CANCER! Cancer is a word we dread to hear. We dread it regardless if it is our diagnosis or the diagnosis for anyone.
I was diagnosed with a very rare cancer in 2007. Rare enough that there really wasn’t a black-and-white protocol. However, I was in the hands of some very knowledgeable and wonderful doctors. They met as a Tumor Team and worked hard to save my life and my leg, and to work to make me “cancer free.”
Those are two of the most wonderful words a cancer patient can hear. I have now heard those words … “cancer free.”
The purpose of this blog post is to encourage cancer patients to be part of the Cancer Support Group, which meets at the Froedtert & MCW Clinical Cancer Center monthly. We talk. We listen. We do fun things. One can say as much or as little as they want — or nothing — about their specific situation.
I’m an old-timer, and I do not know all the modern-day jargon. But I want to give a “shout-out” to the doctors who saved me: Dr. Donald Hackbarth, Dr. John Charlson, Dr. Dion Wong, Dr. Bob Whitfield. What is so unique about these doctors is they are not on a clock when you see them. If one needs 10 minutes, one gets 10 minutes. If one needs an hour, one gets an hour. I have NEVER been pushed out of the door so they can see the next patient. Sometimes my 1:00 appointment starts at 1:30. So be it. That person ahead of me needed a little more time.
Let’s not forget the nurses and techs that have tended to us. They also fall into the marvelous category. Having spent many, many weeks at Froedtert Hospital, I am not able to come up with one negative comment about my care.
So now that I am “cancer free,” why do I not just ride off into the sunset? I owe my good health to these people, and I try to pay back by being a good contributor to the Cancer Support Group. I encourage you to become a member of this group. You will have no regrets.
— Joe Vitale
Share Your Thoughts
Who do you lean on for support? What are you looking for in a support group? Share your comments below.