Michelle Morand here. I co-founded CTOAM, alongside research scientist Alex Rolland, over a decade ago. Each day we hear stories from people around the world who are struggling with cancer. So I thought it was high-time that I shared a personal story with you…about my own experience with cancer in the family.
Like a Punch in the Gut…
I had a beloved uncle who was like a father to me. He was a pianist who inspired my love of music and his sweet little dog, Inch, cemented my own love of animals. He was the family member I related to the most. I loved him dearly.
When he was diagnosed with cancer I was devastated…as was my mother, his big sister.
Determined to do everything we could to help him, my mom went to all his appointments. This doctor and that, this test and that. On and on. She would share the outcomes with me and together we would try to make sense of the information we were getting and find solutions to the lack of treatment options and to the horrible side-effects he was having.
I grew more and more frustrated because we didn’t seem to be getting anywhere.
No one ever gave us a straight answer to our growing list of questions.
Everything was vague and unknown. I was shocked, this being my first experience dealing with cancer up close and personal. We were stumbling blindly. And my uncle was in pain.
He kept getting worse. The chemo wasn’t helping either and the side effects were brutal.
Finding Evidence-based Hope
Around this time, I happened to meet a cancer research scientist named Alex Rolland.
Alex specialized in something called oncogenomics – aka the study of cancer genetics.
I shared my frustrations and fears about how my uncle was being treated and how helpless I felt…wasn’t there more we could be doing for him??
Alex listened and then did something that seemed amazing to me at the time.
He calmly explained why I was facing so many challenges with my uncle’s cancer care.
Step by step he told me what he’d learned from his decades of working with cancer patients at hospitals, and studying the newest cancer care advancements.
What I learned about healthcare
The healthcare system was behind. Too slow. They couldn’t give me real answers because they didn’t have them. Simple as that.
They didn’t know if the chemo would ever help because they didn’t even use accurate diagnostic tests in the first place. (Not their fault – it’s just the way big systems work, sadly.)
So Alex did what he does best. He sent my uncle for genetic testing to first figure out what, exactly, was driving his cancer. He analyzed the results and researched the newest targeted therapy options for him. He read all the latest studies in the top peer reviewed research journals.
Guess what? Alex found several treatments that were FDA approved and proven to be far more effective for my uncle’s case than what he’d been originally given by his doctor.
No magic, no wishful thinking. Just straight scientific proof that certain treatments would be successful in eliminating my uncle’s specific type of cancer.
Making Real Progress
Alex gave the oncologist the data that my uncle would, in fact, benefit much more from these new treatments. And the oncologist, seeing the proof and test results, gave us the new prescription. (After a bit of back and forth discussion with Alex, since oncologists are not used to stepping outside standard protocol.)
But my uncle got the better treatment after just a few weeks.
Because you can’t dispute the facts.
And doctors want to help – they just need to have confidence in the treatments they are prescribing. Confidence in the form of scientific proof.
Thanks to Alex’s research and advocacy help, my uncle got to live significantly longer than his doctor had predicted.
Most importantly, during the extra time that Precision Oncology had given him, he enjoyed a high quality of life. No chemo, no nasty side effects. He was back to himself: playing piano, relaxing with Inch (his little dog), and working on his old cars.
Had I found Alex sooner, my uncle likely would’ve lived much longer.
And had my uncle been diagnosed with cancer today, and not 10 years ago, I’m positive he’d still be alive now – given the huge advancements in medical science this past decade.
(Cancer is a time-sensitive disease. The longer you wait, the harder it is to treat effectively.)
My Life Changed Completely
After that whole experience, my life was changed. I had been through too much to ignore the reality around me – the fact that millions of other cancer patients were going through the same thing but didn’t have an ‘Alex’ in their corner to help them get better care.
From there, I offered to partner with Alex, the cancer research specialist, and Cancer Treatment Options and Management (CTOAM) was born.
I feel deeply frustrated that so many cancer patients do not have access to treatments that are available in the world, now, that would very likely save them.
Because I know how devastating having cancer in the family can be.
I lose sleep when I hear about people getting cancer treatment without first getting an accurate diagnosis.
Because I know what’s likely to happen – I know how much can go sideways, and how many important opportunities will be missed, and I know that too many lives are inadvertently being shortened by a lack of knowledge and lack of access to better diagnostic tests.
There are tests and treatments available now that can give you many more years of quality life to spend with your families. And it is my mission to make sure that cancer patients and their families – and their oncologists – know all about them.
That’s why we are here, doing our best to bridge the gap between leading edge medical science andyou, the patient on the front line. So you can access the diagnostics and treatments you need, now.
And in case you are new to our community…
We Dedicate our Lives to Cancer Care
CTOAM is, in a nutshell, a private research & advocacy servicethat specializes in precision oncology. In other words, we provide Personalized Cancer Care, using the most advanced tests and treatments available worldwide, for your cancer.
We work with cancer patients (and their oncologists) directly to get you the most accurate diagnosis and most effective treatments available.
As fast as possible, and for as little cost as possible. That is our commitment to you.
We have now been doing this work for over a decade and have helped hundreds of patients live far longer than their doctors had predicted.
We’ve also helped many patients achieve long-term remission, even from difficult stage 4 cancers and even after their oncologists told them there was no hope left.
What I want you to know is this:
There are almost always more evidence-based options than what you’ve been offered by standard care.
If you want to learn more, you can get our complimentary ebook: an essential guide to our 7 step approach for recovering from any type of cancer – using the newest technologies, treatments, and evidence-based medical science.
Just click below to get the guide for free:
➡️ “7 Steps to Getting Better Cancer Care, NOW”
I hope my personal story has helped you in some way…if only, at least, to know that you’re not alone in your struggles with this.
And now I’d love to hear from you: what is your biggest challenge or concern with cancer care right now?
Just send me an email and let me know. I look forward to hearing from you.
Until next time, stay strong and remember: knowledge is power.on October 8, 2020
Tags: Advocacy, Advocate, Cancer Care, Caregiving, Knowledge is Power, Precision Oncology