I was diagnosed with Hepato Splenic T-cell Lymphoma, I went through multiple rounds of chemotherapy and then had a bone marrow transplant.
I was diagnosed with Hepato Splenic T-cell Lymphoma, I went through multiple rounds of chemotherapy and then had a bone marrow transplant. After my transplant I had many complications including Chronic GVHD. So I came to Sylvester to seek the best treatment options for my Chronic GVHD. When I arrived I met with Dr. Wang and he suggest I start Extra Corporeal Photpheresis. I have now been doing ECP here for over a year. Sylvester has changed my life by making my treatment fun. No one likes to go to the hospital and get treatment. But the team in the Photopheresis unit are on another level. My nurses in the unit, Carmen, Jesus, Sergio, and Lily are the best. They make me feel at home when I come in for my treatment. Sylvester means so much to me, it is a place of expertise, knowledge and love. My hope for the future is to be cured of my disease and to go on and help others. Cancer care and research will change the future by allowing patients to receive the best and least harmful treatment options.
THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE.
In early 2020 I was diagnosed with NUT Carcinoma a very rare and aggressive type of cancer. Everyone who has been diagnosed with NUT carcinoma has probably heard that there is no clear treatment for it. It's very new. Prognosis is not very optimistic and early research doesn't give you a very nice picture either. But I want everyone to know that THERE IS HOPE and I am proof of it.
I was very fortunate to land on an amazing team at the University of Miami. My ENT doctor along with my oncologists and ophthalmologists work together to find not only an immediate treatment but also a cure that can go past that.
I did my surgery, my chemo, my radio, all together and my doctors at the Sylvester Cancer Center were amazing in contacting other organizations and pharmaceuticals that are also researching and looking for a cure for this rare cancer. It has been almost two years now that I'm on a clinical trial at the Sylvester Cancer Center with BMS 986158, a BET Inhibitor from Bristol Myers Squibb.
It takes time, and it's not an easy process, but it can be done. And there are a lot of people there that want to help you, so please talk to your oncologist about joining an already-running clinical trial.
They might even help you get access to the medicines for compassionate use if not.
I'm not in remission but I'm stable. 2 years, 8 months, and counting...
Believe me that every MRI that shows that I am stable, and stable is a good word, is proof that there is hope for me and for everyone.
Talk to your doctor about Clinical Trails options. Really, do it, do it now.
Cancer Fighter – Clinical Research Participant. Cancer Survivor
I was so privileged to have Dr. Eli Avisa as my Surgical Oncologist at Sylvester Cancer Center, Deerfield Beach. He was very thorough and compassionate during my ordeal in 2015. Sylvester means a lot to me because of the doctors on my team and their curative care. I received an expected skin reaction from my Radiation Therapy that resolved with appropriate management, but Dr. Laura Freedman and Dr. Vivek Patel made me feel comfortable going through the 30 sessions of therapy.
It is quite possible that my team at Sylvester did more than change my life, they may have saved my life. I was diagnosed with a rare sarcoma 700 miles from Miami but thankfully found my way to Dr. Jonathan Trent and Dr. Alan Livingstone at Sylvester after realizing that my local doctors did not adequately understand the disease.
Sylvester means the opportunity to live and I have great hope for the future with my cancer because I know that this team “has my back”. Research is vital and even more so when dealing with a rare cancer.
My cancer community needs more treatment options and I appreciate and support the research conducted at Sylvester specifically for GIST. Without research, there is no future.
Throughout my experience being treated with breast cancer, I realized there was consistency in care. I received treatment at Sylvester main, Kendall, and Lennar Medical Center. At each location, the staff and medical team were always welcoming. I did most treatments at the Kendall location, and everyone knew my name. They asked about my daughter, who went away to college shortly after I began chemotherapy. With all the patients they had, it warmed my heart for them to know me!
I feel Sylvester provides an array of treatment options and services from diagnosis to survivorship. There are various clinical trials available especially when traditional procedures are not an option. Plus, there are complimentary services like acupuncture!
As a 3-Time Cancer survivor of Stage 4 Hodgkin's lymphoma and Stem Cell transplant recipient in 2016, I have been truly blessed to have had the opportunity to be treated right here in my hometown at the UM Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. I’ve been through it all! Blood tests, CTs, pet scans, biopsies (spine, chest, & marrow), transfusions, radiation, chemo, stem cell transplant and through it all, the UM Sylvester family was there for me and my family.
Through all my treatment & my various relapses, I never lost my faith in God, in my family, and in my new UM Sylvester family. Because of my wonderful experience at UM, I have had the honor to help other survivors and their caregivers through our Patient & Family Advisory Council & many other volunteer and support opportunities. I have referred many friends & family to UM Sylvester and look forward to many more.
May God bless you, your family, and may God continue to bless “OUR” UM Sylvester Cancer Center Family🙏🏻
In May 2018, Dr. Lossos from Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, diagnosed me with advanced Follicular Lymphoma –the cancer had spread throughout my body except the brain. It was the beginning of a 3-year battle with cancer and after a bone marrow transplant, I reached remission. The oncologists, Dr. Lossos and Dr. Lekakis, went above and beyond to make my experience comfortable during my struggles with extensive chemotherapy and awful side-effects. They became part of my family, the care and attention to detail, earned them my complete trust. The support team, consisting of other specialists like Psychiatrist, Nutritionist, Physical therapist, Psychologist, among others, as well as the nurses, created the right caring environment for me to find the strength to beat the disease.
Even at my lowest point when I was about to lose my house, Sylvester came to the rescue. The center assigned a social worker to work with Miami-Dade's Legal Aid to find a lawyer willing to represent me for free to address my legal issues while I continued my treatment. I was blessed with Attorney Jason Bloch, who made sure I did not lose my house, giving me back the strength to focus on the treatment. If I did not have this additional support, the stress of losing my house during the treatment would have killed me. The team Sylvester put together to care for me, provided a holistic approach to ensure that I had the wherewithal to survive not only death but the most banal misfortunes that afflict cancer survivors: economic struggles from not working during and post treatment. I’ve never encountered another hospital like Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center –they truly care deeply about repairing the lives of cancer patients.
I never truly realized how life can completely change overnight. When I moved five years ago, I was very excited to start a life here in Miami, but this new life turned out to be a significant challenge.
In 2017, at 14 years old, I was diagnosed with AML Leukemia in a very advanced stage. I had to start treatment right away and before I knew it, I was in a hospital bed having no idea of what would happen next. After a few rounds of chemotherapy treatment, in May 2018, thanks to the incredible generosity of an unrelated donor, I had a Bone Marrow Transplant. As you can imagine, all this process signified a drastic change in my everyday life. It entailed having to spend months in a hospital bed, barely being able to walk, and going through countless surgeries. But, despite everything, I always had the support of my family, friends, doctors, and nurses, and I know I couldn’t have done it without them. Doctors, nurses, and the whole medical team were with me through it all, and even though my life was on hold for two years, I was never alone.
This life experience has changed my perspective towards life and taught me that the future is uncertain, and the present is a true gift. This is me right now, enjoying every moment of life, hoping that in the way I get to help others with this experience and learnings.
My Sylvester oncologist, Dr. Weiss, found me when I needed him the most. I received my cancer diagnosis at 2 am in the ER after going in for back pain. I was scared and overwhelmed and didn’t know where to turn to. The compassionate, knowledgeable care and support I received from our first meeting gave me hope and saved my life. Overall, I couldn’t imagine going through treatment anywhere but Sylvester. I also received amazing support and guidance from my oncologist's partner Dr. Sabir. The theme of compassionate care was carried out by many of the nurses who brought joy during a dark time. The multiple locations were close to my house, so I never had to worry about scheduling treatments even on the weekend. And the additional services like nutrition, physical therapy, and massage therapy all supported me in my recovery.
I’m nine months out of treatment and thriving! I’m back doing the things that I love; I took up rock climbing after treatment and just completed my first 45’ ascent! Without the continued support of Sylvester, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. I'm so grateful for my treatment team and all the work that they do.
Dr. Hosein and Dr. Livingston were the most professional and caring doctors I have ever met. The entire team was always very helpful and loving.
I chose UM because I trust the university. I worked there for over 30 years, and it is like my second home. The experience at Sylvester is unbelievable. So many years of research and patient care make a difference.
Everything changed when I went to Sylvester. My health changed. I was a stage 4 pancreatic cancer patient, and now I am cancer-free. If you do everything doctors tell you at Sylvester, you have a great chance to do well. The primary reason is that Sylvester has the best team of doctors, nurses, social workers, and medical staff in the world. You can trust their expertise and treatment. With faith and Sylvester, you can do it.
My experience overall is incredible. They saved my life. I am here because of the glory of God and Sylvester. May God always bless the University of Miami.
The healthcare professionals at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center are caring, compassionate, knowledgeable, kind and patient. Those characteristics help so much during my 8-year-old son Jake’s cancer treatment. The child-life specialists really went out of their way to make each appointment comfortable for Jake. They brought gifts and activities for Jake to use while he got his chemo. It helped him take his mind off the uncomfortableness. We are so grateful to everyone who works at Sylvester for the amazing level of care and compassion.
I conquered breast cancer at Sylvester because they offered me comprehensive care lead by my Oncologist Dr. Carmen Calfa along with her outstanding team. I’m truly living my best life as a survivor because of their knowledge, skill, research, care, and kindness. Sylvester not only makes every patient feel like family, they truly are a comprehensive cancer center!
My journey started 11/2017 when I went to my gynecologist for my annual exam and was told my pap smear showed cancer cells. I contacted the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Division of Gynecologic Oncology and was given an appointment with Dr. Joseph Pearson. He ordered more test and determined that yes, I had cervical cancer. At first, I could not believe this was happening. I thought it was very surreal, from working for the division of gynecologic oncology to then becoming a patient.
Throughout this experience, Dr. Joseph Pearson and Dr. Lorraine Portelance were the best. I could not have asked for two better doctors. Their staff and the nurses were all so helpful. My treatment ended in March 2018, and as of now, I am still in remission. I would recommend Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center to anyone who is going through this experience. The care, and the willingness to answer any question or concerns, it was just amazing. All I have to say is, thank you.
I feel great! Absolutely Fabulous!!! I feel the same way I felt before the diagnosis. I feel my ambition has returned and my drive to get into real estate and enjoy my hobbies of fishing, flying drones, and repairing and programming computers. All my life’s pleasures have come back now and have returned times 3, and this time with Supreme Purpose!!!
I am so sincerely grateful for my Supreme Dream Team - Dr. Dr. Nkiruka, Ezenwajiaku (Dr. NK), my Oncologist, Dr. Aaron Wolfson, my Radiologist, and last but definitely not least, Dr. Laurence Sands, my Surgeon. Without the 3 of them, more than likely, I would not be speaking this way at all. The Most High guided each of their brains/hands to allow me to beat my Cancer diagnosis and for this I am FOREVER GRATEFUL!
What it means to be a survivor— It means that, number one, I should be encouraging to those who have not yet been screened and diagnosed with Cancer. It also means that I must be a sincere listener in addition to encouraging individuals to accept things that their doctor says as gospel and to take action - IMMEDIATELY!!! So, to me, the action part is the most important part because one can sit, study and research as much as one wants, but nothing will happen on a positive plateau until one takes that step. Please, take that first step now! Don’t delay! Because unlike a Lifeguard, the life you save may be your own…
Stay tuned for my Non-Profit Organization, Book and short film on my journey with Cancer.