Medical time concept. Stethoscope with clock on face, concept for time pressure in healthcare or waiting lists etc.

I felt like too much time had passed since initially discovering the lump on my neck (a little over 2-weeks ago) to the actual diagnosis of cancer, so I promptly began researching experts in the area of head/neck cancer.  Fortunately, my background in the biotechnology industry provided some close connections in the oncology community and I reached out to one of them (Dr. Susan Slovin, an oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, MSKCC). She referred to me to Dr. David Pfister at MSKCC in New York.  It didn’t take me long to figure out that this was a great fit, as he was part of the team who treated actor Michael Douglas.  Michael Douglas received a diagnosis of stage IV oropharyngeal cancer in 2010 and spoke about his experience at a medical conference in 2014, which you can read by clicking here.  I scheduled the first available appointment with Dr. Pfister and also set up an appointment with another oncologist at the University of Pennsylvania.  I’m not the most patient person in the world, so waiting over a week for initial consultations didn’t sit well with me.  I wanted to know the treatment options and plan – and more importantly, I wanted treatment ASAP.  Every day looking in the mirror and seeing the large lump on the right side of my neck was a constant reminder of the disease.

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  1. Michael, I don’t even know what to say. I am in shock and saddened that you will be going through this. Please know I will keep you guys in my prayers and thoughts everyday. Once again connections with Sloane pay off. I am thankful you are being aggressive and as hard as it is to be patient as the treatment plan is worked out. Neither of those were Johns strong points…he waited too long once found and had no patience as we all remember. But I have learned to look at it differently now and realize the fear and angst he had even as he portrayed being the tough guy. I see you doing the same but somehow I hope the blog is a release of some of the frustrations of the basic fact you have this freaking God awful disease. Will keep in touch and know how much I love you guys…..even from Ohio….

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