My late daughter, an MD Fellow in Oncology and Hematology at UCSF, presented with stage 4 gastric adenocarcinoma. Her wonderful mentor and oncologist, Dr. Alan Venook, stated at the very outset that she would be under palliative care because of the stage she presented at. UCSF has a fantastic integrative oncology program and that program and her attitude to continue her Fellowship and treat her oncology patients allowed Rachel to stay active, happy and productive for approximately 1.75 years from diagnosis. Today is the 2nd anniversary of her death at home.
Besides having consults on her diet, she had access to medical marijuana, and the help and love of her co-Fellows and attendings at UCSF. She was able to continue working and treating her patients and allowed to manage her time after chemo treatments and procedures (including total gastrectomy). The value of good palliative care was obvious to all who knew her.
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