I went to Mass General after being diagnosed with Stage III cancer elsewhere. I was seeking compassion and encouragement as well as a second opinion.
I felt good arriving at Yawkey. I liked its size and its views of Beacon Hill — a reminder of life beyond cancer.
The doctors I met with — John Clark, MD; Dan Deschler, MD, and Paul Busse, MD, PhD — were well-versed in what was going on with me. Unlike the doctors who had diagnosed me, who had the air of scientists, these physicians were both well-informed and personable. They confirmed the diagnosis, but injected encouragement in their explanation of the difficult days to come.
‘I am on this case like a laser,’ Dr. Deschler (pictured right) assured me. Dr. Busse (pictured left) described the complexity of radiotherapy while focusing on me rather than the machines. Dr. Clark (pictured center), my oncologist, quickly expanded our conversation to include other matters than cancer. He’s been my physician and friend. He never made me feel that he had to hurry to the next patient, although I’m sure on many days he did.
These doctors obliterated my tumor and then supported me in the years after treatment. They helped me to have optimistic but realistic expectations about life after cancer.
— Tom Hamilton