Stage 4 Turbulence: A Chance Encounter on a Flight to Tahiti

Nov 27, 2023 6:27 am

In the early 2000s, after I completed chemotherapy, we decided to embark on another trip to Tahiti. A couple of hours after takeoff from LAX, I got bored and wandered to the rear of the 747 cabin. Back there was a small podium with newspapers and magazines. Soon I was joined by a fellow passenger. We chatted for a while. He was an oncologist from City of Hope cancer center in Duarte, CA, and was staying at the same resort in Tahiti as my wife and I. I related my recent chemo adventure, radiation treatments, surgeries, and the mutated thyroid cancer I was still stuck with. He said, "I know your case, you're Dan and your oncologist at Hoag is Dr. V." I was like... whoa. Turns out my oncologist had presented my case before a tumor board. That's where oncologists from many hospitals present their toughest cases and seek opinions about treatment options. Because I had survived so long with both lungs full of tumors and the cells would no longer uptake iodine, he said my case was very interesting. I wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not. I told him, "That's why I'm on this trip." Chemo did nothing, and no treatments were left I could try.

At the resort, he always came over to say hi, tell me the tours he took with his wife. Really nice guy. I'll bet he would be surprised to find out I'm still around nearly 20 years later.

Livin' large with a stoma.

Nov 27, 2023 11:04 am

Miracles never cease! That's a wonderful thing! Glad you are still around! God bless 😊

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Nov 27, 2023 11:43 am

Thank you for sharing, and thank you for continuing to make every single day count!

Nov 27, 2023 12:37 pm
Reply to Hairdresser

Great story & truly inspirational

Go well & stay well 😊

Nov 27, 2023 1:13 pm

What a great story. Thanks for sharing!

Stories of Living Life to the Fullest from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
Morning glory
Nov 27, 2023 2:10 pm

Joining the chorus to a great story. I am happy that you don't let anything stop you from enjoying your life. That is an inspiration to us all to make every day count. My doctor told me I had made the books too; somehow, I didn't feel complimented. Now I hope my case has helped many.

Nov 27, 2023 3:57 pm

Well... considering my doctor told me I gave him backaches for 2 weeks, due to nearly 8 hours of surgery... yours feels more like a compliment! :D

But he's a grumpy, very competent doctor who saved me, and he said so smirking and satisfied about a job well done... heheh

Dec 04, 2023 4:22 pm

That's what the doctors at the hospital I went to do... they all get together and review each case, coming up with a β€œgroup” decision on what's the best treatment for each patient.