Patient Care, Perspectives, Sarcoma

Eureka!


As I sat and watched, with awe, Vice President Biden’s summit speech on his vision of the cancer moonshot, I came alive and transformed… I felt empowered and validated. Oh the calamity of thoughts that went through my head. “By golly he’s got it!” Everyone has been there at some point, that delirium that accompanies figuring something out. “Eureka!” I thought. Mine hit all at once, and I have been reeling ever since that day of June 29th but my mind is settling to tell you a story. My friends, I am back, maybe not as often, but I will tell you I never left.

He sat across my stool afraid. He was bright eyed, sharp and thinking through the things I had discussed. “You are going to do what?” he asked, “Inject my sarcoma with a herpes virus?” I remained calm but my passion was bursting out of me because I was excited. This was my idea, an idea that has been brewing in my mind for the last 2 years, an idea that allowed me to use my knowledge to help someone, a clinical trial that I wrote. I don’t know how my patients do it; they find the wisdom, the courage, the generosity and open-mindedness to accept my words. Was it that I danced in front of him telling him about the science? Was it the cancer that inspired him to be creative? Was it his immense trust in me? It did not take him long to contemplate the proposal, to believe as he told me. Enter Subject 001.

Cancer, as VP Biden clearly remarked, is a threat the human race can unite to double the rate at which we make progress in trying to push and propagate the knowledge we have to solve its mysteries. As I reflect on this statement, the one person who comes to mind is subject 001- I get the equivalent feeling that we as humans were able to conquer space to get to the moon and back, I reflect on the day I put my patient on my trial, a trial that was unique in its rights, different and innovative. Subject 001 to me, is the first person on the moon. What a feeling!

Eureka! The day has come for us to find out that I am out of a job, that cancer has been cured, that the world is at peace, that we have overcome our fears and that we have won the war against despair. Yeah sure, we all dream. And maybe that is what makes us achieve our dreams; our hopes, our engagement and our efforts. Perhaps it’s a man standing up and saying, “What’s wrong? Why can’t we do this?” I sometimes recognize how hard it is for a General in the army to will his soldiers to go to battle. This is a war, an urgent need to develop cancer breakthroughs and a strong message for us to do things without submitting to bureaucracy, greed, and negative inertia.

“My patient is interested in joining this clinical trial” the bark of a General that does this daily. The coordinator picks up her task; she is as excited as I am. What drives people to work so hard behind the scenes to actualize a clinical trial still fascinates me. It is this ownership, this dedication that can turn the tables in this fight against this devastating disease… let’s not turn against each other, retard each other’s progress, allow politics and competition to stop us.

Don’t just sit there, do something! Don’t put it off for another day, don’t lean on reasons not to act, but rather seize the moment you are in and become part of the history-changing initiative, become a part of how we revolutionize cancer treatment.

Mo.

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8 thoughts on “Eureka!

  1. Melody Bakken says:

    Well said! Unfortunately it hits so close to home for so many of us but those you treat are so fortunate and grateful to have you on our side, no matter what the outcome brings! Thanks so much Mo!!

  2. Claire Barnhouse says:

    Mo,
    You’re back! I’m loving it, Very happy you’re back writing again Mo. You know I am your biggest fan. You always seem to surprise me every time I read your blog, I think every time I read it that this is the best one I’ve read, but it never fails it gets better and better with each one that you write. As I always say I’m always blessed to have you as my doctor and I know in the cancer world that you see every day it is going to get better and better especially with you in it. I love your staff and the University of Iowa. I know the Lord brought me to you for a reason because you are my amazing doctor of Science!
    Claire 🤓👍🏻

  3. Peggy Patters says:

    YOUR dedication to improving the lives of all patients with cancer by working with the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium, by your passion to find the cure, by the time you take to explain, treat and let your patients be heard, by writing your own clinical trial and by sharing your hope, insights and excitement over cancer progress through your blog is so truly and totally AWESOME. I admire and respect what you do every day. We are so lucky to have you in this community. Thank you.

  4. Linda Atterberg says:

    I am so glad you seem to feel rejuvenated by your experience at the Summit! We have to have you as our General commanding the battle for all of us. I think of you often, usually with bittersweet feelings but always with a smile. I agree about your trial coordinators – they were amazing! God bless you and your whole team, Mo, and keep up the fight to end this evil disease!

  5. Meg Beshey says:

    Thank you superman for being our top advocate in finding the reason for our ailments! I appreciate all you do! Meg

  6. Claire Barnhouse says:

    Mo,
    I am so happy you are writing again. You are amazing and the university is so lucky to have such a brilliant mind working to fight cancer i am the luckiest girl in the world to have you as my doctor. You and your staff give us hope! I will see you Tuesday for my scans. God bless Mo.
    My amazing Doctor of science!
    Claire🤓👍🏻

  7. Nicole Menuey says:

    2 years agoI lost my dad to wild-type GIST. I applaud your dedication, and excitement. I pray for a cure for all cancer. God bless Mo.

  8. Krista Nicklaus says:

    YOU are amazing, dr Mo!! I’m honored to call you Dr and friend. Thank you for your service!! ❤️

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