STOCKTON, Calif. – June 23, 2016 – Last year, Jon Peters, Jr. felt a lump growing on his neck. The 38-year-old print shop worker thought it was just allergies, but the lump kept growing larger. At the request of his mother, he went to the doctor to get it checked. That’s when they found he had stage 2 Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“I was driving my dad’s truck when I got the phone call, so I pulled over at a gas station. After they told me I had cancer, I crashed the truck into a metal pole,” Peters said. “I had to go back to work with my dad, so I told him, ‘first I have cancer, second I crashed your truck.’”
It was devastating at first. Peters’ mother was going through treatment for breast cancer at the time of his diagnosis. She was fighting the disease, but it had begun to spread throughout her body.
“I was thinking I’m 38 and I got cancer. I thought it only happened to older people. I was watching my mom go through her struggle and it’s not something I want to see happen to anybody. It was a big reality check for me,” he said.
Hodgkin's lymphoma is most often diagnosed in people between the ages of 15 and 30, as well as those older than 55. Males are slightly more likely to develop Hodgkin's lymphoma, but the exact cause is unknown.
Peters knew he had to start treatment fast. He went to a medical oncologist for chemotherapy, and then he was sent to Board Certified Radiation Oncologist Dan Vongtama, M.D. at St Teresa Comprehensive Cancer Center in Stockton.
“When I first went for a consultation with Dr. Dan, he explained everything that was going to happen. I told him I was a little nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. He and the nurses walked me through the process and made me feel really comfortable,” Peters said.
Unfortunately, Peters’ mother passed away from cancer while he was going through treatment. It was hard, but he knew he had to keep fighting.
Now finished with treatment, Peters has a new outlook on life.
“Before this all happened, I thought I was invincible,” he said. “Now I realize how short life is. You have to live every day the best you can. You never know, this can happen to anybody at any time.”
He is sharing his story with the goal of educating people about cancer.
“When you find out you have cancer, you think your life is over, but people can make it through. No matter how bad it gets just keep fighting. I’m so thankful for Dr. Dan and the staff at St. Teresa Comprehensive Cancer Center for helping me get through it,” he said.
For more information about our services, visit stteresascancercenter.com or call (209) 472-1848.
About 21st Century Oncology
21st Century Oncology is the largest global provider of Integrated Cancer Care services that strongly believes in fighting for patients like an army and caring for them like a family. Operating as one dream team in the crusade against cancer, the company employs or is affiliated with nearly 1,000 physicians globally to deliver the most advanced, integrated, and compassionate cancer care in personal and convenient settings. Headquartered in Fort Myers, FL, 21st Century Oncology operates 165 treatment centers, including 129 centers located in 15 U.S. states. In addition, the company operates 36 centers located in eight countries in Latin America. For more information, please visit https://www.21co.com/.