CEO Terry Scoggin Shares His Journey Through Colon Cancer with OUR Community.


January 24, 2024:

THANK YOU!  Angela and I have been blown away by the response from our first post.  The kind words, the prayers and screenings that have been scheduled by so many have been amazing and inspirational driving both of us along this journey.  We look forward to sharing more of our experiences and hopefully mitigating colon cancer through our actions over the upcoming years.

I will forever remember so many steps along this journey that I know were in God’s hands.  Decisions made by Angela and me as a patient, decisions made by me as CEO of a rural independent health system and decisions made by so many well-trained clinicians which are impacting every step.  The most epic decision impacting my treatment was TRMC’s decision in October 2022 (almost one full year before my diagnosis) to fully align the cancer center and health system bringing treatment home to Mount Pleasant.

TRMC decided to continue the journey started by OUR community in 2008 and bring the Cancer Center into the health system to ensure alignment across all modalities and a stream-lined continuum of care.  Physicians, medical records, labs, imaging, pharmacy, treatments, etc. are aligned allowing for a superior experience.

A long-time matriarch of Titus county who has provided insight on our health system through the eyes of a patient and community member (the “good” and the “bad”), stressed to me as the Oncology Service Line journey began the importance of ensuring TRMC had partners to hard wire the processes for things not possible in Mount Pleasant.  To accomplish this task, we collaborated with the next closest independent cancer center to provide guidance and resources we would not have on-site in Mount Pleasant.  Our colleague in this endeavor is Methodist Hospital in Richardson who has been contracted for services and resources not performed at TRMC to ensure OUR patients have full access to oncology coverage.  Our relationship also shares the same electronic medical record so the ability to move information between hospitals, doctors and family has been a huge asset.

This relationship for Oncology made my next step so easy as we were unable to do my colon resection surgery locally due to proximity to the rectum, so we went to Methodist on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and removed the mass.  What a great experience!  The clinical protocols at Methodist along with the clinical protocols I have seen implemented by TRMC’s nursing leadership, Physicians and team over the past few years made the recovery from surgery unbelievable as we were moving and rehabbing hours after the surgery in preparation for being sent home the next morning (and in home in time for the Cowboy Turkey Day Kick-Off).  The Methodist team went above and beyond to ensure me, Angela, our family and friends were taken care.  Visits from the Richardson CEO on Thanksgiving morning and a visit from the Methodist Health System CEO were true highlights as they value their relationship with Northeast Texas.

Surgery resulted in no additional tumors being identified (“clear”), however two (2) of the sixteen (16) nodes removed showed cancer cells which would begin the next leg of the journey – Chemotherapy!

The week was capped off by our friends, the Grubbs, inviting us on Saturday to celebrate Thanksgiving meal with their family!  Another blessing in this journey for us.  We have been so grateful to all of our friends for their love and support during this time.

I want to end this post by thanking all of the clinicians currently leading my journey.  The process has been eye opening, but the care and compassion has been phenomenal.  I want to personally thank Dr. Singh (medical oncologist), Dr. Kincaid (surgeon) and Dr. Burrows (primary care physician) for the calls, texts and check-ins as they monitor and support every step along the way.  What a blessing to have so many wonderful people in your corner.  God has been wonderful!  Thank you to Him for this opportunity!

January 10, 2024:

You have Cancer. Hello, I’m Terry Scoggin, Chief Executive Officer of Titus Regional Medical Center. As the CEO of a health system, those are words I have heard many times said to many patients, but to hear that sentence directed at ME was an experience words can’t describe. After being diagnosed with Colon Cancer in October, I wanted to share with my community and friends this journey that my family and I have embarked upon as a way to educate and encourage those reading along as we move through each critical step.

I want to start my post with thanking God for this opportunity and HIS will which has been placed in our lives throughout this journey as a blessing and reminder of HIS power.

I will share a lot of Thank You comments to many in these posts, but I want to start with a Thank You to my wife, Angela. The posts will include “OUR” throughout because this has been a journey we are taking together, and I will be FOREVER grateful for everything she has done for me. She was the first person I saw after the colonoscopy and she told me they found cancer. She has also been there every step along the way attending all tests, appointments and now OUR first chemotherapy treatment together. Angela, I love you!

We have been a little close to the vest about the process so far because there were so many unknowns. We wanted to respect friends and others who were battling cancer at this same time or in the past along with ensuring we did not miss any steps along the way. I did make public in TRMC’s December Community Update, but this is the first post about our experience. Our goal is to thank and educate on the experience we have seen and will see in this journey. We have been BLESSED and want to share! We plan to drop updates along the way to recognize the great people and reminders God has placed in our journey and educate many of us (including my family and friends) of the clinical stages involved in colon cancer.

May be an image of 2 people, people smiling and textOver the past year, I have been completing the Master of Health Care in Transformation Program at the University of Texas in Austin (collaboration with Dell Medical School) and graduated in August. My Experience Learning Project (ELP), my “thesis”, over the entire year was participation in a rural leadership team focused on Colorectal Cancer Prevention in Rural Communities of Color. We researched mortality rates in rural and urban communities focusing our research on Colorectal Cancer – one of a few cancer diagnoses if caught early can SIGNIFICANTLY reduce the mortality gap between rural and urban. The project included several Patient Experience Groups, interviews with physicians and industry experts, and research of data, interventions, and future opportunities in this field. Our final submission was filled with the facts and stories of Colorectal Cancer. One of the planned items in the ELP was for me to get my colonoscopy. I was fifty-three (53) at the time and the targeted screening age has been fifty (50) but moved to forty-five (45) in the past year. I was unable to complete by graduation in August, but I kept our submitted ELP poster next to my desk to remind me to schedule my colonoscopy. No history of cancer in my immediate family or symptoms to be concerned about so I delayed a few months. I scheduled my colonoscopy at Titus Regional Medical Center (TRMC) with Dr. Alicia Kincaid for Friday October 13th (too funny) and the journey took off from there!

My screening found several polyps which were removed but the most significant finding was a mass about 10 centimeters from the rectum which was blocking about half the colon. The initial diagnosis was a malignant tumor which was biopsied for next steps. Dr. Kincaid and the team at TRMC immediately started the process with CTs, blood work, etc, as we awaited the results to ensure we were ready once pathology was received. We were also able to talk with the team at the Cancer Center at Titus and with Dr. Barjinder Singh to plan what we expected the journey to look like. Pathology confirmed initial diagnosis and we continued about thirty (30) days of more tests, a pet scan and several biopsies to “rule out” cancer anywhere else in the body and identify several

suspicious areas seen. I was poked and prodded by some of the best at TRMC than given clearance to move forward with the next steps, surgery to remove the tumor. I pause at this point in my journey to remind you, get screened. If you are an adult age 45 to 75, even if you have no symptoms, family history or reason to think you might have cancer, Get Screened. Colonoscopies are simple to schedule and complete. Take the time to ensure your health for you, your family and those you love. Don’t wait, do it today.