The Patient, The Person at the Center of my Care

By Maria McClatchie, RN

In October, I will be running the Chicago marathon.  I’m not a runner, but was inspired by my friend, Richard, to join the SCIS (Spinal Cord Injury Sucks) team and commit to raise money for spinal cord injury cure research, as well as awareness of the devastation that spinal cord injuries can cause.

Unfortunately, I am running not only in honor of Richard, but in memory of him, as Richard passed from complications of quadriplegia last February.

I was part of the care team who got to know Richard during the months he spent at OU Medical center following a spinal cord injury which left him paralysed from the chest down.  He shared with me  the things he loved before his injury, how he lived an active and full life while teaching others to do the same. 

I’d like to share with you this short story about Richard and what may be learned from the patient who is  at the center of our care.

Richard was admitted to the Trauma ICU May 5th 2010 following a bike accident which fractured his neck and injured his spinal cord. I remember the first two days with him very clearly. Naturally he was [...] continue the story

The Real Face of MS

By Laura September 3, 2011

Do you grow weary of hearing the inspirational tales of people who have MS but still conquer the world? Do you have trouble identifying with the athlete who just ran, swam or biked across the world in the face of MS or the person who climbs into the ring with a raging bull and emerges with the championship belt? The list of motivational speakers includes a wide variety of talents and skills and they mean well, but it can be difficult, if not impossible to relate to their message.

It’s a mystery why this disease affects all of us differently and I don’t begrudge those people who appear to have benign Multiple Sclerosis – that mild disease that may not even need to be treated. Kudos to them being able to continue living life to its fullest, setting lofty goals and working hard to achieve them and I certainly don’t want to take away from their successes, but I have trouble relating to these super-patients. Their normal of living with Multiple Sclerosis doesn’t compare to the normal of the numerous people I know who have this same disease.

The best human interest stories and [...] continue the story

Samantha Eisenstein Watson

Samantha Eisenstein Watson, who survived Ewing sarcoma and secondary myelodysplastic syndrome, asks, “Who am I without cancer?” She learned, “I am somebody with cancer. I am somebody without cancer.”

A letter from Jonny Imerman

I am a testicular cancer survivor. I was born in Saginaw, Michigan, in 1975. When I was just a baby, my parents divorced, and we moved to a suburb of Detroit called Bloomfield Hills. I attended Cranbrook Kingswood School from kindergarten through high school. After graduation, I moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan. After college, I returned to the Detroit area. I worked during the day while earning an MBA from Wayne State University at night.

Suddenly, one Thursday morning in October 2001, my busy world came to a standstill. At 26 years old, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. I couldn’t believe it, so I went to another doctor for a second opinion. He confirmed that I had cancer. The testicle was the epicenter of the disease. I went right into surgery. My left testicle was removed. Although the surgery went well, my visits to the doctor did not stop there. It soon became clear that the cancer had spread (“metastasized”) from the testicle. The disease was making its way up my body. The form of testicular cancer I had was a “non-seminoma.” That means it was a mixture of many different types of cancer cells, as opposed to a “seminoma” tumor, [...] continue the story