Annual Meeting Coverage: Visionary Triads | Eijean Wu, MD, MPP
The SGO coat of arms has occupied the main stage since the start of the annual meeting. Inadvertently, it lends gravity to the photos of award recipients and keynote speakers, a fitting backdrop to documents of conference highlights.
Annual Meeting Coverage: ACS Lecturer Edward Partridge, MD | B.J. Rimel, MD
Edward E. Partridge, MD, Director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Comprehensive Cancer Center and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was the invited American Cancer Society lecturer this year at the SGO Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer. His talk is clearly one of the highlights of this year’s very exciting meeting.
Off to the SGO Annual Meeting! | Erin Stevens, MD
As I write this, I’m packing for the Society of Gynecologic Oncology’s Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer in Los Angeles, CA. I’m packing at the last minute, not because I’m not excited about the upcoming meeting – I always look forward seeing my friends and colleagues, learning about the newest research and taking in some nicer weather. I just don’t like packing. But in the wee hours of Friday morning, I’ll meet up with my former senior fellow Tana Shah Pradhan, DO, at the airport and we’ll head from the city that never sleeps to the home of glitz and glamour for the next five days.
The Support You Need | Dee Sparacio
When I was in chemotherapy treatment in 2005, I was seated next to many different men and women with cancer. We chatted and shared magazines and book recommendations but not one woman I spoke to had a gynecologic cancer diagnosis. I really wanted to find other women who could relate to what I was going through—the early menopause, fatigue, joint pain, neuropathy and hair loss.
Worldly Influence | Ebony Hoskins, MD
This is a guest blog based on Dr. Hoskins’ experiences with Health Volunteers Overseas.
As a fellow, I recalled receiving an email from the SGO asking for volunteers to travel overseas to work with medical professionals caring for gynecologic oncology patients. That email sparked my interest, however due to the time constraints of fellowship I did not participate. I knew as an early career gynecologic oncologist that I wanted to expand my clinical interests beyond the United States borders.
A Letter to My Patients: Promises Part 2 | Erin Stevens, MD
This is Part 2 of an excerpt of a speech I gave at the Stony Brook University Hospital’s Gynecologic Oncology Candlelight Ceremony in September 2012.
I promise to remember who my patients are. My patients are women, just like myself. And women spend most of their lives nurturing those around them, putting others first. This makes cancer a very humbling disease. Being diagnosed with cancer means reaching out to others nurturing while you are putting yourself first. It is a time when you must be at least a little selfish, which is extraordinarily difficult for most women.
‘Is my chemotherapy vegan?’ | B.J. Rimel, MD
“Is my chemotherapy vegan?”
Despite my 12 years of post-graduate training, I was completely floored by this question. To be honest, my initial response was not what it could have been.
“I have no earthly idea,” I said, in my best doctor voice. I left the clinic feeling completely incredulous that anyone with a life-threatening cancer would care if their chemo was in any way associated with animal products. As a new attending, I initially felt righteous that I had not given in to a long discussion about non-evidence based treatments, and instead steered our conversation back to symptom management, dosing schedule and a review of the side effects she was likely to experience.
‘It is Unfathomable’ | Leigh Seamon, DO, MPH, FACOG
As oncologists, we routinely discuss proposed treatments, side effects and prognoses with patients and families. But, what happens when you or your family faces the “terrible C?” Part of the healing process for me is sharing my aunt’s story. What follows is the tribute that I recently made at her funeral and by far the most difficult speech that I have ever prepared or given.
Apparently, I knew Elizabeth even prior to my birth—she was Aunt Libby. My sister, Krista, and I have very fond memories of the times we spent with her. There were ice skating and wave pool trips, movies, Easter egg and Christmas cookie decorating, totally cool summer camps at her apartment, many vacations and even a few trips to Disney.
New Year’s Aspirations | Dee Sparacio
On January 1, 2006, when I was in treatment for ovarian cancer, I decided that I wouldn’t make resolutions anymore. Why? Because there were only two things I aspired to do, finish chemo and live! Since then I have made aspirations for each new year. For me setting these goals is my way of looking forward to the year ahead and how to make my life, however long it might be, better.
In the past, I aspired to complete chemotherapy treatments for my recurrence (2009), raise money for ovarian cancer research at my cancer center (2012), write more frequently on my blog (2011) and travel more (every year).
This year, I have a few new aspirations.
Wound Healing | Eijean Wu, MD, MPP
Maria was one of my luckier patients, someone with a solid support system and safe home. She came into the hospital for a relatively small surgery. Her concerned family drilled me with questions.
“How is her wound?”
“It’s looking pink and clean, just like it should.”
“Is abuelita in pain?”
“I think the morphine is helping. Her face is peaceful.”