Fred Kelly – Colorectal Cancer Success Story

When colorectal cancer took Fred Kelly by surprise, Methodist Dallas fought for his life

Fred Kelly – Colorectal Cancer Success StoryOne month – that’s how long Fred Kelly, then 49, fought going to the doctor.

He was nauseated. Eating made him feel ill, so he’d resorted to liquid soups. A pain in his left side was so unbearable that he couldn’t stand up straight.

“I carried that pain for weeks without saying anything,” Mr. Kelly says. “Finally, it was so bad that I told my wife about it.”

That same August 2011 evening, Kyedrian Kelly took her husband to the emergency department at Methodist Dallas Medical Center, where a CT scan revealed that he had a large bowel obstruction. Based on the size of the obstruction, doctors anticipated advanced colon cancerwith a high chance of spreading.

Within days, Mr. Kelly was under the care of Anand Lodha, MD, independently practicing colorectal surgeon on the medical staff at Methodist Dallas.

“He said that with new minimally invasive techniques and the help of God, we could fix this,” Mr. Kelly says. “That’s something I wanted to hear.”

Beating the odds

For many patients with an obstruction, the first step in treatment is a colostomy, best known for leaving patients with “the bag.” Before the surgeon can remove the cancerous part of the colon, he or she has to redirect poisonous fecal matter outside of the body into a bag. The course of treatment goes like this: colostomy surgery, 1 week of recovering in the hospital, 6 to 12 weeks with the colostomy bag, surgery to reconnect the colon, 1 week in the hospital, 6 weeks of recovery.

Not so in Mr. Kelly’s case. The first week, during a colonoscopy, Dr. Lodha was able to place a wire mesh stent in the obstruction to restore bowel function. Then one week later, after the obstruction had cleared, he used a minimally invasive laparoscopic technique to remove the cancerous part of the colon and reconnect the bowels. Mr. Kelly was in the hospital only four days, and he never had “the bag.”

“This one-stage procedure is an amazing advancement,” Dr. Lodha says. “When we use a combination of minimally invasive techniques, the patient benefits so much more.”

Sweet rewards

Mr. Kelly recovered with flying colors, in part because of his determination to get back to his work, home, and family.

“After he left the hospital, he kept that momentum going,” Mrs. Kelly says. “He did everything he was supposed to, and it paid off.”

Another reason to rejoice: Mr. Kelly’s cancer was only stage I, and he needed no chemotherapy or radiation. Within one month, he had gone from being in agony to being cancer-free. When his 50th birthday rolled around a couple months later, he was able to fully enjoy a big cookout with his family.

“We put the surgery in the hands of the Lord – and in Dr. Lodha’s hands,” Mr. Kelly says. “It was God who gave him those hands, and he said we’d do this with God’s help.”

It seems Dr. Lodha was right.

Learn more about the gastroenterology and cancer services available at Methodist Dallas.