No words can express how you touched Tom and me with your warm loving hands and hearts. While facing this juncture in our lives it was always comforting to see all of your smiling faces. You helped our days be a little lighter.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts in the great care that all provided to our Dad. All through his time with all of you meant the world to him. Thanks you for your exceptional care. If it wasn't for you people we would've lost Dad 2 1/2 years ago.
I just wanted to express my heartfelt thanks to you and your team. My first appointment, I was scared to death and then I met your team of nurses. I immediately felt that all of you really cared for me and from then on felt comfortable in your care.
When you find out you have cancer it takes time for it to sink in and your whole life is relying on others and your decisions. So you listen to friends, doctors and anyone with an opinion on cancer. Luckily I have smart friends and family which pointed me to Iowa Cancer Specialists. From day one their team of doctors and nurses, receptionist and insurance personnel were great.
From the first office visit with Dr. Mercer laying out What, Where and How they were going to take care of the cancer and the time frame and results expected set my mind at ease which is very much needed when you are consumed with how it will change your life. The nurse gave me literature Non Hodgkins Lymphoma and other cancers along with what to expect from the chemo. Of course I didn't think the loosing your hair or taste buds pertained to me. I WAS WRONG.
Everyone in that office were great and always had time to answer my questions and any questions my family had. Talking to Dr. Mercer is like talking to a family member and friend. A few times I saw Dr. Susannah Friemel when I was in the hospital and she was excellent at figuring out where the infection was.
From the receptionist Tina and Sue who always kept up with appointments and your questions when calling to get questions answered to all the caring nurses in the office and chemo room (Julie, Sue, Dana, Molly, Stephanie, etc.) who would always go out of their way to answer any concerns you would have. Talking to other cancer patients from different doctors on Facebook around the world and finding out some of the tricks they use to keep from having mouth sores and loosing your taste buds aren't used everywhere. When you explain to them they always say "why didn't my doctor or nurses tell me that?". Even Barb who took care of billing and insurance was always there to help ease the pain.
Most Doctor offices are all about the Doctors, but Iowa Cancer Specialists is a TEAM effort and I highly recommend them for that reason and I am very glad I chose them.
Words cannot express how grateful I am for all of your comforting words during my cancer journey. All of you always knew what to say to give me hope and keep me fighting this disease.
I was so frightened of chemo and you comforted me when I called and had questions before I startetd chemo. Everyone was always so kind and patient with me. During chemo you all became part of my family and the hospital was my home away from home. Even though I never looked forward to chemo, I always looked forward to seeing you!
I always prayed God would help me be a blessing to other people when I came in for treatments, but it always seemed like I was the one who was being blessed! I admire how smart all of you are and how hard you work each day. All of you have such a positive, healing energy that helps all of us patients cope with the stress of having to go through chemo. I know that I wouldn't have been able to face any of the challenges of cancer treatments if I didn't have all of you supporting me.
You were always there, ready to comfort me no matter how busy you were. Thank you for taking good care of me and for all the times you gave me wonderful advice on how to manage chemo and for all the emotional support as well. The best part of keeping my port is that I get to see you every four weeks! Each and every one of you have made me a better person. I will always carry you in my heart.
The new building for Iowa Cancer Specialists is designed with attention to excellent parking and functional features as you study the floor plan of the building interior. Selection of color tones with attention to artistic painting and objects create a warm welcoming environment. I have appreciated the fact that though office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., when I arrive on an early morning, doors are unlocked and allow me to step into the comfort of the waiting area. Individuals involved with scheduling, managing telephones, and greeting of arrivals are positive and within a few short weeks know patients by name. In fact, all the employees are energetic and reach out to patients with greetings for the day.
Care and concerns for my health are foremost in the minds of those who have been attentive to my needs. Professional treatments are with both an efficient use of time and the efforts to develop a personal relationship. Lab results, medications suggested, and recommended actions are shared with clarity. Good skills are practiced in listening to my questions. Professional communication with other physicians and University of Iowa Hospitals demonstrate a team approach in sharing thoughts regarding treatments. Dr. Susannah Friemel has created a culture where positive energies lead to staff being an integrated team working with each of us as patients. And Dr. Friemel has addressed each of my questions, demonstrated an in-depth knowledge of her field, and has given me complete confidence that she knows who I am and what the continuous changes in my health program should entail.
I realize I have been cared for by the Iowa Cancer Specialists (ICS) for a long period of time because Tina and Ashlee recognize my voice, even before I identify myself on the phone. On six-hour infusion days, Nurse Sue kindly escorts me to an end chair in the infusion room, and each month I ask the same questions and attempt small talk. She smiles and obliges my questions, as if I'd never asked them before. Have I really been a patient for 10 years? Yes I have.
I was given the diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma (MM) at Mayo Clinic. Immediately I knew I would need care near my hometown of Clinton, IA, so my first phone call was to my daughter who lives in the Quad Cities. I asked if she had an knowledge of oncologists. She made two calls and then phoned me back to tell me that she had confirmed her two friends who had cancer and whose lives had been saved by Dr. David Mercer at ICS.
Shocked by my diagnosis, I was overcome with the thought that perhaps Dr. Mercer's practice was not taking new patients. I called, and soon my "new friends" at Mayo began coordinating my treatment with Iowa Cancer Specialists.
In addition to having a new diagnosis and new doctors, soon
I had a new support system. To this day, i attend monthly support groups in Clinton, and I am excited about the projects Gilda's Club puts together. Until diagnosed, I had never heard of MM. Now I have six friends in my town who share the same diagnosis. Nothing I said early on in my treatment or to this day has shocked the ICS nurses and doctors. I still butcher the names of my long list of drugs, I still forget to mention a new symptom until I am nearly halfway out the door and my frequent office calls are all met with patience and empathy.
I am blessed to have a supportive biological family, my ICS and Mayo teams, along with dear friends all of whom understand that I have a disease inside of me that never will be cured, cannot be cut out or treated away. I began a writing journal shortly after I was diagnosed and vowed to never pen, "I have cancer," because cancer should not define me. My vocabulary frequently includes words like infusion, stem cells, and remission. I share with people that my MM is not curable, but is treatable.
My transition to new doctors, Dr. Friemel and Dr. Jager, within ICS has been smooth, while at the same time, I reflect on the guidance and care Dr. Mercer afforded me. Nurse Janelle has assisted me at three different ICS locations and the latest setting is my favorite. Iowa Cancer Specialists has been the cornerstone of my journey. I owe each member of ICS sincere thanks for letting me be me and for giving me every tool I've needed to remain in the best health possible.