Having spent most of my life in Show Business, I have gotten to do a lot of fun things. One of them was when I was a young, twenty-two year old stage manager at the San Bernardino Civic Light Opera which back then about an hour and a half drive east of Los Angeles. The production was of the not-so-well-known musical Li’l Abner, of the comic strip fame. However, the production starred the VERY well-known Joe Namath in the title role.
I believe he was about thirty-eight years old at the time and he had done a couple of other musicals in the Midwest prior to our production. While he may not have been called “Broadway Joe” for his musical theater talents, he was decent in the role and he sure packed in the audience.
He was also one of the nicest guys you would ever want to work with. He respected the business and everyone else in the show, even the actress who had to carry around a little pig at every performance. Show Business – go figure!
Every time I would go into his dressing room after the show, he had his feet up and ice packs on his knees. But we would talk through the show in detail because he was always striving to improve his performance.
And I will never forget seeing the line of women outside the stage door after every performance, just wanting to see Joe and get his autograph. Broadway Joe comes to San Bernardino.
My oncologist in Norfolk is part of a large practice called Virginia Oncology. I’m not sure, but I think they are part of a national chain of oncology practices. I don’t think there is anything worse on your nerves than going to an oncology office, especially for the first time. The fear of the unknown combined with the feeling like the waiting room is a crowded bus terminal can be pretty overwhelming.
All of that being said, I am extremely happy with my oncologist and his level of expertise in the field. Even though he really knows his stuff and stays current with all of the advancements in my types of cancer, he has never hesitated to suggest I get second opinions or even have complicated procedures performed at the Duke Cancer Center, which is only a three hour drive away. I realize how lucky I am to have such a great doctor and I know that not everyone in my circumstance can say the same thing.
If you are going through cancer treatments, DO NOT settle for care that you don’t feel good about. Just because they are the ones wearing the white coats doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to the care and treatment that you deserve. This includes talking with you in language you can understand and spending time with you until you fully understand what is going on.
If you need to find a doctor near you who specializes in Multiple Myeloma or Leukemia, these websites can be a great help:
The International Myeloma Foundation: https://www.myeloma.org/are-you-newly-diagnosed
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation: https://themmrf.org/multiple-myeloma/resources/
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society: http://www.lls.org/
I cannot stress it enough, DO NOT settle for insufficient care. We really don’t get second chances with our situations, so you have to be your own best advocate!