Apr 16 2012

Finding Inspiration in Patients, Art and More

by at 9:45 am under Uncategorized

Well, wasn’t this a nice weekend? The time flew by, but we had some fun and enjoyed the great weather. As always, a bit of time for R and R is always appreciated after an action-packed week.

First of all, the patient I have been blogging about was able to get a CT scan, and the results were encouraging. I think he is benefiting from the chemotherapy, and we will soldier on for another two months, repeat the scans and then make some decisions about next steps. Having met his new baby at the office visit I am doubly inspired to do something “above and beyond:, but the widely distributed liver metastases at presentation will be formidable challenges. But, all we can do is our best …

Last Monday I visited the Capital Breast Care Center with Nancy Morgan to scope out wall space and opportunities to extend the Arts and Humanities Program’s activities into that office. On Tuesday, we had an extremely productive meeting of the MedStar Cancer Network leadership to map out the best way to drive the clinical research agenda for that effort. The shared vision and energy around this effort is immensely rewarding.

I was out of the office on Wednesday to attend a meeting of the NCI NExT committee in Rockville to review applications for NCI support of drug development. This is a fascinating exercise that really highlights the challenges all academic centers face in pursuing the development of drugs that are discovered by their scientists. However, there are always very interesting and provocative applications and discussions.

I had clinic on Thursday afternoon and then attended a dinner for 40 supporters of the Ruesch Center hosted by Pete Teeley, a long time Lombardi supporter. The event, held at Citronelle, was a truly special evening. To see so many people wrapped up in a comprehensive vision of research, patient care, advocacy and gastrointestinal cancer-related health policy was impressive.  I did not have a speaking role but Jeannie Ruesch and John Marshall did a wonderful job. John was especially persuasive, and reaffirmed my conviction that he is one of Lombardi’s true treasures. This initiative is really taking off, thanks to his vision and leadership.

While our weekend was lovely, there were two dark clouds that serve as reminders of how important our work is. Harriet got a call from an old friend and colleague, telling her that she had a recently diagnosed Stage II melanoma. So, I gave our friend some initial advice, and plan to discuss further with Mike Atkins.

Then the 38-year-old daughter of another friend is in the midst of aggressive neoadjuvant chemotherapy for a Stage III triple-negative breast cancer. She has been blogging about her situation since she was diagnosed. This weekend it was her mother’s turn to be a guest blogger, and she quoted one of my pieces of advice, “This is a marathon, not a sprint.” So, this was just another reminder of how cancers turn lives upside down.

Speaking of marathons, the Avon Walk (not a marathon, of course, just a mere 39 miles) is only three weekends away! If you have not donated money, time or blisters, please do so!  Click here for the team donation page .

Have a good week.

No responses yet | Categories: Uncategorized

Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.