"When I was given the news on December 28, 2009 that I had Breast Cancer, the days that followed were a blur. All that was going through my mind was they are wrong, I can't have breast cancer, I'm only 29, and who is going to take care of my 2 yr old son. Then I had my appointment with Dr. Geils who made me realize my life was not done. Dr. Geils was very compassionate and very thorough about my diagnosis and my options. Dr. Geils made me see that although my life was changing, it was not over. I started chemo soon after that conversation with Dr. Geils and I was still scared to death. Just the thought of me getting chemo was horrifying, but again Dr. Geils and the nurses explained what was happening and how I would feel. They all checked on me through the whole chemo process. They made me feel comfortable and at home. It's like having an extended family. Cancer and chemo are probably the scariest words that anyone could ever hear, but everyone at Charleston Hematology Oncology Associates PA made me realize I was not alone. I would definitely recommend them to anyone. Not only are the doctors and nurses great, but the front staff is amazing too. Just look for me."
"In January 1986, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and three collapsed vertebrae. Dr. Geils said it couldn't be cured but would be put in remission. I was in two years of chemotherapy and clean for two years. It then came back. I was then given chemotherapy for another 1 ½ years and I have been clear of multiple myeloma since! In 2000, I believe it was, they found a spot on the middle lobe of my left lung which turned out to be cancer. They removed the spot and I had another six months of real intense chemotherapy. If it had not been for this doctor and this great practice, I would not be alive today. The people here go out of their way to help and try to make you feel comfortable. I have recommended this place many times."
"I am currently 59 yrs old and 8 years ago I found a lump in my left breast while taking a shower. I immediately saw my family doctor and she referred me to a surgeon. After MRI's and biopsies it was determined that I did have breast cancer. I had a mastectomy and reconstruction done at the same time. At a follow-up visit with my surgeon, he informed me that he liked to pair patients with oncologist based on their personalities. He said that he thought Dr. James Orcutt might be a good match for me. My husband and I met with Dr. Orcutt and he mapped out a plan for me. I had a port inserted and then I began chemotherapy treatment. I had eight treatments, one every two weeks. Thus I began my journey with Charleston Hematology Oncology Associates. I would have an appointment with Dr. Orcutt and then go to the infusion suite for chemo. All the nurses were wonderful and my surgeon was right, Dr. Orcutt was a perfect match for me. Every time I saw Dr. Orcutt I would have a list of things that I wanted to discuss with him. He was always so patient, giving me all the time I needed. On one particular occasion I pulled out my list and began asking Dr. Orcutt about every little thing that was going on in my body. It didn't matter that I was seeing other specialist for problems; I wanted Dr. Orcutt's opinion. My husband looked at me and said "Dr. Orcutt can't be your everything". I looked up from my list and I pointed at Dr. Orcutt and said I want him to be my everything. He just smiled and about that time he had to leave the room for an emergency phone call. Moments later he returned and he looked at me and said "I can be your everything". That said it all! He's such a compassionate and caring person. He's so much more than just my doctor, he's my friend. When I bump into him outside of the office, he calls me by my name. He knows who I am and for that I am very grateful. I'm also a very active volunteer with Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Over the years I have helped mentor and educate many woman about breast health. Dr. Orcutt and Charleston Hematology Oncology Associates have always been very supportive of these efforts. I would definitely recommend Dr. Orcutt and his staff to anyone looking for a wonderful oncologist! Who knows, he just might be their "Mr. Everything"!"
"I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer following a routine annual mammogram performed in April 2009. The team hospital team responded quickly by notifying me immediately and scheduling a biopsy later in the day. The following day when I received the news that the mass was indeed cancer I was referred to another doctor who performed additional test and a lumpectomy before the end of the following week. After some research and a visit to the office of Dr. George Keogh, I decided I wanted him and his staff to manage the next phase of treatment. I received 30 weeks of chemo which included participation in a clinical trial. I chose to have a surgically implanted port to receive these drugs. The nurses in the infusion center are very competent, informative and supportive during those stressful months. Radiation treatments were scheduled for about 7 weeks when the chemo was completed. Dr. Keogh has monitored me closely for adverse reactions and response to treatments. He always responds to my questions and concerns in a very concerned, supportive manner. The nursing staff returned calls, scheduled many tests and facilitated my care for almost two years now. While cancer has changed my life, I believe I have a good support team to help me win this battle!"
"I have been a health care worker for 43 years, in as well as outside the US. When I was diagnosed with cancer 3 ½ years ago, I put myself in the hands of Dr. Keogh and his staff because I know treatment is much more than just drugs.
Dr. Keogh and his staff practice complete and total health care. They get the health part out of health books and the care part out of the "GOOD" book. That is what makes this practice the best."
"The end of 1992 I actually got referred to Dr. Ellison by the surgeon who did a biopsy. I had just found out I had cancer and I did not know anything about this practice or Dr. Ellison. I went over there in 1993 and I met Dr. Ellison. He walked me through the disease and got me calmed down as to what to expect. However, he did tell me in the very beginning, very honestly that at that time back in 1992, there was about a ten year window on my disease which is low grade follicular lymphoma. In early 1993 when I began taking standard CHOP treatment and believe it or not, Rituxan did not even exist back then which is so common now. He came to me and said that there was a clinical trial beginning at MD Anderson and he said this is a ten year trial which is going to be your ten year window and if that trial comes out good then your whole outlook will change dramatically. It did not take me long to figure out that the practice, my doctor, the nurses and everybody was really on top of their game. I immediately got very comfortable with the thing and I did get on the Internet and study it along with my children. It did not take me long to get up to speed to what I had. Sure enough in December of 2003 ten years later, I was having some problems and Dr. Ellison called me and said that this clinical trial had ended and that I definitely needed to do it which basically was a new advanced protocol for what used to be called a bone marrow transplant and now a stem cell transplant. I asked him where do I go to do that and he said well we are actually up to speed with it now with Dr. Geils, Jr. He turned me over to Dr. Geils, Jr. and I had a stem cell transplant in 2004. During that whole thing of course by the grace of God and a lot of good care, I did not get an infection. From that moment until now, I was in remission for about three or four years and then it re-presented. If I had to say one thing about this practice, I have been here for 20 years, so now I know everybody, I have a great sense of comfort about it and I am not, As I told Dr. Ellison, I used to only think about it when I would breathe. Now everybody has made me feel so good and I do not think I could go anywhere else and get any better care. I went to Hopkins, Duke, MUSC and spoke to a lot of real smart guys. I told him that I did not hear anything different or more cutting edge at these big name drop type hospitals than what you guys are telling me right here. As I go into my third decade, I am actually very comfortable and confident and upbeat about my future. I now think I am going to die with cancer and not from cancer, which is my goal anyway. I think the doctor shares that same goal and there are still probably three or four protocols and new things out there that I have not tried. It used to be if someone said your cancer has re-presented, I got all nervous. Now I am a whole lot more concerned about infection than I am about the disease. At the end of the day, I have so much confidence in not only Dr. Ellison but all these doctors here and nurses. I think that is the big thing that you have to find that level of confidence. I think he and I have bonded and formed a great relationship, personal and professional."
"In 1989, I was diagnosed with cancer by Dr. Christian... and I have been a survivor since that time. She is a wonderful doctor who is a very caring, devoted and a hard working physician. Dr. Christian SAVED my life! CHOA has always made me feel comfortable and that I was receiving the best treatment possible. My experience with CHOA and their new facility has been remarkable. When you go there you feel comfortable. There is great boutique on the first floor that you can browse through. It's a very life-lifting and motivational shop. I recently had blood work and I was able to go to the nice café' and get something to eat while I waiting for my appointment. I would recommend this practice – to anyone who is going through the cancer experience! They have saved my life."
"I was diagnosed in September of 2009 and I did not expect it….at all! I had a mammogram every year and I always went to Roper St. Francis. After my biopsy, a doctor called me and told me that she had bad news. I was referred to a surgeon then he referred me to Dr. Saylors with Charleston Hematology Oncology Associates. It is an overwhelming thing to have happen to you. Everyone with CHOA is so nice and the care here has been wonderful! The nurses during the chemotherapy process were always so understanding and always available to me. I can always call the office anytime for problems.
I am very pleased with CHOA, and I would recommend Dr. Saylors and his office to anyone that needs it."
"I have a dear friend and many years ago her husband was treated for cancer. His doctor was Dr. James Orcutt. I remember the comments Lynne made about Ronnie's doctor. Lynne spoke so highly of Dr. Orcutt so I knew when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005, I wanted her to see Dr. Orcutt. I asked her to consider him as an oncologist. He was the first and last oncologist we consulted with. We knew instinctively, from our first visit, we were in the right place. I watched Dr. Orcutt as he treated my mom with the utmost compassion and respect. I thought he was extremely intelligent and also very patient. He answered our nonstop questions and never made us feel that our questions were unimportant or "stupid". He explained things in a very professional manner and in a way that we could understand. He never minded sharing information with us or trying to "educate" us without overwhelming us. There were so many times I could literally see the care and compassion he had for my mom. I have no doubt all of his patients see this same level of care. So, at the end of 2005 and for the first several months of 2006, my mom and I became a part of the Charleston Hematology and Oncology Associates' family. We mastered the routine rather quickly. Check in with the front staff - a very efficient and capable group. Then, off to the lab to Ms. Lavern and the rest of the "stickers". I must admit - if you are going to get stuck, you might as well let them do it - they are great "stickers"!! Next, on to see Dr. O for the lab results and the chemo orders. You know where we went next - the chemo suite. The chemo suite was a world of its own. The staff was so passionate and capable. I knew my mom was in good hands. They did their jobs carefully. They were so observant. I watched them as they assessed every patient - I could them thinking and reacting. I knew my mom was well taken care of. If I noticed something different with my mom, they listened and they made adjustments or consulted with Dr. Orcutt. At the same time, I could see their care and compassion. They were friendly and positive - never impatient. Finally, my mom completed her treatment and "normal" life returned. My mom was getting better and stronger. Our family was moving on. Then we hit a small bump. Ten months after my mom's diagnosis, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Oh well. At least I knew who my oncologist would be - Dr. Orcutt! The first time I saw him (as a patient), I could see the same care and concern I grew to know when he treated my mom. Since we already knew each other, I definitely took advantage of that. At times, I wasn't the best patient with the best attitude. I tried really hard every day and I fought hard, but for some reason I felt very comfortable letting Dr. Orcutt know how much I hated his chemo and hated what it was doing to me. He listened. He cared. He understood. And, he sympathized (briefly). Then he let me know I needed to stop my whining and complaining and get back to work and finish the fight. Somehow he did this without making me mad or making me feel bad for the way I was acting. He really helped me put things into perspective and I'm not sure he is even aware of this. I guess what I am saying is that Charleston Hematology and Oncology Associates will always be successful and state of the art as long as they have doctors like Dr. Orcutt and the capable staff they employ. I never hesitate to recommend them to anyone. Since my mom's treatment and my treatment, my dad has been treated by Dr. Saylors. All I can say is he must have been trained by Dr. Orcutt. WOW. What a great guy and I have the utmost respect for him and how he treats my dad. He is definitely an asset to the practice and represents everything good I already thought about CHOA. Thanks everybody at CHOA!! You are the best. YOU ROCK!!"
"In 1994, my treatment for Lymphoma began. For the first 5 months I was infused with chemotherapy. It has been 16 years since the first diagnoses and treatment took place. There have been 2 other episodes of lymphoma. In 1998, I experienced MALT lymphoma behind my right eye. I underwent surgery and then received radiation with Roper. Dr. Ellison continued to monitor everything during this time. In 2003, Dr. Ellison treated me with chemotherapy after my gastroenterology doctor found I had a large lymphoma growth in my colon. This ended up being a 6 month cycle of treatment. CHOA has been diligent in checking my blood levels frequently and running scans when deemed necessary. I feel that CHOA has given me the necessary medical treatment for my lymphoma during the 16 yrs that I have been a patient. The staff is always willing to answer any of my questions and listen to any of my concerns. I have full confidence in the care and treatment this center provides!"
"I have been with Dr. Geils, Sr. for the past 21 years. My cancer was very bad and he has been there for me. He brought me through the cancer when I thought I was not going to make… he brought me through!
He is a very good doctor and he cares a lot about his patients. I just love him to death. He is there for his patients."
"They call me "Cat" because I have beat cancer five times. Dr. Geils first saw me when I was in Intensive Care at St. Francis hospital. At that point and time I had pneumonia; I was having trouble breathing with a lot of fever. They were not really sure what was wrong with me but they thought they knew. They were able to get me stabilized and then transferred me off the Intensive Care Unit and scheduled me for a surgical biopsy. The surgical biopsy revealed that I had non-hodgkin's lymphoma. I was discharged on a Friday and the following Monday I went to Charleston Hematology Oncology Associates where they did a bone marrow. They immediately started me on chemotherapy. My chemo treatments were every two weeks, lasting six hours at a time. At the end of the forth treatment, they did a CT and PET scan and it reveled that the cancer was no longer there. I was cancer free. I finished the chemo treatments in January of 2009. I had CT's and PET scans every three - six months and everything stayed normal and clear. With being a physician myself, I am very aware of how things should be and CHOA's staff is very friendly. They always got to me in a timely manner. The chemo nurses were very efficient and wonderful! I highly recommend this office."
"I was diagnosed with breast cancer in March of 2009. This was completely out of left field… like it usually is but immediately started my search for the right team that was going to help me survive. I had surgery scheduled for the next morning and the night before at 5:30, I called the surgeon and told him we were going to cancel surgery. I felt that I needed to get second opinion. That led me to Dr. Ellison's office. When my husband and I parked in the parking lot, we had already made an appointment with M.D. Anderson in Texas and we decided when we parked that no matter what happened in his office that day, we were going to still keep our appointment at M.D. Anderson. We went in and met with Dr. Ellison. It was a very late afternoon appointment. He had definitely squeezed us in after office hours. He did not act rushed or aggravated. He sat us down and described what kind of cancer I had, what my options were and pros and cons of each option. He answered every one of my questions and made me think about things I might not have thought about if he had not prompted me with certain things. We left there and immediately knew after the appointment was over, that was exactly where we needed to be. We ended up cancelling our appointment with M.D. Anderson and within 48 hours of my appointment with Dr. Ellison, I began chemotherapy. My father who was a farmer for 30+ years, one of favorite actors is John Wayne who was the ultimate cowboy. In the office, there was a saying by John Wayne that said "courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway." When I saw that quote on the way, it just made me feel like I was being directed to the right person and office and that I was in good hands. I never changed my mind throughout my six months worth of treatment. Chemotherapy, surgery and radiation were over in December of 2009.
I see him every three months since that time. I absolutely dread the day he tells me I am not his patient anymore. I was melancholy when I took my last chemotherapy treatment just because I made such good friends there with the other patients and nurses. I became very fond of the oncology nurses while undergoing treatment and have the utmost respect for them for eight hours daily, five days weekly, 52 weeks yearly, they treat cancer patients with concern, patience, humor and compassion. They are always friendly, smiling and doing things for their patients that I'm sure is not in their job description. I fell in love with the other patients going through chemotherapy with me. My weekly infusion sessions became my unofficial support group meetings. I miss that camaraderie that we had. Some of the patients were regulars, some I only saw once. Sadly, a few of them appeared in the obituary pages but most patients I met finished treatment and returned to their normal lives and healthy. All patients were unbelievably brave souls and I respected each and every one of them. Community is very important when you battle any type of cancer. They were definitely my community. My opinion of Dr. Ellison is that he is nothing short of genius. He seems to take responsibility for his patients' welfare very seriously and always appeared completely confident in his treatment decisions. I did a lot of research on my own and then would come back to him with questions. I never asked him a question that he did not immediately know the answer to.
He not only knew the answer but went far beyond giving me an answer and explanation of why that was the best decision. The thought and advanced planning that apparently went into this new Roper Cancer Center make it evident that CHOA is completely dedicated to treating and curing cancer while putting patient needs in the forefront of their decision making."
"I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000 – I was 40 years old and in the Air Force. The cancer was very advanced at diagnoses and I believe it had progressed to stage four. I very quickly became my own advocate and began researching this disease. The first doctor that I went to, his impulse was "let's cut this out". I wanted to research everything I could before making that an option. I didn't like the idea of that so I started looking around. I was under military care at the time and I found out that there was a cancer research facility in Washington, DC at Walter Reed Medical. They started me on hormone therapy for a year. I later retired from the military. Once out of the military, I was able to go out on my own and get my own insurance. I then started seeing a local Urologist in here in Charleston and he referred me to Dr. Orcutt. This began my journey with Dr. Orcutt. At this point I was only 42 years old and Dr. Orcutt realized that simply treating the symptoms would not be good enough – we had to go at this thing aggressively. Dr. Orcutt recommended chemo treatments and I agreed this was the best option. We went through the chemo treatments and I handled it pretty well. Since then I've had no symptoms for a recurrence. I'm currently still – I've been under Dr. Orcutt's care for going on 9 years now and I couldn't possibly ask for better care. Between Dr. Orcutt and his staff, they make a good team. I am just so thankful for him."
"When Dr. Orcutt started seeing me in January of 2004, I had stage four non-small-cell lung carcinoma. Dr. Orcutt told me that I should start getting my affairs in order because he was only giving me 3-6 months to live. Never underestimate a stubborn Dutchman because it's now been 7 years. I've been back and forth on chemo for many years and even sought a second opinion from MD Anderson. I am currently still a patient of Dr. Orcutt's and see him for follow-ups. He has become a friend! After seeing a physician for 7 years, he has become more than just someone that prescribes medicine. He has a personal interest in me and my ability to defeat all the statistics."