Mesothelioma Survivor Reunites With Surgeon for HIPEC Webinar

Stories from Survivors

Over the years I have participated in many mesothelioma webinars. I really enjoy interacting with others from the cancer community, sharing my story as a peritoneal mesothelioma survivor, grasping their perspectives and ideas while spreading mesothelioma awareness

Earlier this year I decided to contact Dr. Edward Levine, the surgical oncologist who performed lifesaving HIPEC surgery on me more than a decade ago. He ignited my hope. I always say he was God sent.

I hadn’t spoken to Dr. Levine in about 11 years, since the last time I had a follow-up appointment. I moved away and was under the care of another oncologist closer to home. To my surprise, he was excited to hear from me and even more surprised at my progress and life as a mesothelioma survivor. Reading his response gave me an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and the insight that, wow, I truly am a living miracle.

When Opportunity Knocks, Answer 

When I was asked if I would participate in a webinar with Dr. Levine to discuss the HIPEC procedure I immediately said yes. I was literally jumping for joy and just so excited. If you know me personally then you know I get emotional. I was elated to be talking about my experiences with this surgery and hearing the medical perspectives of Dr. Levine. 

HIPEC webinar screenshot of Levine and Little

The day we did the webinar dry run I got emotional. It’s an indescribable feeling that I just can’t put my finger on. I cried – not sad tears, but joyful tears. I told myself I wasn’t going to get emotional during the webinar, but I did. I thanked Dr. Levine for using his gift and expertise to allow me to have a better quality of life. I got him up to speed on my son Caleb and introduced him to my other children. 

Who would have thought that a 21-year-old young woman, diagnosed with a rare cancer and given only 18 months to live, would soon find what she was looking for – hope. Hope in the treatment, hope in the plan that would make her cancer-free. That more than a decade later she would be discussing the success of her peritoneal mesothelioma surgery with the one doctor who ignited hope within her. Wow! Not everyone can say that. I’m truly grateful for my journey and where it’s leading me. 

HIPEC From a Patient and Surgeon’s Perspective

The conversation we had during the webinar about the ins and outs of HIPEC is worth listening to. I shared a lot of transparent moments from my experience with this rigorous surgery and gave some great tips to help people cope with side effects. Dr. Levine shared a wealth of information on how to prepare for the surgery and who would likely be the best candidate. 

This conversation is such a vital breakthrough in the world of patient advocacy and the patient/physician relationship. To have a mesothelioma specialist who will take the time to answer your questions, listen to you voice your concerns and come up with a plan of action is what’s needed more in the world of health care. 

If you haven’t seen the HIPEC webinar with me and Dr. Levine, please check it out. It’s personable, informative and, most of all, powerful. 

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