Patient Stories:


Two-Time Cancer Survivor Praises Surgical Skill of Dr. Malone

Being diagnosed with lung cancer once is scary enough, but imagine hearing “you have lung cancer” for a second time.

Finding The Right Doctor

Gary and his wife, Laura, know all too well the questions, fear, and emotional ups and downs you experience when receiving a lung cancer diagnosis. They received that terrifying news not once, but twice.

In 2013, doctors discovered cancer in Gary’s right lung. Initially, Gary wasn’t sure what to expect when it came to treatment options. Would he need chemotherapy or radiation treatments? Facing such a potentially grave situation, Gary and Laura wanted to find a surgeon who could best position Gary to beat his cancer.

They asked a friend who had had a spot on her lung biopsied by Dr. Malone. Their friend had been lucky - her spot was benign - but she held Dr. Malone in very high regard. Trusting the guidance of someone who had been in a similar situation led the Joneses to reach out to Dr. Malone’s office.

“During my consultation, Dr. Malone was honest and straightforward about my options,” said Gary. The Joneses also found the entire staff at Athens Vein & Aesthetics to be warm, kind, and supportive.

Personalized Care Every Time

When Gary went in for his lobectomy in December of 2013, he knew he was in the right hands. “I asked Dr. Malone to pray with me before the surgery and he agreed. If that matters to you, having a doctor who cares enough to say a prayer for you makes a difference,” Gary recalled.

Laura chimed in, “During the entire surgery I was kept informed about what was happening in the operating room.”

Gary spent a couple of nights in the St. Mary’s ICU post-surgery. Even though he required an open surgery, Gary said his recovery was quicker than he anticipated.

More importantly, because his cancer was still confined to the lung, the surgery was the only treatment required to beat his cancer.

Things were going along as expected for Gary until 2016, when a follow up revealed the unthinkable. He had lung cancer again - this time in his left lung.

“Honestly, at that point I wasn’t sure what to think, but I knew one thing for sure - that Dr. Malone was going to be my surgeon again.

Gary Jones

The treatment plan for Gary’s second bout of lung cancer also included a surgical approach. In fact, surgery is the preferred treatment for most early stage small and non-small cell carcinomas of the lung.

Gary’s second surgical procedure was a segmentectomy of the left lung. This time, Dr. Malone was able to use the robotic assisted technology (daVinci®). The use of this minimally invasive procedure reduced Gary’s risk of infection and his overall recovery time.

Recovery and Results

After the surgery, Gary was once again declared cancer free. Again, he credits the skill and compassion of Dr. Malone in saving his life for the second time.

It’s been five years since Gary’s second lung cancer diagnosis.

At 81 years old, he still works every day on his farm clearing the land and trimming brush. He’s not oxygen dependent and just takes two simple daily medications to support optimal lung function.

“I do have a slightly decreased lung capacity but if I am mindful, it doesn’t slow me down,” says Gary.

Gary and Laura recently enjoyed a trip out West to Colorado where they extensively hiked Mesa Verde National Park to take in the legendary arches and canyonlands.

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