Jun 25 2010


by at 11:16 am

I hope everybody is staying cool during this hot weather! We had a lovely retirement celebration for Susette Mueller on Tuesday; it is sad to see her go, though we are all happy for her and take some comfort in knowing that she’ll be back frequently. Hopefully, she’ll bring her banjo.

I had the opportunity to speak at the Wellness Community on Monday evening, and was inspired by the wonderful services that are provided as well as the dignity and tenacity of the many wonderful survivors with whom I interacted. So, it was particularly poignant for me when I saw one of my patients in clinic on Thursday. He is a young man who has been fighting colon cancer for 15 years, and came here after receiving care at Johns Hopkins because his doctor had run out of treatment options for him. Fortunately, he was eligible for Mike Pishvaian’s clinical trial employing temazolomide and a PARP inhibitorm, and he has actually been doing a bit better since he started therapy. It was maddening to hear him blurt out, in tears, about how he was going to have to sell or close his business, not because of his illness, but because his health insurer has increased his premiums by more than 1,000 percent (no, that is not a typo!) over the past few years. He is being punished for being ill, and he can no longer afford to pay the $60,000 (!) yearly premium. I could go on and on, but won’t. But this was a painful moment for me.

Have a nice weekend.

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