Beginning of the walk

I participated in Heat it to Beat It today, and I thought it was phenomenal!  Initially I was told 250 were expected to participate, then 300….I think over 400 showed up!  For a first time event, I was SO impressed.  They had a DJ, warm up dancing before the walk, lots of refreshments, a beautiful walk along the Inner Harbor and lots offered after (chair massages, acupuncture etc.).  Part of the focus of the walk was to raise awareness for the newer treatments for peritoneal surface malignancies; cancers from multiple sources (appendix, colon, ovarian etc.) that spread into the abdomen that were and are still sometimes considered “terminal” on diagnosis by much of the medical community.  I was one who was  considered terminal on diagnosis by a renowned university hospital in a major city, a hospital known for it’s great cancer care…but I am a nine year survivor.  I am a survivor only because I did my research and self-referred to a specialist 750 miles from my home.  Many patients who receive cytoreduction surgery and intraperitoneal chemotherapy survive for many years….but much of the medical community is unfamiliar with this treatment.  Insurance companies unfamiliar with the treatment don’t want to cover it.  We need to change that.  I get emotional every time I think that I got to raise my kids to adulthood after initially being told I would abandon them while they were still in grade school.

I loved getting to meet Dr. Sardi.  I truly admire him as he is willing to take on even those of us with massive disease and high grade tumors, the “tough” cases…not everyone, not even all specialists, will.  I am a nurse so also understand that the HIPEC specialists could have much easier lives and make much more money doing other “simpler” surgeries.  The long surgeries (some HIPEC specialist have spent up to 22 hours in surgery for a single case) makes me know they do it for reasons other than the money…there are much easier ways for them to make more money.  They care.  They want to help us.

Here are some pictures from the walk (hope I do this right, I’m not used to adding photos to my posts…bear with me!

Dr. Sardi

A Team

In Memory Of

Dancing “warm up” for the walk

I understand that this is the first of many future “Heat it to Beat It” walks, and in light of my experience here today, I think I may possibly commute to Maryland annually!