It was late June of 2009, and I was on the brink. Over the previous few months I had collapsed a number of times and had to be transferred to various emergency rooms. Often I was short of breath, dizzy and swelling up like a balloon. Furthermore, many of my lab values were going south, while my liver enzymes were rising.
As my liver began to fail, Kathleen and I made our way to a prestigious hospital in New York City. The major vessels in my liver were shutting down as the tumors grew. But my medical team could not pinpoint the exact location of the blockage in my vessels. They asked me to stay another week so that they could find the problem. We were running out of funds and I was running out of time.
That night at the Hope Lodge ( American Cancer Society ) , I cried out to God for help. I was guided to the internet, where I found a renowned interventional radiologist named Dr. Riad Salem out of Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Three days later I was on his operating table, where he spent two hours pinpointing the location of the blockage. After 10 days and two cutting edge-procedures, I left the hospital. These procedures made me stable enough to be vetted for a liver organ transplant. I will never forget the care and compassion that I received from the clinicians and staff.
This is an excerpt from ” Lifelines to Cancer Survival / A New Approach to Personalized Care” . Over the past thirteen years , I have seen patient after patient struggle and often go down,,,staying with the first clinician or hospital that they consult with. Often there is a rush to get them into treatment with out even investigating the tumor or Biomarkers. Many times I will guide my patients toward “not ” rushing into treatment and to ask for more Personalized Care.