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Treatments

Patient Success Stories

Tim Meesey

Tim Meesey has reached a number of major milestones throughout his years of treatment, including graduations and anniversaries.

It was his son’s fifth birthday; a time for celebration. Instead, all Tim Meesey could think about was the cancer diagnosis he had received. It was July 24, 2000, and Tim had just gotten the news that he had stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The cancer was already in his bone marrow and the prognosis for the father of three wasn’t especially good.

Tim quickly began treatment in the Dallas area, but by 2002 his bone marrow was more than 50% cancerous. He was made aware of a clinical trial for Bexxar®, an antibody that was showing promise in non-Hodgkin lymphoma treatment — although few cancer centers locally were approved to administer the specialized therapy. The Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas Infusion Center at Arlington Cancer Center (ACC), a Texas Health Physicians Group practice, was one of the pioneering centers in DFW to offer the clinical trial.

At ACC, Tim met staff physicians, Drs. John Adams and Karel Dicke. Both are long-term hematologists and medical oncologists who worked closely with him to develop a unique treatment plan for his unique cancer. Dr. Adams began treatment by injecting the radioactive Bexxar into Tim’s blood to bring targeted radiation directly to the lymphoma cells. The treatment was not completely effective so he was started on chemotherapy followed by the collection and storage of his own blood-forming stem cells. The stem cells were then infused into his blood after the high doses of chemotherapy. This treatment process brought Tim into remission.

Dr. Dicke was one of the pioneers in the United States to use high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell support in the treatment of lymphoma, myeloma and leukemia. Initially, these treatments were done in the hospital but Dr. Dicke developed a program to be done on an outpatient basis. Tim tolerated the program well without hospitalization, putting up a good fight because he knew he had a team of physicians on the staff and nurses in his corner who were passionate about their patients’ care. Tim’s input was always encouraged and the team of physicians and nurses was always hopeful.

“Most doctors are either brilliant or caring, very few are both,” Tim said. “Dr. Dicke is not only the most intelligent person I have ever met, he’s also the most humble and compassionate. Based on my prognosis when I arrived at ACC, I should not have celebrated my 48th birthday ? let alone the 58th birthday I just enjoyed.”

Tim has reached a number of major milestones throughout his years of treatment, including graduations and anniversaries, and he looks upon each at as a true blessing made possible with the help of the team at ACC. He still visits the center regularly to receive Gamunex® immunoglobulin therapy and help provide support to new infusion patients.

“From my very first day at ACC everyone there, whether a receptionist, technician, nurse or radiologist, really seemed to care about my well-being,” Tim added. “The best support group I could ever find has been right there in the infusion center. I try to pass along the hope by talking with other patients and their caregivers, as others have done for me.”

Arlington Cancer Center, part of the Texas Health Physicians Group network, provides physician visits, lab services, radiation and retail pharmacy services to cancer patients while Texas Health Dallas provides infusion services. This allows us to offer all aspects of cancer care to our patients and meet their needs at one location.


Ellen Weaver

Ellen Weaver reached a huge milestone in January 2013 of being cancer-free for six years.

In 2008, Ellen Weaver noticed a lump on the underside of her right arm that prompted her to see her family physician. Since she had undergone a breast reduction and lift the year before, she told herself that what she was feeling was probably scar tissue. Unfortunately, her physician had something else to report.

Ellen was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, a rare but aggressive form of cancer. She chose to have an immediate double mastectomy and undergo radiation therapy. A visit to an infusion center in South Arlington didn’t provide Ellen with the “warm and fuzzy feeling” she was hoping for, so she sought treatment through an oncologist closer to her home in North Arlington. When the oncologist retired, Ellen was again in search of a warm and fuzzy environment where she could continue her treatment journey. She was referred to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas Infusion Center located at the Arlington Cancer Center (ACC), a Texas Health Physicians Group practice. Here, Ellen found the compassionate, quality care she was seeking.

Drs. Chad Amosson and Karel Dicke, both long-time radiation oncology and medical oncology physicians, on staff at ACC, sat down with Ellen to develop a treatment plan just for her and her unique tumor. Together, they mapped out a plan that included genetic testing of the tumor to determine the chemotherapy with the highest probability of destroying Ellen’s tumor cells while minimizing damage to surrounding tissue.

Individualized treatment plans are the cornerstone of Arlington Cancer Center. Instead of basing treatment on standard protocols, the physicians at Arlington Cancer Center tailored Ellen’s treatment to what genetic testing showed would be most effective. Once she completed infusion therapy, she was monitored with scans and lab work for five years.

Ellen reached a huge milestone in January 2013 of being cancer-free for six years, and directly attributes her positive outcome to the oncologists and radiologists at Arlington Cancer Center. Just recently, Ellen lost her husband to a three-month battle with a non-curable form of cancer. The ACC team of nurses and employees alongside the physicians on the medical staff cared for him as well, and provided much-needed support through the illness and treatment.

“I recommend ACC to everyone I know who is faced with this demon called cancer,” Ellen said. “I know without a doubt it is the best place for treatment. Every day when my husband and I were there, it was a joyful place and the positivity in the infusion center gave me such peace.”

Arlington Cancer Center, part of the Texas Health Physicians Group network, provides physician visits, lab services, radiation and retail pharmacy services to cancer patients while Texas Health Dallas provides infusion services. This allows us to offer all aspects of cancer care to our patients and meet their needs at one location.

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