When my doctor told me I needed to see an oncologist, my first question was, ‘What’s an oncologist?’ I don’t use the ‘C’ word. So when I heard that I needed to meet with the ‘C’ doctors I was terrified.
I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. After my doctor prescribed radiation, my brother urged me to seek a second opinion at MD Anderson. ‘MD Anderson writes the book,’ he said. ‘Everyone else just reads it.’
Jatin Shah, M.D., associate professor in Lymphona/Myeloma, advised against radiation in favor of a stem cell transplant after three rounds of targeted drug therapy. This is why I believe it’s so important to get a second opinion.
Over the three weeks I was confined to MD Anderson’s stem cell transplant unit, I realized that every nurse there is just as skilled and compassionate as the next. I learned of an award available to nurses who conduct their own research projects, but it didn’t provide enough incentive to encourage more nurses to pursue it. That’s when I decided to help fund the Inpatient Stem Cell Transplant Nurse Innovation Award.
It’s my hope, as with so many things, that a monetary incentive will help give these nurses the final push to go even further than the exceptional care they’re already providing. Thanks to their impeccable care, I can live life to the fullest. This is one small way that I can give back and give thanks to the nurses who dedicate so much of their lives to helping the patient.