True Fact: Helping your loved one battle cancer, is an incredible honor. It’s also completely overwhelming! You can grab the FREE resource that my family used to help us find enough HOPE and PERSPECTIVE to get through the storm here…
When your loved one is diagnosed with cancer, you’ll want the absolute best care and treatment possible. Memorial Sloan Kettering has all that and more…
Memorial Sloan Kettering… this place is seriously amazing.
I was silently terrified the night before my dad’s first appointment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. I actually didn’t sleep. This whole cancer business is really scary and nerve-wracking stuff.
I couldn’t even imagine what it was going to be like walking through that door. Sickness and sadness all around you, I was petrified I wouldn’t be able to handle it. It was NOTHING like I imagined.
What I didn’t expect is the amount of hope that we found at Sloan.
You hear people in the elevators talking about how this place is making it so you don’t have to get sick from chemotherapy. The doctors are offering you every single trick they have in their bag. There is so much promise coming out of this place it’s incredible.
Sloan is amazing. Their mission, “we are changing the way the world treats cancer.” I think they’re doing it on every single level… treatment, research, medical staff, care.
They are proving that cancer is not always a death sentence and you can, in fact, kick this thing’s ass.
The Heart of Sloan
The people really are the heart.
You get treated like a person here… the care is exceptional. And the staff are compassionate and phenomenal. And they are INCREDIBLE…helpful, supportive, knowledgeable and caring.
And sometimes the same people who are helping us, are also sitting with us in the waiting room.
Everyone is smiling! Everyone. True Fact, I’ve only met 2 people at Memorial Sloan Kettering that I didn’t actually care for. Balance that against the 25+ doctors and all of the staff that we have met, that’s a damn good ratio.
And not just the doctors and the nurses…everyone. The receptionists, the x-ray technicians, the shuttle drivers, the cafeteria staff, the maintenance crew, EVERYONE is amazing.
So, it got me thinking. I’m sure you can mandate a happiness policy or something.
Or you can just find and hire the people who really want to help. I can tell you right now, that if this whole experience had happened to me when I was 15, I would probably be working side by side with Dr. Veach right now. That’s how greatly this has affected me.
Whatever I can do to help the cause, I’ll do it. Nobody should have to go through this ever.
If you have any difficulties during your journey, and FYI you will…
Sloan has a 24-hour urgent care at the main hospital. It has all of the components of a hospital emergency room with a less crazy feel. The teams that we have worked with down there (we’ve used this a few times) have been fantastic.
Sloan is fully equipped to deal with all of your cancer emergencies, symptoms, and needs.
If you’re admitted overnight for further monitoring or treatment… They bring you upstairs where the care is above and beyond. The staff are incredible.
When you call to order your meal, they answer the phone as “Room Service.” They have a full menu, daily specials and a separate milkshake and smoothie menu. The first time my dad ordered, he chose 3 entrees (they actually let him have 2) and a bunch of appetizers and sides.
Then they deliver your meal dressed as a maître D. This place is a class act.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Philosophy
Quality of Life is their mission.
And they focus on it with a passion. Cancer and treatment should not rule your life. You should be doing the things the matter and you should do them while you’re feeling good.
My dad was really sick for months during this journey due to a rare syndrome called Paraneoplastic syndrome and once we were able to get everything under control…he did a 360. Suddenly, he was able to go fishing and exploring and do all of the things he had been missing.
One of the things he wanted to do was go on a cruise… and so we talked to the doctor about the possibility of waiting 6 months. His response…
Haven’t we learned anything? He feels good now, so you should do it now. Who knows what tomorrow will look like…
We left for a “last minute” cruise a few weeks later, and we had a blast.
For me, what I love the most about Sloan are the “little things”.
Your own treatment room, for example, is a small thing. My Dad did Chemotherapy in Albany. Chemo was administered in a large room where treatment was delivered to you and about 30 other people at the same time.
It wasn’t bad by any means, but it was startling the first time. It’s a room full of people all hooked up to IV’s getting treatment and being checked by nurses. By the second treatment, you’re used to it and that’s just the way it’s done.
So, we were really surprised (and thrilled) during our first treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering because we had our own treatment room! You would not believe what a difference that makes to your comfort.
Sloan makes it super easy on us to get the best treatment possible.
We live 2 hours away. Since our very first visit, they have gone above and beyond to minimize trips for us. They squeeze us in and maneuver things around so that we can make as few trips as possible. They rearrange and fit everything into the appointments we have.
They work with us to make sure that we can get what we need.
The drawback of Memorial Sloan Kettering
It can be really difficult sometimes to get a callback. If you’ve spent any time in their waiting rooms like we do, you’ll know why. They are packed… busy treating patients all the time.
If you call for an emergency or side effect that is significant, they will call you back. But, unless it is a serious emergency, it probably won’t be until the end of the day. And, if you call for non-emergency information, you’ll be waiting for a while.
We just plan for that and try to take care of any issues that we have while we are there. It makes things easier.
What would make Memorial Sloan Kettering unstoppable (in my opinion)
All of the doctors read each other notes, but I feel like bi-weekly or even monthly team meetings where all cases involving multiple doctors meet together and discuss the best approaches, special issues, treatment, etc. would be seriously beneficial.
Most people probably are not as complicated as we are, we have literally worked with up to 5-7 doctors at a time.
This would give everyone the opportunity to provide input on what the best approaches would be… including our current status, hey… he’s doing good! Let that man enjoy his time!
If you’re looking for great treatment, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center should be your first stop. We are now 15 months into our Cancer Journey and they have made it so much easier for us than we ever thought possible. That makes all the difference.
What do you LOVE about Memorial Sloan Kettering?
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