So what do I know about cancer?
Well for starters, I understand:
- How hard it is to have someone you love told that they have cancer. How, in a few seconds, your life and that of a loved one can be changed forever by the words “you have cancer.” I also know that many people who have survived the journey are better people for it.
- That how you respond to the diagnosis of cancer makes a big difference in the outcome. I have seen people get so depressed that they see no point in going on…and they succumb to their disease. I have seen others, faced with the very same situation, find the strength, courage and support to soldier on through the depression to fight and beat back their cancer.
- Cancer does not have to be the death sentence that everyone thinks it is. People with even the most difficult types of cancer are living longer than ever before. Take my wife for example. She was diagnosed in November of 2003 with Stage IV Non Small Cell Lung Cancer and today is in complete remission. According to the statistics, she should not have survived much beyond three months following her diagnosis. But with the right doctors and the right treatment, people like my wife can and do beat cancer every day in this country.
- That every newly diagnosed cancer patient should “run not walk” to get a second opinion. But don't settle for getting a second opinion from just anyone. Get a second opinion from an expert. That means finding a physician that specializes in your type of cancer. Experts are out there…you just need to know how to find them and hopefully I can help you find them.
- How hard it is to navigate your way around the healthcare system to get what you need. Who are the best doctors? Which are the best hospitals? What should I ask my doctor? What about my health insurance? I hope to be able to guide you through these and a myriad of other perplexing questions based upon my years of experience working in hospital administration and patient advocate for my wife and others.
I hope my first posting here gives you a sense of who I am and how I believe I can help my readers. My experience with cancer has given me reason to be optimistic and hopeful and I want to share that with you.
To use a cliché from the TV show the X-files, the answers are out there. My job is to help you find them Let me know what you think.