Laughter is wonderful medicine and can almost always be heard emanating from my clinic!
Oncology requires one to be not only a skilled clinician with an intimate and in depth knowledge of the disease and its treatments, but also filled with empathy, understanding, and compassion in guiding patients and their families on a long, and at times arduous, journey of treatment, remission, recurrence and for many, the very real potential of dying. It is truly an honor and a privilege to lead my patients on this journey and to offer them the very best possible care and to help them laugh, love, and remember or discover what matters most to them in this world. In so doing, I truly believe that I help everyone – even if I cannot cure their physical illness, I can help them live longer, live better and help to ease their suffering. If or when the time comes when treatments fail, I can help them and their families find peace and comfort.
I see myself as my patients’ number one advocate. I will do whatever it takes to get them what they need. I will visit patients at home who are dying and too ill to come to the hospital, even performing bedside paracenteses in a homebound patient dying of cancer to help alleviate suffering. I am tenacious in my efforts to secure the appropriate testing and treatment as time is often of the essence.
I am a healer, one who seeks to know my patients, to understand them and to not only treat their physical symptoms, but also to ease their emotional suffering. We laugh and cry together. We celebrate the victories of great remissions and mourn the recurrences which are inevitable in this disease. Laughter is wonderful medicine and can almost always be heard emanating from my clinic room no matter what the news is.
My greatest skill is that I listen, I truly listen to what is said and what is unsaid. I hear the subtleties and I work to break down barriers so that I can partner with patients and their families. I seek to comfort at all times without giving false hope or reassurances as multiple myeloma is still a fatal disease for most people. We have made significant strides in treating this disease; survival has doubled in the last decade. Yet, most patients will die from multiple myeloma rather than with multiple myeloma. As such, I strive to treat patients with the best possible treatment ever mindful of minimizing side effects, placing a strong emphasis on both quality of life as well as quantity of life. Most of all, though, I promise them that I will be with them throughout their journey, no matter where it leads.