Zaherali L. (Z) & Wife Danisha L. Share Their Experience

Diagnosed: May 27, 2014 with stomach cancer

From a patient interview on Sept. 5, 2014

Z, Sarcoma Patient“Z” went to his doctor thinking he had a stomach ulcer. After examination, Z learned he was in the very primary stages of stomach (gastric) cancer. Since the cancer was localized, it was possible to operate. Z had surgery on June 25 to remove the diseased area. A follow-up biopsy revealed that one lymph node had a very minor positive, and Z was referred to Dr. Chawla for further treatment.

He is now on his second round of chemo and will have five to six rounds in total. Z had some side effects from the first round of chemo so he was prescribed a new medicine for the second round and he’s doing well. Dr. Chawla and his team researched a new method of how to apply this new drug and Z has not experienced any side effects.

Z and Danish share their personal story of Z’s experiences with the Sarcoma Oncology Center:

Z: One thing I really appreciate is you boys don’t stop at any point. You just keep on going until you find the right solution. More important than anything else.

One of the things I was going to say is I feel that in every profession there is level of ethics. When I came to this place, I realized that this is truly the highest order of ethics. And the other thing I’d like to say, I’ve been through treatments in other places and I see that you guys have a tightly linked communication.

I understand the industry has become very compliant, but at some time you need to know the patient is the priority. You (Sarcoma Center) allow great flexibility and accommodate the patient. Bottom line, the priority is the patient.

One of the things that I’ll share with you, yesterday I had an opportunity to talk to a few of the patients. Because you are sitting around for 3 to 4 hours, you get started making friends and get talking to people. I don’t see sick people here, everybody seems to be really really happy here.

I’ll share my experience as a patient. I thought mine was the more severe, serious, very more devastating cancer I had. But when I came here and heard their stories, then I’m nothing, practically nothing compared to what people are going through and I look at how positive they are. It picked up my own feelings.

They work as a team here. They help each other, they pass information to each other. There is nothing that you really need, they sense it. Dr. Chawla and Dr. Kumar, they were sitting with us. They emphasized the whole process exactly from the beginning to the end. They were telling me things that I had forgotten.

I keep on insisting that I’m not sick. I bet you all the patients will tell you Dr. Chawla spends time with them makes sure that he touches them. The fact is how they apply it, what kind of emphasis they put, on whom are they delivering it and how they’re delivering it. I learned my service field from a previous job, and I am very sensitive to good service. The service here brings meaning and comfort to you.

Danisha: Every single patient is treated so nicely. It’s so comfortable over here. You go to other places, there are so many formalities, so stern and all that. It really makes a difference. It makes you feel so comfortable. They treat you like family.

We’ve been lucky to find a good team. They’re so good they call me at home. Once Dr. Chawla called me, and he said, ‘How is he doing?’ Doctor, he’s not doing too well today, he’s very nauseated. Dr. Chawla said, ‘ Why didn’t you call me? Why are you down playing it? You’re supposed to me call immediately.’ They take so much care here. It’s amazing.

He (referring to Z) is retired. He’s doing so many jobs at home. He doesn’t take a break, and keeps saying ‘I’m not sick.’