Darrell Moore didn’t know much about cancer or how it feels to go through months of treatment. He had talked with his mom about her breast cancer and heard stories about battles with the disease from friends and coworkers.
But the personal experiences with doctors, lab results, surgeries and treatment sessions didn’t really sink in for Darrell.
Everything changed the day Darrell learned he had prostate cancer at age 57. That’s when he launched into his own journey from diagnosis to surgery, radiation therapy and healing.
Along the way, Darrell experienced the profound difference a personal approach to cancer care can make.
Darrell first chose surgery to remove the prostate as the best way to get rid of the cancer. However, cancer cells had moved into nearby lymph nodes, meaning Darrell needed aggressive treatment to stop further spread of the disease.
That’s when his urologist sent Darrell to Goshen Center for Cancer Care for radiation therapy.
Fun experience: Caring for patients like they are family
“I was really concerned because I didn't know what to expect, but they put me at ease right away,” Darrell said. “When the elevator doors opened, I knew what kind of people I was dealing with.”
Darrell wanted the best care he could get for his cancer. He was impressed from the moment he learned about the personalized radiation therapy doctors would use to treat his cancer.
Goshen Center for Cancer Care is the only facility in Indiana to offer Ethos™ radiation therapy. Artificial intelligence powers Ethos to adapt delivery of radiation to fit a patient's specific anatomy at each session.
During six weeks of daily radiation therapy, Darrell was surrounded by dozens of people who cared for him like family. They asked about his wife and two sons, learned his favorite camping and hunting spots and shared family photos on their phones.
“They helped me forget about having cancer,” he said. “I wasn't expecting to get that kind of care.”
Darrell’s radiation therapy team quickly became more like friends than technicians. He felt like he was going to see his buddies every day after work, instead of enduring another impersonal, isolated experience on a treatment table.
“It was healing for me to have some fun,” he said. “They let me be me.”
That personal touch is an everyday occurrence at Goshen Center for Cancer Care. Radiation therapists get to know each patient, learn about their personal lives, and make sure everyone gets the best care possible.
“We encourage questions and educate the patient, as well as their families,” said Chelsea Poscharsky, Radiation Therapist at the cancer center. “Our lives are deeply enriched by the time we get to spend with patients at such a vulnerable time in their lives.”
Care for the whole person: Healing physically, mentally and emotionally
Darrell also wasn’t expecting to learn how to make better food choices, strengthen his body naturally and calm his thoughts. Integrative therapies, like nutrition planning, naturopathic services and mind-body counseling, are offered to every patient at the cancer center.
Darrell added visits with a naturopathic doctor, dietitian and mind-body counselor to his list of care providers and newfound friends. They gave him the support, encouragement and tools he needed to progress through the healing process.
“Having cancer is not easy,” Darrell said. “They took care of my whole being – nutritionally, emotionally, with supplements.”
Even his radiation oncologist, Houman Vaghefi, MD, went beyond expectations in the way he cared for Darrell.
“I can't count the number of times he hugged me,” Darrell said. “He knew I needed that emotionally.”
Darrell completed his course of 39 radiation treatments early in December 2022. His care team celebrated with another surprise for Darrell.
“When I got off the table, the technicians all lined up and each one hugged me. My doctor did the same,” he said. “It was a very special moment.”
Darrell looks forward to his follow-up visits with his care team at the cancer center. It gives him a chance to say hello to friends he will have for the rest of his life.
“It’s the special people place,” Darrell said.