Lito’s Story: Back To Enjoying Life After Surgery, Chemo 

A few years ago, Lito Hernandez and his wife Teresa purchased a new camper. Their lives were filled with vacations to Disney World with their children and grandchildren.

That was until Lito experienced severe pain in his leg while working one day. “I pretty much have a high pain tolerance,” Lito explained, “but this one was just really a little bit more painful, so I went to the base emergency room.”

A Marine Corps veteran, Lito goes to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Hospital for most of his medical care. He initially went there to receive a CT scan on his leg to check for a blood clot. The results showed no signs of a blood clot, but the scan found a lesion on his pancreas, spleen, and liver. Lito was referred to a Premier Health facility for MRI and biopsy.

The lesion on Lito’s pancreas was about three centimeters in size. The biopsy results were inconclusive, but Joseph See, MD, and James Ouellette, DO, were confident it was cancer. Dr. Ouellette and Dr. See recommended a minimally invasive robotic surgery to remove most of Lito’s pancreas.

After Lito received his pancreatectomy and splenectomy, Dr. See ordered 24 weeks of chemotherapy treatments. Lito received six and a half hours of those treatments at Miami Valley Hospital South and the rest at home administered by a Fidelity Health Care nurse. Before receiving his remaining chemotherapy treatments, Dr. See warned Lito that the treatments were aggressive, and most people could not tolerate them well.

“I'm a Marine, so to me, that was a challenge,” Lito recalled. “I said, ‘I will finish all 12.’”

Once Lito’s surgery and chemotherapy were behind him, his leg pain was gone and it has not reoccurred.

One aspect of Lito’s cancer care at Premier Health that he and Teresa found impressive was the coordination of care. Teresa explained, “With Premier Health and MyChart, all the doctors could talk to each other. We would be sitting in Dr. See's office and asking him a question that needed Dr. Ouellette’s expertise, and Dr. See would email Dr. Ouellette, and right then, we would have an answer. That team approach is what I found amazing.”

Lito is now back to enjoying a full life of dancing, music, and, most importantly, vacationing with his family.


Contact Us

Call the Premier Health cancer hotline at (844) 316-HOPE(844) 316-4673 (4673), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to connect with a Premier Health cancer navigator.