During our cancer journey, we had a lot of ups & downs… and we were lucky to find medical professionals and organizations that supported us, cared about us, gave us hope and made the most horrific year of our life somewhat bearable… I’ve written about all these people and organizations throughout the CancerHawk blog. But today, for post #101, I’d like to write about my all-time favorite group of people at Champions Oncology…. read below and you’ll see why I will forever be indebted to the doctors and people at Champions….(BTW, they work with YOUR oncologist to do all this.)
5. Personalized Oncology is the future of cancer care. Two people with the exact same cancer can and do respond differently to the exact same treatment regimen. I wish I had understood this at the beginning of our cancer journey. Champions Oncology works with your oncologist to create a personalized oncology solution to your specific cancer. I really wish I had found Champions at the beginning of our journey!
4. Champions organized a “panel” of 13 sarcoma experts (doctors, surgeons & researchers too). The Panel met, discussed & debated Alan for over two hours. They built consensus and came up with a plan of action… a plan that we could never have otherwise obtained, even if have if we had visited each of the professionals individually. And oh by the way, the plan they came up is the only one that actually slowed the growth of Alan’s cancer.
3. No Dr. Schmucks Allowed! Doctors are people, just like you and me. And at the end of the day, you have to trust your doctor. But here’s the dealio (as my daughter always says)… Not all doctors are created equal. And finding the GOOD ones is not always easy. Alan and I met and worked with quite a few Dr. Schmucks during our cancer journey and some of them were the “Chief of This & That” at major hospitals. But I can honestly say that every single medical professional that we worked with through Champions Oncology was brilliant and compassionate and they got “it”… as long as there is life, there is hope. No giving up allowed.
2. Tumorgrafts REALLY WORK… no ifs, ands or buts about it… Champions implants your tumor into genetically-stripped mice and then they test different drugs and drug combinations to see what works on the mice. And oh by the way, if a treatment works in the mice, it will absolutely work in your body. It’s like your own personal clinical trial. The challenge is they need fresh tumor. So ideally we would have given Alan’s tumor from his arm to them. While the tumor was growing in the mice, Alan would have undergone the “standard protocol” but we would have had better information after that first regimen failed… which is why I wish I had known about Champions from the beginning.
1. They gave us realistic hope. By the time we found Champions, we were running out of time. They were both honest and cautiously optimistic with us. If they could find a drug regimen that would slow down or better yet, kill this cancer (which they have been able to successfully accomplish in other patients), we’d have more time together and maybe, just maybe, live happily ever after. Although our story did not have the happy ending we dreamed of, I know that we did everything humanly possible to save Alan. And because of this knowledge, my family and I sleep at night knowing we left no stone unturned.
But check out this incredible success story and interview with Dr. David Sidransky of Champions Oncology… CLICK HERE to listen. Dr. Sidransky is AMAZING!!!! And I trusted him with my husband’s life… and I would trust him again in a heartbeat… Thanks Dr. S! You’re THE BEST!