"There's something weird going on," explained the surgeon in Las Vegas, Nevada. For retired hotel executive Charles Livingston, these words signaled the start of a long journey, which began following an emergency appendectomy. HeÂ had experienced abdominal symptoms and received various diagnoses before being rushed to the operating room for a burst appendix.
Following surgery, Charles received devastating news -- he had metastatic appendiceal cancer. His local oncologist referred him to Mayo Clinic in Arizona where he met with Nabil Wasif, M.D., a surgeon, and John Camoriano, M.D., an oncologist. Charles saysÂ he was immediately struck by the genuine concern both physicians had for him as a human being.
Working together as a cancer care team, the physicians recommended a debulking surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapyÂ (HIPEC). CharlesÂ agreed to undergo the extensive surgery and HIPEC treatment to save his life.
It's here that fiction becomes reality. CharlesÂ says thatÂ just before his cancer diagnosis, he had finished writing his novel, Gabriel's Creek. The story revolves around a man who faces learning he is terminally ill. CharlesÂ says he had never imagined that his future would hold the same challenges as the main character. He admits that there were few edits to the novel, so perhaps he was unknowingly preparing himself for what lay ahead, he says.
Watch the video below as CharlesÂ shares his story.