A doctor's cancer journey - Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute

A doctor's cancer journey – Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute



actually I was sort of ironic because I was already training in oncology I was about to start my oncology fellowship and I felt a large lump in my neck and then I put it off for a little while as a lot of people do is he kind of know in the back of your head that you don't want to know but this was in the spring of 2004 and at that time an endocrinologist tyroid specialist who did a ultrasound and biopsy and use that it was a very cancer you know actually my whole life I wanted to be on oncologist since I was 10 or 11 I was just drawn to cancer to helping people with cancer to researching cancer and of course it's very different when it's you I've been through cancer with family members but it's very different when you're the patient so I would say that it was a weekend that changed my life in between waiting for the biopsy having the biopsy and waiting for the results because one thing that happened in the course of my treatment like it happens to a lot of people is there's some uncertainty and you have to wait for test results and that waiting is extremely anxiety provoking and there was a brief period where they thought this was ovarian cancer that would spread to my thyroid and I knew that was deadly and much less treatable than thyroid cancer so it was very scary and I think of that weekend a lot when I think about my patients and there's a certain loneliness that I think you feel when you have cancer or you feel that you might not be going on and ever is that people love you and care about you but it's very isolating to be the one dealing with that but I would say that it's made me a better doctor or more compassionate more underst my treatment was fairly typical for people with thyroid cancer my initial treatment was surgery where the thyroid and all the limits around me were removed unfortunately when I had that surgery there were about the lymph nodes that the cancer had spread to so following that I had radioactive iodine which is specialized radiation that just sort of targets thyroid tissue and that's a really hard thing to go through because you have to be quarantined from other people so at the time my daughter was 10 months old but I actually went away to Vermont to be away from my family so I wouldn't contaminate now and that was the initial stage of my treatment and then after thyroid cancer does frequent ever occurrences so I had close follow-up and ahead of recurrence in 2010 and at that time dr. Goldberg removed about 50 lymph nodes from remove some of the residual but I think the most important thing for anyone facing cancer is to always feel hope always have a doctor you know feet but at the end of the day you want this to just be a chapter in your life and that become your life and that's always the challenge with cancer is how to keep living your life with the cancer and for me at this point I still have thyroid cancer I still have elevated thyroid globulin so I have thyroid cancer at this point it's not constantly any problems at some point in the future I'll probably have another radioactive iodine treatment or surgery and I would say over the eight years that I've been living with that you know you get better and better at having it dictate your life you


2 thoughts on “A doctor's cancer journey – Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute

  1. Dr. Cream is my oncologist. She is one of the best and knows firsthand what we go through. She is very compassionate and knowledgeable. I trust her with my life. She and the rest of my team of doctors got me through everything. I am forever grateful.

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