When I was growing up, one of my family members was diagnosed with an advanced cancer and eventually succumbed to the disease. It was not the outcome my family wanted, of course, but throughout the whole experience we had a fantastic care team. They were transparent and supportive, eliminating so much of the uncertainty that can make a difficult situation even worse. When it was clear that my relative was not going to recover, the team’s honesty and compassion empowered us to make the right decisions rather than pursuing futile treatments. Years later, as I went through my physician assistant training, I saw other families in similar circumstances who were not as fortunate. I decided to pursue a position in oncology so that I could offer patients and their loved ones the same kindness, clarity and expertise that was once so helpful to me.
A lot of patients and families wonder why cancer is happening to them. They wonder whether they caused it or whether something they’ve done has prompted a setback in treatment. If there’s one thing I could instill in all the people I care for, it’s this: Being diagnosed with cancer is not anyone’s fault; it’s not a punishment for something done or undone in a person’s life. Cancer is a mutation of a cell’s DNA that, for whatever reason, has been activated. It’s okay to feel upset, angry, disappointed and frustrated about the fundamental unfairness of it all. It’s natural to want answers; we just don’t always have them, which is not easy to accept. Wherever you are on the spectrum of this experience — whether your treatment is going as planned, you’re experiencing complications or you’re transitioning to end-of-life care — my team members and I are in your corner.
I am a board-certified physician assistant who provides treatment for lymphoma patients at UW Medical Center - Montlake. I make a point of understanding my patients’ goals so that I can prioritize and individualize care.
Prior to joining Fred Hutch, I was a member of the inpatient hematology service at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. My background also includes working with disabled youth and adults with neurodegenerative diseases.
Le Moyne College
Physician Assistant, 2016, National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants
We make promising new treatments available to you through studies called clinical trials led by Fred Hutch doctors. Many of these trials at Fred Hutch have led to FDA-approved treatments and have improved standards of care globally. Together, you and your doctor can decide if a study is right for you.
At Fred Hutch, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes doctors, a patient care coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like nutritionists, social workers, acupuncturists, psychiatrists and more who specialize in supporting people with cancer or blood disorders.
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