BHealthy Blog

Fighting Cancer Together: Rodney Dardenne’s Story

Diagnosing cancer requires specialized attention and treatment. Early detection and treatment are crucial to achieving the best outcomes for patients. At UAMS Baptist Health Cancer Clinic and Infusion Center in Little Rock, patients like Rodney Dardenne, 55, receive comprehensive cancer care services, including chemotherapy, radiation and proton therapy. Read his story to learn more about how UAMS Baptist Health Cancer Clinic in Little Rock is providing Dardenne with comprehensive cancer care and treatment.

A Cancer Diagnosis

In August 2023, Dardenne noticed a lump on the left side of his neck. After seeing his primary care physician and undergoing some testing, he was referred to a head and neck surgeon. Dardenne went for surgery on Sept. 7, 2023, to remove a tumor at the base of his tongue and several lymph nodes. The pathology from the tissue removed during surgery confirmed a cancer diagnosis. Dardenne was diagnosed with cancer at the base of his tongue. 

“No one ever wants to hear the word ‘cancer’ as a diagnosis for themselves or a loved one,” said Vicki, Dardenne’s wife.

UAMS Baptist Health Cancer Clinic and Infusion Center Patient Experience

Dardenne received chemotherapy treatments at the UAMS Baptist Health Infusion Center in Little Rock and proton therapy treatments at the Proton Center of Arkansas, a collaboration with Baptist Health, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, UAMS and Proton International.

“The experience has been very positive. The staff at the Cancer Clinic and the Infusion Center have been compassionate and caring,” said Rodney Dardenne about the care he has received from the UAMS Baptist Health cancer care team. Dr. Anusha Jillella has made sure that we understand each step of the process by explaining it in detail. Knowing that we have a medical team that is knowledgeable and compassionate makes us feel that we are in good hands and exactly where we are supposed to be.” 

Advice to Other Cancer Patients Going Through a Similar Experience  

“Ask lots of questions to make sure you understand the diagnosis as well as the treatment plan,” Dardenne said. “It’s important to have a network of family and friends to come alongside you to provide support and listen to the explanations and treatment plan given by the doctor. More than just the patient needs to hear the information.”

Even though Dardenne has put some of his favorite activities on hold, like eating breakfast at the local cafe with friends, he is also looking forward to getting his taste back to enjoy a cheeseburger once the treatment is finished.  The Dardenne family is committed to their faith in God and find solace in Romans 15:13, which says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.”

The medical team at UAMS Baptist Health Cancer Clinic and Infusion Center is knowledgeable, compassionate, and dedicated to helping patients through their cancer journey. If you would like to learn more information about the comprehensive cancer care services available at Baptist Health, please visit