I am a physician who has been a competitive and solo athlete all my life. My iPhone tells me that, despite being in the ultimate year of my 70s, I averaged over three miles a day of running in 2019. The year 2020 was quite different!
Starting in January 2020, I experienced what was at first subtle but then quickly progressive bone pain, nerve tingling, profound weakness, and easy fatiguability. I saw my primary care physician. She ordered exams and then referred me to a local oncologist, who, on February 24th, told me I had multiple myeloma. What he did not tell me until four months later, and I was now out of the (those very dark) woods, but I had been on death’s door. His words. He said he would welcome me into his care.
Being a guy who dots his Is and crosses his Ts and who sensed that I needed the best possible care I could find, I scrutinized the WWW to seek what I needed. That’s all that I did for a day. It would be an understatement to say I was lucky or fortunate that I saw Dr Berenson’s website. I immediately knew that he would be an excellent fit for me and that I was unlikely to receive better care anywhere.
I phoned Dr Berenson’s office that day and given an appointment one day later at 6:30 AM. I could hardly believe it. When I got to his office, it was staffed only by Dr B and his receptionist, Susan. Other staff came in later. After a thorough, head-to-toe physical exam and an in-depth interrogation of my life’s story, he drilled my iliac bone to extract marrow and initiated my IV therapy. He gave me a personalized set of instructions for how my care should proceed. He does not let the grass grow under his feet when providing personal, excellent care to his patients.
I could say it was a dream come true, but I think of it as a nightmare turned into a beautiful dream, and I am alive to tell the tale. By the way, having taken many spills while running, I have given that up in exchange for brisk walking. With ease, I now walk four to five miles every other day.
Dr B has hand-tailored my care to attack my illness and meet my needs. There is no doubt in my mind that he has been able to do this because of the groundbreaking work that is ongoing at the IMBCR. This research also helps physicians worldwide to take better care of their patients, which makes me feel good.
I am alive because of his treatment. I tell people that, “If I didn’t know I have cancer, I wouldn’t know I was sick.”
My most profound appreciation goes to Jim Berenson, IMBCR, and BCC.