With the support of a care team that treats him like family, a retired police chief is tackling colon cancer head-on.
When Robert (Rob) DeuPree, a retired police chief from Astoria, Ore., and his wife, LaDean, moved to northern Nevada five years ago, they never expected to make weekly visits to the Renown Institute for Cancer.
Despite his terminal cancer, DeuPree has turned the experience in to something to look forward to by forming a special relationship with the infusion staff.
“It would probably be pretty easy to get disappointed and just kind of give up,” DeuPree says. No, you’ve got to keep pressing on.”
His colon cancer went undetected, and he was being treated for Barrett’s esophagus, a pre-cancerous condition. After moving to Sparks, DeuPree went to the Institute for Cancer for treatment and was quickly diagnosed with colon cancer that had metastasized and spread to his liver.
Christos Galanopoulos, MD, MBA, MSc, FACS, vice president and medical director of the Institute for Cancer, performed surgery to remove the tumor. Then DeuPree began chemotherapy.
“That over the last four years has kept me alive,” he says. “This cancer is not curable. It is only treatable,” DeuPree says.
Infusion Services staff recently surprised DeuPree, who is one of their many favorite patients, by decorating his infusion cubby and declaring him “Police Chief for the Day.”
They also put together a video expressing their fondness for DeuPree and his wife.
“My infusion nurses are angels,” DeuPree says. “They really are. They have wings. They are the most wonderful, well-trained, personable, knowledgeable people I have ever met in the medical field. And I was a cop, so I’ve met a lot of people in the medical field. And these ladies are just absolutely incredible,” says DeuPree.
To learn more about the Renown Institute for Cancer, visit renown.org/cancer or call 775-982-4000.