Kevin Marrow Knows He’s in the Best Hands at Riverside!

December 13, 2022

Our Stories
Kevin Marrow and Nurse

Ten years ago, Kevin Marrow, an academic coordinator and Instructor at Hampton University, was diagnosed with prostate cancer and treated successfully at Riverside Cancer Care Center. Kevin hoped his experience with cancer was over, but this past August, he received a second diagnosis: multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells. These white blood cells, produced in the bone marrow, help the immune system to fight off infections. However, when plasma cells become cancerous, they produce proteins that can damage the kidneys and immune system, as well as cause the bones to become soft and susceptible to pain and injury.

Kevin feels immense gratitude for the astute and compassionate Riverside physicians who proactively detected and diagnosed his cancer. First, Kevin’s family doctor, Thaddeus G. Sutton, an internal medicine specialist, noticed something amiss in his bloodwork. Right away, Dr. Sutton referred Kevin to hematologist and oncologist George J. Kannarkat. “Dr. K.” immediately recommended a bone biopsy, which rooted out the cancer.

Since he began his chemotherapy regimen at the end of August, Kevin has received top-quality care from the whole team at the Riverside Cancer Care Center. “I go for my treatments twice a week, on Monday and Thursday,” Kevin explains. “I see nurse Melissa Backus, who everyone calls ‘Missy.’ She is extremely caring and her customer service skills are amazing. She always asks how I’m feeling and asks about my pain level, to make sure that is being well managed.

“I go into a room with six comfortable chairs and sit while the treatment is administered through a port in my chest,” Kevin continues. “The atmosphere is very relaxing, and the patients chat with one another while we receive our treatments.”

One aspect of care that Kevin particularly likes is that the team treats each patient like a whole person, recognizing that patients are much more than their diagnoses. “Everybody who works at the Cancer Care Center is so nice. They come in and offer us snacks. They talk about your life outside cancer, what you’re doing during the week, how your job is going.”

Kevin is thankful to report that the treatments are having a positive effect. “I saw Dr. K. last week for another bone biopsy, which is done in the hip. When he did the first one, the bone was soft and the needle went in easily. This last time, however, the bone was much harder and he had to work to get the needle in. That is a good thing.” He will be starting a fourth cycle of chemo later this month.
Kevin has high praise for Dr. Kannarkat’s nurse, Courtney, who gave him a calendar with all his medications on it and calls him weekly to see how he’s doing. “This is the first time I’ve experienced that,” he points out. “Courtney makes sure I am processing my orders right. It’s very important that I have the medications I need in a timely manner.”

Kevin has continued to work throughout his treatments. With an MBA in management, he enjoys his job as Academic Coordinator for the HU-Online which caters to adults 21 and older at Hampton University, as well as teaching business management classes on online. His wife, who has her JD degree, teaches law and criminal justice classes there. They have three daughters and welcomed their first grandchild, a boy, in the spring. They are looking forward to a well-earned retirement in 2023.

In addition to spending as much time as possible with family—especially that new grandbaby, who lives in Alabama—Kevin plans to do plenty of creative projects after he retires. “I really enjoy working with my hands, painting, and making things. My wife’s parents had a lot of antique furniture, and I am going to refinish some china cabinets that were passed down from her mother and grandmother. I’m also planning to renovate our bathroom, with the help of a friend,” he explains.

Kevin plans to “be here as long as I can,” and with such a strong healthcare team on his side, he feels confident he will be here for a good, long while. “I would highly recommend Riverside Cancer Treatment Center because of the excellent care I receive there,” he says. “The doctors are so thorough. Dr. K. checked everything to pinpoint what was wrong, which allowed me to receive the treatments I needed.”

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