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Defeating Cancer and Giving Back

September 1, 2015

David Kaye's story, in his own words.

In 2010, I was diagnosed with stage 3 throat cancer. My local primary care physician referred me to Dr. Califano at the Dance Center at GBMC.

In preparation for my treatment, Dr. Califano admitted me to GBMC to perform several procedures: a relocation of my left salivary gland from the submandibular to under my chin, a surgical biopsy and the insertion of a feeding tube.

I was then referred to Dr. Mei Tang, a medical oncologist at GBMC, for chemotherapy and Dr. Eva Zinreich for radiation therapy. I received radiation twice daily for seven weeks and chemotherapy weekly. During this entire time, I was always amazed at the level of care and caring given by the GBMC staff.

I never felt so physically miserable in my entire life. I was extremely fatigued and was losing weight at an alarming rate, but the GBMC staff found a way to stabilize my weight loss and made plenty of valuable suggestions to ease many of my symptoms. Having served 25 years in the U.S. Army, I had no problems following the medical staff's orders.

I am elated because I was at GBMC on November 25, 2014, and am still cancer-free.

Because I am cancer-free, I decided to add some new dimensions to my life. I now devote a great deal of time to volunteering with the American Cancer Society. I speak at many of their fund raising events, especially Relay for Life events. In my mind, speaking as a survivor represents hope for cancer patients. I am committed to helping others struggling with cancer and hope to make a positive impact on as many lives as I can.
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