I was 35 when I was first diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer. A year after they did a resection, the cancer returned and had spread to my liver. My diagnosis was then Stage 4, and I was given 5 months to live.
My wife Beatrice and I weren’t prepared to just give up and wait for the inevitable. We quickly began researching options to put together a game plan since I had only recently finished treatments on my initial colon cancer. We believed that cancer had to be treated on all sides and felt that we needed the best in traditional and non-traditional options as a course of treatment. Beatrice got busy researching everything she could find on the Internet about the role of nutrition in the treatment of cancer. Though a practicing attorney, my wife always had a genuine interest in cooking and nutrition, and the more she researched, the more she believed that I had to change my diet immediately. However, when she brought her concerns to my doctors, they told her she was wasting her time worrying about my diet. In fact, one went so far as to tell her that she would be “killing” me if she continued to insist I stop eating red meat, refined carbohydrates and sugary desserts. Their advice was for me to eat whatever I wanted to, the more the better, regardless of what it was. Fortunately, my wife knew she was onto something important for my recovery, and didn’t back down. And then we found the Block Center.
We were living in California at the time, and made the decision to fly out to the Chicago area for a consult with the team at Block. I really liked the environment at the Block Center, and immediately felt comfortable with their supportive, optimistic people. They are real advocates for their patients. And most importantly, they saw me as a person and not just another patient.
They gave me chemotherapy using a portable pump, and timed it to my body’s system. Because it was portable, I could go home and rest while I was getting the treatments. And, they confirmed what my wife had been saying, that diet would play an important role in my recovery. They customized a supplement plan for me to help me rebuild my strength and counteract some of the side effects of the chemo.
It’s been almost 10 years that I’ve been cancer free. I will be forever grateful to the Block Center for helping me beat cancer. If I had listened to the other doctors, I don’t think I’d be here today. This changed Beatrice’s life, too. My cancer was a wake up call to all of us that life is short, and unpredictable, and she quit practicing law and began pursuing her passions: teaching and acting.
I will never be able to thank the Block Center for what they’ve done. They gave us more than treatment and options. They gave us hope.