Cancer Patient Stories

Perhaps the best way to learn about our highly trained cancer specialists, the compassionate environment and innovative cancer treatments is through our patients. View their inspiring stories below to learn more about their experience of being a patient at Houston Methodist:

Breast Cancer

Michelle Ayala — Breast Cancer Survivor

Michelle’s patient navigator gave her the relief and support she needed to walk through every step of the process following breast cancer diagnosis. She says she has no regrets about any decisions she made, and her early diagnosis prevented the need for chemotherapy. Michelle says getting a timely mammogram made all the difference for her.

Loretta Moses

Loretta explains how a routine annual screening mammogram revealed an early breast cancer diagnosis. Her Houston Methodist doctors treated her cancer, and, today, she enjoys playing with her grandchildren and urges women to get mammograms.

Ruby Wilson

Ruby describes her breast cancer experience and how, years later, she used it as a source of strength after her daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer. Today, mother and daughter are breast cancer survivors.

Melissa's Story

A single mother of two children, Melissa was holding down two jobs, studying for a degree and spending as much time as she could with her family when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She says her care team gave her the emotional support and assurances she needed to get through treatment and be strong for her children.

Gynecologic Cancer

Lynnsey Tirey — Ovarian Cancer Survivor

Lynnsey’s normal, healthy life was upended by a fast-growing, leaking ovarian cyst that was later identified as cancer. She started six months of chemotherapy the day after her 32nd birthday. Lynnsey says her doctor and his staff, as well as her infusion nurses, became part of her family. She believes her doctor saved her life.

Kristine Lindsey — Survivor of a Rare Malignant Molar Pregnancy

Kristine’s blood work indicated she was pregnant, but instead, doctors discovered a noncancerous tumor had developed in her uterus — what’s known as a molar pregnancy. She says she has become close with her doctor and his nurse, as well as her infusion nurses, who provided her with the support she needed during treatment. Today, Kristine is working, camping and hiking, and says she is stronger than she thought possible.

Eye Cancer


It was his friend’s cataract surgery that reminded Darrell that he needed an eye exam. His decision to have an eye exam was a wise one, because the retinal specialist in Alaska detected cancer and sent him to Houston Methodist to receive care for uveal melanoma, a rare eye cancer.  Darrell was fortunate to find the expertise he needed for his rare form of cancer at Houston Methodist.  Darrell’s advice to others: “Go get your regular eye exam. They can catch these things before they get serious.”

Head and Neck Cancer

David Hammerle — Tonsil Cancer Survivor

David’s devotion to developing and following work processes helped him stay on top of everything he needed to do to fight his throat cancer. He also maintained unwavering positivity by wearing a different Hawaiian shirt to each of his 35 chemotherapy treatments — and gratefulness for his doctors and their expertise. He looks forward to his follow-up appointments because they continue to reveal he’s healthy and disease-free.

Michael Trejo — Tongue Cancer Survivor

Michael’s doctors had been keeping an eye on a suspicious spot discovered in his mouth while his wisdom teeth were being removed — years before his official cancer diagnosis. Despite that monitoring, Michael still was shocked after a biopsy revealed he had developed mouth cancer. He credits his radiation oncologist and other specialists with helping him cope with his emotions during treatment and is hopeful for the future with his wife and six daughters.


Diana's Story

Diana considered her diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia as another challenge in her life. As a competitive runner and active grandmother, she looked at cancer treatment as a goal to achieve. Diana credits the positivity of her nurses and care team with getting her through treatment and back to her busy life.

Felecia's Story

Felecia believes she couldn’t have gotten through her treatment for acute myeloid leukemia without her faith, care team, family and support from fellow patient, Diana. Although Felecia thought a previous breast cancer diagnosis treatment would better prepare her for what was ahead, she discovered she needed Diana’s encouragement to help her emotionally as she battled leukemia. Felecia believes she and Diana will be friends forever because of the support she provided.

Lung Cancer

Richard Kutner

After seeing the x-ray that revealed his lung cancer, Richard had to decide where to seek treatment and how to fight his disease. He chose Houston Methodist, where he knew that he would receive the personalized, compassionate care he desired from high quality physicians and the support staff. His doctor answered all of his treatment questions and developed a plan to reduce the size of his cancer as much as possible, while preventing its growth.


Sophie Hoelscher

Sophie was in her 20s, recently engaged, planning a wedding and moving into a new house when she was diagnosed with bulky Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Based on years of clinical research, her team at Houston Methodist thought that she was a candidate for radiation after her football-sized tumor responded to chemotherapy. They planned her treatment regimen to give Sophie every chance to live the life she had been planning. Today, Sophie says, “They saved my life here.”

Testicular Cancer

Dylan's Story

A sophomore at Texas A&M University who was considering medical school, Dylan’s diagnosis of nonseminoma testicular cancer came after he met a patient who experienced the same symptoms as he did while Dylan interned at Houston Methodist Sugar Land.