My whole career in financial services has been about creating positive experiences for other people. But I never knew how different one hospital could be from another until I came to MD Anderson for uterine cancer treatment in December 2017.
At MD Anderson, I learned how important every single person is to making a hospital great: from the parking lot attendant who greets you with a smile to the custodian who collects your trash to the server who brings you your food. Everyone at MD Anderson — no matter who it is — wants to make a difference. And that’s what makes it special.
A meaningful personal connection shaped my uterine cancer treatment
At first, I was quite resistant to the idea of seeking a second opinion at MD Anderson. My son was only 14 at the time, and I had a very busy career. I wanted to stay close to Dallas, so I could be near my family. And MD Anderson is five hours away.
But when I first made eye contact with gynecologic oncologist Dr. Michaela Onstad, I knew I was where I was supposed to be. I already felt a connection to her because I’d learned through research that we both grew up in the same part of northern California.
Then, during my first office visit, she noticed I looked scared. And instead of launching right into my diagnosis and treatment plan, she took the time to sit down next to me and say, “Let’s talk about what’s going on with you and why you’re here.”
Her approach was completely different from the first oncologist I’d seen. I could tell that Dr. Onstad wasn’t just focused on my chart or my cancer; she really cared about me as a person.
Exceptional care plus genuine caring
That kind of caring is what makes MD Anderson unique. When I was staying there after my total hysterectomy, it felt like I always got the best shift, no matter which shift it was.
And to me, the best kind of doctors are the ones who take the time to get to know their patients, so they can understand how to support them most effectively. They know that building a personal relationship with people and their families is the surest way to get complete buy-in on a treatment plan.
Dr. Onstad and my radiation oncologist, Dr. Patricia Eifel, are both that kind of doctor. Not only are they experts in their fields, they’re also people who look at patients holistically — not just the physical aspects, but the mental and emotional ones, too. I know it sounds corny, but it’s true.
What sets MD Anderson apart for cancer treatment
I had no idea MD Anderson was so large until I came to Houston with my husband for the first time. It was overwhelming to realize that there was a whole campus designed for people just like me, all fighting cancer.
As you may imagine, that first trip to MD Anderson was filled with anxiety. I had just been diagnosed with cancer, and I was unsure what was going to happen next. It was a tough trip. But, as my husband and I drove into the city, we started seeing billboards for MD Anderson everywhere. One just outside of downtown really touched me. It said, “Cancer: It’s all we do.” And that gave me confidence I was in the right place. Because I wanted to be somewhere that was 100% focused on me and my cancer. And MD Anderson was.
Everyone at MD Anderson is committed to making patients’ days just a little bit brighter. And they did just that for me — both during my treatment and at every visit since.
Request an appointment at MD Anderson online or by calling 1-877-632-6789.