Praise given to modern medicine

It was five years ago and after a long and intensive surgery. The surgeon approached me to tell me that the result of the biopsy of the tumor between my vertebrates was, indeed, multiple myeloma. Since I had never heard that term, I innocently asked him if that was a form of cancer. “Yes it is,” he responded and with an assuring smile he added, “Don’t worry. This is a type of cancer that has been extensively researched and there are many treatments available, and I will assure you that you will live a long and healthy life.”

And sure enough, after months of at times stressful and exasperating chemotherapy treatments, I was on my feet again. What a joy. I was in full remission. Since then, I had returned to work, performing my duties and enjoying life to its fullest. A common joke from my oncologist, after each monthly visit, was that I was becoming one of her “most boring patients.” What a great compliment and reassurance that I was free of cancer. And she concluded the visit by saying; “You’re good, have fun, eat well, exercise and see you in a month.” 

But then, out of nowhere, the phone rang and it was my oncologist. She had noticed fluctuations and inconsistencies in the way my white cells were uncontrollably multiplying. These malignant cells, if not attended to immediately, would cause dire consequences. It was suggested I check into hospital. Suddenly, my five years of remission were rudely interrupted.

Cancer, in the consciousness of the general public, has many facets. The reaction varies depending on how personally one is affected by the disease. But through commercials on TV or individual postings on social media, cancer at times has been portrayed as a foreign enemy that has by all means to be “beaten.” But within my first few days back at the hospital, I realized that cancer is part of me. It is part of my make-up and being. At times even its causes are unknown and remain a mystery. Any abnormal mutation of a cell might trigger the formation of cancerous cells. This was an eye-opener and I began to accept this as an opportunity to educate myself with the intricacies and complexity of my own illness. 

It is amazing to realize that even in a short time, between my first diagnosis of multiple myeloma and the current relapse, medical science has advanced exponentially. Only five years, and so many new approaches, disciplines, effective solutions and non-intrusive medicine have been introduced to the field. A whole new mindset, about what cancer represents, its inner workings, how it behaves, how it projects itself with its various forms, and how ultimately to cure this formidable disease has been for the medical professionals a pursuit of perfection at its highest levels. Under the watchful eyes of medical professionals and medical technicians, no cell, no plasma and no chromosome has now a chance to act secretly in the dark and cause harm. Their behaviors are recorded, documented and meticulously studied to ensure that a particular medicine or a treatment will precisely affect the area of the body affected by cancer.

My current treatment is not complete yet and I still have a long road ahead of me. I’m told that I’ll be the recipient of additional radiation and chemotherapy, which I know from previous experience will cause distress, tiredness and fatigue. But I firmly believe that I am in good hands and feel extremely fortunate to be living at a time when medical science is at its highest point. What medical professionals are able to achieve these days would be considered nothing short of a miracle only a few decades ago.

And as I enter the hospital to receive my prescribed treatments, my heart is filled with great admiration and gratitude toward the physicians, oncologists, doctors, surgeons, PAs, RNs, radiology techs and nurses whose main objective is to help patients like me live a long and healthy life! 


Varoujan Froundjian is a graphic designer, Photoshop artist, writer, cartoonist, information technology and wine expert who also drives a limousine for local livery. He can be reached at varoujanfroundjian@gmail.com.