for several years and still take an oral chemo drug.
My wife and I have learned to take life one day at a time and thank God for the wonderful treatment I have received at CCK. I can't say enough about the nurses administering treatment. They are so caring and always brighten up your day. Dr. Dakhil's staff always shows so much compassion and respect. Thanks so much to Dr. Dakhil and his staff.
my story isn't a story of discouragement but a story of hope and a good, meaningful life following my diagnosis- George Huggins
I'm George Huggins and I have Multiple Myeloma. If you are reading this then chances are that you, or someone you care deeply for, also has Multiple Myeloma. I'd like to share my story with you because my story isn't a story of discouragement but a story of hope and a good, meaningful life following my diagnosis.
I'll begin by thanking Dr. Dakhil and Dr. Truong and the staff of CCK for their wonderful care so that I have this story to share. And a big thanks for my family, especially my wife, Linda, who has so wonderfully supported me on this incredible journey.
In the telling of my story, I will not try to minimize this disease. So, you're going to get my "unvarnished" account, which means that I am not going to sugar coat it for you; having Multiple Myeloma is not easy, but it also ISN'T a story of hopelessness or helplessness, far from it. My diagnosis was twelve years ago, and I'm still alive and kicking. And, I still find so many reasons to be hopeful when I get up in the morning and I still find purpose for my life during the day and I still rejoice as I go to bed each night that God has given me the day that I had.
My story begins with almost a year of going to doctor after doctor trying to determine why I had some strange symptoms in my hands and legs. Each doctor had examined me, run numerous tests, and wound up telling me pretty much the same thing: 'I don't know what is causing your symptoms. I've eliminated the causes that I specialize in, but I really don't think, from what I've seen, that there is anything 'seriously' wrong with you.' And then it was off to the next doctor until I got to CCK where I was told that I had a DEADLY DISEASE with a pretty limited life expectancy. [I believe that qualifies as something 'serious'; don't you?]
SHOCKED? Of course Linda and I were shocked. We called up our favorite inn on our favorite beach on Sanibel Island, FL and found that our favorite room was available. Almost quicker than I'm telling all this, we were on a plane going there. During our time on the island, we talked a lot. We laughed some. We cried more. And then we came back home to Wichita and to the reality of what we were facing.
One thing I quickly found myself dealing with was: Oh no; I have a DEADLY DISEASE! That meant I was going to die ---- uh, wait a minute. My wife doesn't have a DEADLY DISEASE and she's going to die someday too. After a lot of thought, I realized that the only thing that term DEADLY DISEASE meant was that statistically I was not likely to live as long as many others in my socio-economic, gender identity, DNA heritage, group. What it didn't mean was that I was going to fall over dead any moment. And, while I don't regularly read the obituary page, on the rare occasions when I do, there is almost always someone on that page who died at a younger age than I am at right now and I'm still breathing and doing. [To put it more bluntly: Statistics be damned! I'm still alive and others, who you'd expect to be, aren't.]
Then I turned to my faith in Jesus Christ. What did that have to say to me? The Holy Spirit directed my attention to the book of Job in the Bible and there I found a lot that spoke to me and the situation I found myself in. There is not room here to repeat all that, so, if you're interested, I'll give you the address of a blog of mine where I discuss that in some detail:
Next, I claimed a verse from the Bible - James 5:14 (KJV) "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:" And that is exactly what happened.
Jesus didn't rescue me from Multiple Myeloma, but I will testify that He has been with me every step of the way, walking beside me as I travel the road I wouldn't have chosen, but the road along which I have discovered new wonders of His love, hand-in-hand with Him. And the great truth dawned on me: Any day with Jesus is a good day! It might not be what I would have chosen; it might not be comfortable, nor feel good, but it is a great day because He is a great God and I have the privilege of walking with Him.
Now, back to my story: When we got around to the business of harvesting my stem cells, killing off my bone marrow and doing a transplant, then things started getting 'interesting'. First, no one was very encouraging about how many stem cells they were going to be able to get from me because, despite most people feeling acute bone pain when the drugs stimulate the production of extra stem cells, I had not one twinge. As I lay on the bed after the harvesting and they were unhooking me from the machine, the results came back. I hadn't just broken the record for most stem cells ever harvested, I had shattered the record!
I have always felt that was God's way of encouraging me through some of the dark days that lay ahead. You see, after the transplant, I developed some complications than many people didn't expect me to survive. The darkest day for me was the day I urinated into a specimen bottle and the urine was pure black. No trace of yellow - pure black and, to be honest, that was scary. I went to bed that night seriously wondering if I would see the sun come up. But, I knew my life was in God's hands, and I left it there and went to sleep. Thankfully, I did see the next sunrise and thousands more since then.
Long story short: I survived the transplant, I enjoyed going back to work for a while, just because I wanted to, and then I chose to retire. My wife and I have travelled to some wonderful places and we've built up some marvelous memories over the last ten years. I've been at the birth of, and have played with, each of my four grandchildren. As I said, that transplant was over ten years ago [a survival time unheard of only a few years ago] and I've not had to spend one day since then in a hospital. God is good and so is my life.
[they] go way above and beyond in taking care of the cancer patients. I will always be grateful for their services.- Annie Reed
My name is Annie Reed and I became a patient of the Cancer Center in March, 2014.
I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin-Lymphoma. I had an appointment to see Dr. Dakhil. I wasn't able to get to the office for my appointment due to the fact I have several pressure factures on my pelvis and was unable to stand or walk. My husband went to the appointment and discussed the circumstances with the nurse and Dr. Dakhil. They assisted my husband in getting transportation from Liberal, Kansas to Via Christi Hospital in Wichita, Kansas.
Once arriving at the hospital I was immediately taken to my room on the cancer floor. Once in my room I received wonderful care. Dr. Dakhil came to see me and my husband to explain about the chemo treatment and how often I would receive a treatment. The nurses were kind and thoughtful and attended to my ever need. It felt as though I was the only patient they had to care for. I was there for approximately one week. Dr. Dakhil and his staff of doctors and nurses were very kind and considerate.
After a week at Via Christi Hospital I was transported back to Liberal to Wheatridge Nursing Home and continued my Chemo treatment at the Cancer Center of Kansas in Liberal. The staff at the Cancer Center was and still are wonderful. They are great at administering the Chemo treatment and all other shots that I require. I truly appreciated everything that they did for me and continue to do for me now. I can't say enough about Dr. Dakhil and his staff. They are wonderful group of doctors and nurses. When I meet anyone who is battling cancer I recommend the Cancer Center of Kansas and Dr. Dakhil and his staff of nurses. I just want to say that Dr. Dakhil and his nursing staff are wonderful and go way above and beyond in taking care of the cancer patients. I will always be grateful for their services.
The care we get...is priceless- Doug & Ilene Stanely
Just a note to let you know how very thankful we are to everyone. Karista at the oral dispensary always makes our med. order and pickup enjoyable. She offers to mail our RX, but pickup is convenient. Also, more thankful than we can express for Nancy Berry and her team who do the requests for assistance on our medication co-pays. The care we get from Dr. Cannon and everyone at the Cancer Center is priceless. Our deepest appreciation to all of you. God Bless.
There is no one better in my opinion. I am more than pleased with my care.- Debbie Miley
I had been having a place in my neck which would swell up and then go down. Never really did much about it as I thought it might be part of a cold I was having. I had been having some other symptoms which just did not get much attention from my physician at the time. After speaking with a sister-in-law who had a swelling in her neck and had had it for some months, on our way home from her funeral I told my husband I needed to make an appointment to see someone the following Monday. I was given a list of specialists to choose from. The only name I was familiar with was Dr Leitner. He saw me right away and we did some needle biopsies which came back with nothing. He decided to do a CT scan to rule out something missed. I went back for a review and he had not received a written report but he looked at the films and saw nothing out of the ordinary. I left the office and after we had went out to eat and do some shopping, we received a call from Dr. Leitner himself at 7:30 p.m. and he explained what was going on. He stated that the radiologist at Wichita Clinic saw just a sliver of something which did not belong. Dr. Leitner said when he went down to see, it was almost un-discernible. The radiologist said to have me in on Monday and I take precedence for a repeat of the biopsies but going deeper. So that was done and the pathologist at Wichita Clinic reviewed and determined it was neuroendocrine carcinoid. They scheduled me to remove the three lymph nodes on February 14, 2011. I found this quite appropriate as carcinoid does not present itself in the neck. I strongly believe that God placed it in a very unusual place and was found before going any further. He definitely had plans in store for me in the future. While I was recovering Dr Leitner and my physician conferred and Dr Shaker Dakhil was contacted and I had an appointment to come in to see him. He confirmed the findings of the pathology and I was scheduled for surgery. Dr. Dakhil has answered whatever questions I have had and I am so pleased that I have the privilege of being his patient. He is expertly knowledgeable of carcinoid in spite of its rarity. He changed my injection for a new drug which is supposed to be better in the treatment and it has proven to be so. He is a very caring man, for his family and his patients. I was placed in very capable hands when I was scheduled with this man. There is no one better in my opinion. I am more than pleased with my care. The nurses are excellent and are abreast of what is going on with me also. I have not had the hardships and difficulties which so many people have when they are diagnosed with cancer.
I was always comforted by your saying, "WE"...- Kimberly Fairbank
On August 23, 2016, my life was forever changed with my diagnosis of multiple myeloma. The uncertainties and questions were overwhelming. I am so thankful for you and the Cancer Center of Kansas, including the nursing staff and Dr. Mattar, my transplant Doctor. It was a medical team second to none!
We had such peace in knowing that we had placed our confidence in you, as my Oncologist. I appreciate the open communication that you had with me and my husband, Rocky, and your patience and willingness to answer our many questions.
Thank you (Dr. Shaker Dakhil) for caring for and about me, and for leading my medical team. You told me from the beginning that WE had a "marathon" ahead of us, and I was always comforted by your saying, "WE," and I knew you were always right there beside me. It has also been a spiritual experience that I wouldn't trade for anything. I thank God for the healing of my body, for my doctors and medical team, and for modern medicine that makes this all possible. You and the Cancer Center of Kansas will always be special to us!
I was always thankful to be in your capable care- L. Ravens
I am writing to express my gratitude for your (Dr. Shaker Dakhil) knowledge and experience in treating my anaplastic thyroid carcinoma. Although it was a tough couple of months and I am sure at times I was less than gracious, I was always thankful to be in your capable care. Since being blessed with remission, I have lived my life to the fullest and appreciate everyday. Thank you again for treating me and your advice to live every day to the fullest. I greatly appreciate everything you have done for me.
We are blessed to have his compassionate expertise- Susie Schulze
Dr Shaker Dakhil has treated 4 family members, all loved him. In 1982, my father was hospitalized for 6 mo with acute leukemia at age 82. Being farmers, money was always a worry, and my mother was frantic about the bills adding up. [...] Her relief and gratitude lasted the rest of her life, and his kindness still means a lot to the family. Dr Dakhil is now treating my husband. We are blessed to have his compassionate expertise
She said he is the best one in Kansas- Bob Salmans
"Another win over cancer", thanks to Dr. Shaker Dakhil. It all started for me on 3/24/2009. I had noticed some irritation in my throat and some knots on the side of my throat. I went to my family doctor who said it was cancer. They referred me to a ear, nose and throat specialist. His diagnosis was Squamous Cell Carcinoma at the base of my tongue. His plan was major surgery first, chemotherapy, then radiation. He gave me a 5-30% chance of recovery. When I told my family of that, they said I needed a second opinion. I got with the daughter of my old family doctor and she said I needed to go to the Cancer Center of Kansas and get with Dr. Dakhil. She said he is the best one in Kansas. On 4/01/2009 I got my appointment with him. I told him of the other doctor's plan. He said that is completely backward. He said chemotherapy first, radiation second and surgery last. Then he said 90-95% chance of cure, no surgery would be necessary. When he laid out the plan it was to get a port-a-cath put in and get started with chemo on 05/06/2009. I had many complications because of my stupidity. After I got through with chemo, Dr. Dakhil set me up with the radiation Dr. There would be 39 sessions starting on 07/07/2009. Final session was on 08/31/2009. On my first PET scan on 10/26/2009, Dr. Dakhil said I was all clear of cancer. All PET scans through to 2011-2012 have been clear. I don't have to have PET scans anymore. Just labs for check ups. So technically, I have been cancer free now for over 8 years thanks to Dr. Dakhil.