It’s been 35 years since I’ve been on the USF campus, but that’s where the world renowned Moffitt Cancer Center is based.  USF

Moffitt didn’t exist when I was studying broadcasting at the University of South Florida and working at my first radio job at WUSF. And the campus was virtually unrecognizable from the nascent commuter school that any Florida high school graduate could attend.

More about my visit to my alma mater  at another time, but now the reason for the trip.

USF bullsThe Moffitt Cancer Center is ranked in the Top 10 cancer centers nationally, and is the highest rated in the state of Florida. And shockingly, they take my insurance!

As it’s clear that my treatment plan consists of surgery, we have consultations scheduled with three surgeons. At Moffitt, we met with their Director of the Division of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery,  Dr. Lary Robinson, and could not have been more impressed.

The hospital itself is massive, and all they do is treat cancer – all forms of cancer.

When we arrived, after I filled out the usual volumes of forms, we were quickly taken back to a room. Dr. Robinson’s nurse first joined us, explaining all the paperwork and making sure my medical history was complete, and that they had all my test results and imaging discs.

Next came the Physician’s Assistant, who went over the CT scan with us, showing us the tumor in the lower lobe of my left lung that’s causing all these problems.

She also pointed out the other, much smaller tumor in the UPPER lobe of the left lung and, something we hadn’t been aware of before, another spot on my right lung that we’ll have to monitor going forward.

And then the doctor came in. He was with us for about an hour, answering every question we could come up with. He made the case for not using a minimally invasive surgical technique that made lots of sense.

David and I both walked out of there knowing that I’d be in great hands if I decide to go there. The only reservation I have is that it’s four hours away! I know that people travel to Moffitt from all over the world, but the thought of a four-hour car ride days after surgery to remove half of my lung is not at all enticing.

Before leaving, Dr. Robinson handed me three packets of information:

  • Chest Surgery Preoperative Information that answered even more questions about every aspect of the surgery and what to expect at Moffitt
  • Nutrition Guidelines: Before and After Cancer Surgery not only contained tons of useful info – including their Enhanced Healing After Surgery (ERAS) protocol, which they say has been shown to reduce complications, improve healing and usually shorten hospital stays.
  • Probiotics and Cancer Surgery. This one is the final draft of a paper Dr. Robinson has been working on with all the information we should all know regarding probiotics, whether you have been diagnosed with cancer or not

This information is so important that I’m going to call there today to ask if I may share it here. I know that a lot of others are going through this experience too, so I want to share as much information that I’ve learned as possible.

Today, we meet with Dr. Dao Nguyen at the University of Miami/Sylvester Cancer Center. More about that later!