By July 16, 2017 9 Comments Read More →

My New World #5: The Incredible MDA

Last week, I had minor surgery to install a port in my chest.  It’s rather interesting as this device, implanted beneath the skin, allows the IV needle to deliver chemo drugs directly into the big vena cava coming from the heart, so those increasingly painful IV’s in your poor stressed arms and hands are no longer necessary.   However, more interesting, was my experience with the MD Anderson surgeon.

I had met my surgeon  and signed all the necessary release forms (always a little discomforting) and was being prepared in the operating room.  There was a lot of surgical staff scurrying around getting me sanitized, properly positioned, etc. while my surgeon is standing by my side, masked, with sterile hands in the air, just waiting for me to be readied.  I’m drifting off just a little, and then, to my surprise, actually to my horror, my surgeon, Dr. Ervin B. Brown, burst into song, an old Cole Porter favorite, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, a Capella.

Now, the Old Me would probably have quickly, firmly and politely detached that IV and Oxygen mask and exited with apologies, but the Stage Four Me just lay there in shock, smiling weakly behind my mask, trying to look pleasant and encouraging and appreciative as he continued to sing, now with a sound track, a whole range of Irving Berlin and Cole Porter favorites with John Denver’s Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head for variety. I complimented him on his lovely voice, and he said he would email me more songs, which he did.

Later in my MDA day, as I visited my oncology doc and had my chemo infusion, different staff would ask if Doc Brown had sung to me and I would learn a little more about him.  It seems MD Anderson just honored him for having performed more port surgeries than anyone, just completing his ten thousandth one recently.

So,, he is a very talented and experienced surgeon; however, it would have been nice to have a little advance notice that I was in the hands of the singing doc!  He does have a beautiful voice, and in his last email, he said he had a CD coming soon.

Here is a sample of what must be his signature song, I’ve Got You Under My Skin,  sung while performing surgery to install a medical device under your skin.

Listen to Dr. Brown:

So, MDA, the best cancer hospital in the US and probably the world, here’s another facet of your  incredibleness!

(Bet the Cancer Centers of America can’t top this!)

UPDATE:  I am doing well.  Taking my third infusion of Round 2 on the 19th…one more after that on August 2, and then I will have a CT scan to evaluate my progress – an important date for me.  Again, my challenge is to have strong enough chemo to keep the cancer from spreading and yet mild enough chemo to keep from destroying this old body.  A challenge which will increase as the weeks and treatments go by.  Again, my overall goal is to be in the 50% who survive a year.  I am okay.

I’m having lots of visitors and that is so wonderful, eating healthy meals (for several days now experiencing a very powerful craving for a James Coney Island double chili & cheese coney), walking a mile most days.  After my Wednesday infusions, I continue to have about 4-5 days of recovery, then 9-10  days of feeling great.

Thanks for sticking with me through this life process.  I am so very, very grateful for my family and friends.

I’ll end with Dr. Brown and Nice ‘n Easy:

Ben says, “A friend in need is a friend indeed!”

Posted in: Comments, My New World

About the Author:

I am an observer of our interesting world , sharing my passions and my outrages, and thinking of Incredible Ben, his amazing blending of a social and civic life with superb common sense.

9 Comments on "My New World #5: The Incredible MDA"

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  1. | September 14, 2018
  1. Wally Graham says:

    So when and where is his next gig? I’d love to take Shirley! It’s been a while since we have been over your way but plan another sortie before too much longer. So glad to hear your good news. praying on…



    • Cam says:

      Dr. BRown said he would let me know info about his CD & will pass on to you. Looking forward to another visit if you guys head this way. Thanks for reading my blog.

  2. Kay Allen says:

    Hello Carol —
    I just enjoyed my first read of your blog. Your humor is the very best! (Cancer Centers of America can’t top that :-))
    Please know you have another person in your corner sending prayers and all good wishes for a long, long remission. I will continue to read and send healing thoughts your way.
    With affection,

  3. Sherry Fisher says:

    Hello, Carol. Thank you for sharing this with me. I understand your peace and am grateful you have this. You will be just fine!!
    I’m glad we’re forever friends and will see each other again!
    You are blessed to be a blessing!
    Love and joy.
    Sherry Fisher

  4. Carol Ray says:

    Well, the singing Doctor experience has to be a first! I laughed and imagined the look on your face. Love you friend! Thanks for the smile. I think of you often.

  5. Carol says:

    An amazing experience. What a gem!
    I just had my port place him as well. I want him to do all my surgeries. I was apprehensive about not being out under completely but now I don’t care!

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