Perry Rupp, of Roanoke, Texas, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and underwent a stem cell transplant in 2012. Today, you’ll find him hiking, biking and driving his RV cross country, visiting as many national parks as possible along the way. He credits his recovery to the incredible doctors and nurses at MD Anderson.
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.
Promise invites cancer survivors to share their reflections. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.