Eunju Choe – da Vinci® Colorectal Success Story

Sweet victory over cancer

Eunju Choe found the support she needed to face colorectal cancer at methodist charlton

When Eunju Choe first noticed symptoms of colon cancer in June 2017, she ignored them. She was busy running her donut shop and caring for her family and didn’t have time to worry.

She knew blood in the stool could be a sign of cancer, but surely that wasn’t the cause. Afraid to learn the truth, she assured herself that nothing was wrong and made excuses to avoid visiting her doctor. However, as the symptoms continued, she became more concerned.

Nevertheless, two months passed before she saw her primary care provider, and another two months passed before she got the colonoscopy he’d recommended. The results were devastating: She had cancer and needed surgery.

That’s when Eunju came to Methodist Charlton Medical Center — and, much to her surprise, it’s also when she began to feel better.

Finding answers and support

“My doctor had not explained much, and I was so worried,” Eunju remembers. “When I went to Methodist Charlton, the doctors and nurses were so kind and explained everything to me and my family. They also prayed with me, which was really touching.”

Eunju’s family quickly discovered a connection with her colorectal surgeon, Paul Hackett, MD, on the hospital’s medical staff. Her brother, who also owned a donut shop, recognized Dr. Hackett as soon as he walked in the exam room — he had been a frequent customer.

Dr. Hackett answered the family’s questions and explained that Eunju’s cancer was treatable and had not spread far. He was able to remove the affected part of her colon using the robotic da Vinci® Surgical System. The robot makes smaller incisions than traditional surgery, helping patients heal faster.

‘A second chance at life’

Eunju had surgery in December that year. She recovered for a few days in the hospital and returned to work in just four weeks. Following surgery, she underwent chemotherapy at Texas Oncology – Methodist Cancer Center. After her last treatment on June 21, 2018, tests showed no signs of cancer.

“I feel I’ve been given a second chance at life,” Eunju says. “I am so grateful and happy to do simple things, like going to work and seeing my friends. Now I tell people: ‘If you have symptoms, don’t wait. See a doctor right away.’ If I had waited longer, I might not be here.”

I am so grateful and happy to do simple things, like going to work and seeing my friends. Now I tell people: ‘If you have symptoms, don’t wait. See a doctor right away.’ If I had waited longer, I might not be here.

— Eunju Choe

» CANCER CARE YOU CAN TRUST

Learn more about Methodist Charlton’s cancer services at MethodistHealthSystem.org/Charlton-Cancer.