John Wood and his wife, Ann, live in Boca Raton, Florida. A survivor of colon cancer with metastasis to the liver, he is grateful for his care 29 years ago at MD Anderson.
One evening at the end of June 1990, my doctor in Florida told me, in a telephone call, that I had metastatic liver cancer. When I asked about treatment — surgery or chemotherapy — he said there was none. My condition was terminal. ‘How long?’ I asked. ‘Two months at the best,’ he said.
Devastating news at age 56 and after being told that morning that I was ‘in great shape’ at my first-year check-up after having a resection for colon cancer.
I immediately called my brothers and sister to say goodbye. Fortunately, my older brother, a doctor in East Texas, knew of MD Anderson. He told me to get to Houston right away.
When my wife and I arrived at MD Anderson, we were overwhelmed by the size, the smooth system and the exceptionally gentle and caring staff. Our assigned guide took us through the process of interviews and testing on that first, scary day. She made us relaxed and gave us confidence that maybe we had a chance.
When we met Dr. Mark Roh (formerly of MD Anderson), we were surprised at his young age but immediately realized his professionalism and ability. He laid out the pros and cons of an experimental operation and the high risk. ‘Let’s go,’ we all agreed.
Today, we think often of the nine-and-a-half-hour surgery, the time in intensive care, the nephrologist from Memorial Hermann who was called in to solve my kidney failure problem (who ever heard of calling in someone from another hospital?) and the endless kindness of doctors and nurses. It was worth the trip. I’m still here 29 years later, enjoying life and family.
I’m sure that thousands of people from around the world who have been helped by the great work of MD Anderson, its doctors and staff express similar thanks for their experience at this fabulous facility.
Thank you to everyone at MD Anderson.