OMF - Sandi Schussel, 76, T-cell lymphoma, Lynn with Dr. Matthew Davids, Associate Director, Center for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Physician, Dana-Farber 8-22-18

WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon
Wednesday, August 22nd
In January 2015, Sandi became very ill and was seen by multiple doctors. In late March, Sandi felt that her lymph nodes had enlarged. On March 25, she went into the hospital where she underwent biopsy and began treatment with Dr. Davids for lymphoma.

Sandi was treated with chemotherapy via a protocol named CHOP. She achieved complete remission by July 2015 and since that time there has been no evidence of cancer or lymphoma. As of May 2018, she is no longer undergoing treatment.

Dr. Davids told Sandi early on that he was going to “cure” her. Sandi appreciated his optimism, knowing full well that the odds were stacked against her. Dr. Davids' confidence gave Sandi hope and was always foremost in her mind.

Fighting this disease has emphasized to Sandi how important a “team” approach is. In addition to the Dana-Farber medical team, Sandi had a home team. Most importantly, Sandi's husband George managed the appointments, communication, transportation, emotional support, and food, in addition to her medical needs.

Sandi was a RN. She enjoys hiking, skiing, tennis, sailing, and reading medical journals to keep current.

Dr. Davids told Sandi early on that he was going to “cure” her. Sandi appreciated his optimism, knowing full well that the odds were stacked against her. Dr. Davids' confidence gave Sandi hope and was always foremost in her mind.

After obtaining an A.B. in chemistry at Harvard College, Dr. Davids completed his M.D. at Yale University School of Medicine. He served as an intern, resident, and assistant chief resident in internal medicine at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

He then completed his fellowship in hematology and oncology in Dana-Farber/Partners CancerCare, and a Masters in Medical Science (MMSc) at Harvard Medical School. He is an attending physician in the Lymphoma Program of the Division of Hematologic Malignancies at Dana-Farber, an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and is the Associate Director of the Dana-Farber CLL Center.

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Let me introduce you to us and you should sell Pelosi India we don't. And how are you all we're doing terrific Shrum who limb massive chip. Hey. This. It's to localize. When the local quietly in low light in the localize. This program. Certainly in and I got a lot of stories I analyzer is. None of them would go acquired an. Apple really like a little one needs. Their. Idiocy that is exactly. Doctor Matthew Davis associate director. Easier it is for retreats to you. Maybe you can tell us your story biko's. Right now you wore in complete remission. At the moment is that it's like to open that smile. Russian activist. And so what happened you'd. That was actually. Sick for quite awhile. And I didn't know exactly when I'm first let me preface. I am a nurse from Burton. When the Burton as he can request please. Thank you. And a we don't go away it. Thank you very much yes and that there very. Very early sixties. Wing Ted Williams was hero. Jackie Jensen plea. To be here so. He Anchorage people ask me that I like crazy people to. Accurately I think I like he. It to hear. At that time that was dad's in my Fenway Park we came here. Into each other players. So I was sick. But didn't know exactly what it will that maybe I'm tired. Four grand daughters daughters everybody together we outlive their very close to each other. And now I just kept getting sick. And then I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease has commodities. Autoimmune disease. And we thought that's what it is okay so you go on thyroid. Larry you know X and it's really. Helps you a lot but I kept getting thicker. Dan my husband and I love. Him. We love obstacles. And so he said to me once that's not how Washington on the motorcycle and it's my two if it's nice place. Quipped I didn't feel I had a blocked years. It was just kept getting sicker and sicker to the point that I was really not being able to get out of bed at night. Primary care physician doctor Ira Katz was relentless. And he just put me through so many different test the blood test marks showing the blood tests were chilling anything. And I have a close friend who's a nurse practitioner of the New Hampshire said you know. Pet CT scan. Petition gas and when I was a nurse. And I worked at Children's Hospital to that was around pet. Pet CT scans. They did that me. I. Meant Christmas tree. So I had lymphoma. And it can bring my has been sugar because. These two well my hero's. Work typically. Perhaps ease and I hear it because he faces oh. Cancer. Patient is here often you know and ease of my heroes bases are rooting section. My children. The only thing I can say to anyone that has been diagnosed with cancer. Is behind somebody. Touched the human touch you need a team. To really beat this thing you can't do it alone I reached out to a cancer support group for six months. When it's. Expected cancer was diagnosed and treated with team. And they came to me. And this is at a union hospital. You'll hear enough for me no longer exist don't know there's still instant they don't have been leaning on you still there and hit these people were mine life. These people in my life line of each quote. And we walk out of time and each. Don't. Don't ever hesitate to to reach out to keep all these people like reached out. And they were my support group they might team Q. Let them tell you what happened and I can just bring it and bitterness doctor Matthew didn't he apparently through Q really on. Can cure you that's where. I need to. I'm right yeah actual we'll let you know it came from money writes in the UK. I don't I don't like I came from eastern avenue. Chaired. On the beach access Indianapolis about special connection right when we first met she was quite sick and she ended up having a very rare lymphoma solemn moments 1% of all and almost. And yet actually the treatment that we gave you was a very standard treatment and treatment. And burial treatment that you know basically we need to match the treatment of the patients sometimes that means a fancy new clinical trial with these targeted immunotherapy is. But sometimes that means good old fashioned chemotherapy and that's what we gave you and you nailed in to complete remission. Yes so dark let me ask you sit rare type is that the reason why blood work it didn't show up in bulwark floppy would shake up once they upload worked that's what that lit up. Christmas trees you'd say but is that rare. It is rare and in her particular type lymphoma as one where we often see this nations can have joint aches and fevers and Roush and you're having all these things have kind of textbook case but it's an example of a very uncommon disease but it's something we see pretty commonly Dana Farber. OK so so what happened was I was so sick. In the bed at the Burton. And these two. Have a conversation. About. Me. Plan what George. The future might. I'm younger ego speaking to them. So. The immediate thing you you get a diagnosis. Of cancer in the immediate thing is like. You cry. And you cry. Doctor Katz said we have to figure out where she's going. Got to focus on solving the problem. Because of Sandy's Brigham background and Dana Farber really being like the Brigham and grew out of the very. That's where we went. Which she didn't tell you is she was so sick it was like. We enough to make. Release the man. Anyway she went and took six days to diagnose because it was so difficult we've read about it's very difficult disease to diagnose. But immediately after the first treatment we are heroes acre home. With one treatment out of six you already saw the change. And then was that the rest of that summer 2015. Going through. The treatments and taking care of him my own career iris in management technology companies and I used to call Dana Farber said this places factory and I meant that in the most complimentary sense. They sure a lot of people they do it efficiently you get a little button that you put on when you show up. The tying people are watching how quickly you get around and they get you down in the kitchen your treatment and they get you home which is where they watch they don't want to hospital. So it was factory they did America and whom I really. On your unbelievable so you've been in remission since July 2015. And as of me. No longer undergoing. Treatment but this McCain gave me he said. Huard hit and hot on earth and I think. Yeah right you're skeptical learn that you are at a nurse from the sixty's I'm at ten but he gave me a little winner he. He gave me that my mind and that's what. Sold beanie he don't really understand positions. At that time. If that pipeline to that nation if Greece's so much as we gotta go put to great success story in your great inspiration for other people and. Doctor David citizens as well which you're been able to do here which you do over at the hospital remarkable that you share. We really pretty good guys I think you have a loss of course I can't do. I Asia and that's that will draw them. Thank you very much like to dot maybe you got with.