When diagnosed with follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in early 2010, Patrick Hayden was advised by his physician that a wait-and-see approach would be best. For nearly three years, he regularly saw Dr. Rachel Harper for a check-up, and there was no sign of growth. However in the fall of 2012, the report was not good. Two tumors had developed on his spleen. The removal of his spleen and biopsy revealed his cancer had become B-cell lymphoma. Like most, he wanted a second opinion. After his own research and visit to a well-known cancer treatment center, he returned to Lexington knowing that his Lexington Clinic doctor's advice "was the best."
Chemotherapy began in December of 2012 at the John D. Cronin Cancer Center. From the very beginning, Patrick has known what to expect. He credits the education and compassionate care he received from the doctors and nurses for reducing the fear associated with the word "cancer." Discussion of the treatment plan, probable side effects, healthy diet, rest and avoiding the public due to a compromised immune system, has proven most helpful. But some days, even more important than knowing what to expect of the illness is Patrick's knowledge of what to expect when he walks into the cancer center for a treatment. "I love these people...I think they must send all of them to charm school," Patrick says. "They've all been here for years, and they know what they are doing. These people care."
An interesting outcome of talking about his cancer is becoming aware that many people he knows have cancer or are in remission. In conversations with cancer patients, he learns of successful treatments and encourages others to "follow, follow, follow, your doctor's advice." He also emphasizes the importance of asking questions, reading all of the material the doctor provides, and perhaps doing a little research of your own on credible web sites.
Just speaking to Patrick will lift your spirits. An extremely positive person, there are not many down days for him. If they come, he receives support and inspiration from his large family. Researching the history of the Hayden family back several centuries is an ongoing pastime that has lead to two books and a video, and he's always willing to take on another project. "I love to learn something new every day," he says. But, looking forward to graduations, weddings, family reunions and birthdays keeps him focused on the future. Cancer or not, Patrick's entire outlook can be summed up in his observation, "Life is good!" Moving into the next day is not a responsibility; it is an adventure in the Hayden household.
"The staff has knowledge and years of experience that make me feel confident in my treatment. I know I am getting the best care here."
Lexington Clinic is Central Kentucky's largest and oldest medical group. We have more than 200 providers in more than 30 specialties taking care of 600,000+ patients in the Lexington community since 1920.