Words of gratitude: Hospice patient shares letter of thanks for years of cancer treatments at AAMC

Words of gratitude: Hospice patient shares letter of thanks for years of cancer treatments at AAMC

Thank you2

During the Thanksgiving season, we focus on gratitude. This letter, written by a hospice patient who received cancer treatments here at AAMC for many years, reminds us that gratitude is a state of mind, not a reaction to a circumstance. To the amazing staff he mentions in his letter, it is clear you made a significant impact in his life. And we, as physicians, nurses, and support staff, are also grateful for this gentleman, for taking the time to share his feelings and affirm the caring he experienced at AAMC as he approached the end of his life.

I was first diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the lungs in 2008. In 2010, it metastasized to my brain. Since then, I have had three more brain tumors and three more in the spinal cord. Two of each have been operable (debulking prior to radiation), two of each just radiation. So as you can see, since 2010, the cancer has developed a fondness for my neurological system.

Needless to say, I have become intimately familiar with nearly every aspect concerning the diagnosis and treatment of neurological related cancer issues at AAMC. Now that I have transferred to hospice care, I would be remiss if I didn’t provide you input on my experiences at AAMC over the last six years.

Although my comments could be applied to nearly all of my experiences at AAMC since my first surgery for a colon resection in 2007, they are intended here for Dr. Angel Torano and his staff, Dr. Jay Rhee and his staff, Dr. Timothy Burke and his staff, and surgical recovery and emergency staffs.

Without question, this is one of the most professional, caring, and efficient staffs I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with. I think when you factor in the gravitas of the services they provide, the potential for daily stressful situations and the required level of personal human interaction, it makes this statement all the more amazing. Apologies to Good Humor, but we’re not exactly selling ice cream here!

I have had the pleasure of serving on and working with the design and building of US Navy submarines for over 40 years. During this time I have been immersed in an environment that demands no less that perfection from every aspect of the business. I think this makes me more than qualified to recognize and comment on perfection when I see it put to practice on a day-to-day basis. That your staff has to apply their practice at such a human level, only adds that extra level of difficulty called compassion.

As I have matured, I have tried to make a point of recognizing when I receive outstanding (and less than outstanding) services. I can honestly say your staff has provided consistently excellent services to my family and me. Your organization has helped to make a difficult situation as tolerable as I could possible imagine.

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