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Pushing Past Leukemia

For the complete interview and video, click here.


I want to Live, and I am going to!

“When he said it was cancer I dropped to the floor. Dropped to the floor.” Teri Bode is a former Cardinals cheerleader who is fighting an aggressive breast cancer that has spread to her bones. Fellow cheerleaders have rallied around Teri as she does chemotherapy every other week in a fight for life. Remarkably, they talked her into cheering on Monday Night Football at the Cardinals Cheerleaders 25th Anniversary. At 49 years old, with cancer that has spread to her bones, this single mother fought through the pain and stepped onto the field.

For the complete interview and video, click here.

Hockey Fights Cancer

“Cancer is a sneaky little thing…..when 24 years have gone by, you think you might be home free. Not in my case. After treating my original cancer at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago, my lymphoma made a repeat performance right here in Arizona. Led to Ironwood Cancer Center and Dr. Ewing, I have completed chemotherapy and am in the process of radiation…..Many different medications and options available to me after 24 years. The opportunity arose to sing the “National Anthem” for the Arizona Coyotes was a dream-come-true “knock it off the bucket list” moment. I was proud to stand up there as a two-time survivor and give hope to myself and to those out there who are in treatment. It was surely a night I will remember and treasure forever.”

For additional information on Hockey Fights Cancer, click here.

Caring environment

I wish to thank you for going “above and beyond” in the treatment you provide.  Not only do you treat our Cancer, but you see to our entire body’s mental and physical well-being. I took advantage of your “Look Good Feel Good” session and now I am participating in the Tai Chi and Chair Yoga classes.  Not only are these no fee classes appreciated at a financially distressing time, but being surrounded by a safe, caring environment with other participants going through similar circumstances is a definite plus.  Also, one doesn’t feel so vulnerable when not feeling and looking our best, as we would at our local gyms. I also wish to mention having my CT Scan at your new Desert Cove facility was a very good decision.  The equipment was very up to date and was administered by efficient and capable staff.  It is a convenience having my medical records all at the same facility as my medical team.  It was a pleasant experience.

Grateful to Call You a Friend

Dear Dr. Musci, I really don’t know where to begin. I’m so grateful. You’ve been one of the kindest people I’ve met. I’m just so grateful to have been able to call you a friend, if thats not too bold! I respect you so much, and there are really no words that I can express that could give justice to how thankful I am. I hope you know that you’ve been an amazing blessing to my family! We all could not have gotten through this year without you! I’m so thankful that I could ask you a gazillion questions and you never failed to enlighten, encourage and comfort! Thank you for all the help. I’ll be seeing you soon.

Thoughtful & Pleasant Care

Dr. Ono, Radiation Crew & the two ladies at the front desk – Thanks for making my disappointing health news very bearable with your thoughtful and pleasant care. I’ll bet I’m cured! Thanks again.

Right There Fighting Along Side Her

Dear Dr. Musci, I am writing regarding one of your patients. I am her sister-in-law (the one whose many questions you answered so patiently even after I would ask the same question more than once). I want to let you know how comfortable she was with you. I stayed with her for 3 months of this year and again this past November. I can’t tell you how many times she said to me, “I really like Dr. Musci…he talks directly to me, he listens to me, he is very patient with me & my family. I don’t feel rushed when I’m in his office & I trust him.” I just wanted to let you know that you were a compassionate and intelligent person throughout her illness. She fought a long hard battle and as you told us at the beginning of the year, “if she was going to fight, you’d be right there fighting along side of her and do everything you could for her.” So thank you for being the kind of doctor who truly cares & shows compassion & dignity to his patients. We’ll always be grateful for everything!

I Will Never Forget You

Dr. Musci – Thank you for your care the past fourteen months. As you stay in this profession, please don’t change! Stay the same compassionate, respectful professional! I will never forget you!

Best Health Care

Dr. Ono – Just a little note to say thank you for the best health care I could possibly ask for. I appreciate your concern in my health, but more importantly for keeping me alive. Thank you so much.

Truly Caring Doctor

Dear Dr. Musci, Thank you for all your great care, your concern & your kindness. We are so very grateful for the time we had you for our doctor. There are very few truly caring doctors any more and certainly none that go out of their way such as you did. May God Bless you Always.

Quiet Confidence & Compassion

Dr. Rakesh Bagai – I just wanted to thank you for treating me for lymphoma. At a time when we desperately needed it, you restored our faith. Your quiet confidence and compassion has helped us through a difficult time and renewed our faith that I would overcome lymphoma. Your caring manner always lifted my spirits. Thank you for all the respect and care you showed. You are a special person.

Her Confidence in You

Dear Dr. Sud – On behalf of my sons and me, would like to thank you and all of the staff at Ironwood for the wonderful care and treatment provided to her during her battle with Cancer. From the first hello by your reception personnel to the last treatment the caring and kindness was evident by the entire staff. It is difficult to remember all of the names of the angels in the treatment room, but Darcee was the 1st to greet her and made her extremely confident in the treatments that were to follow and was an obvious favorite. Please convey our appreciation to her. Dr. Sud, I am not capable of using the proper words to express her confidence in you, which in turn comforted me. Your calm, soothing and supportive voice during her care with you was beyond either of our expectations. Thanks again to you and all of the Ironwood staff for all you do for each of your patients.

Unfailingly Courteous

We wanted to write and tell you how thankful we are for Ironwood. He has been a patient with you for over two years now, and with every visit, we have been impressed with how kind and caring everyone is to us. Of course Dr. Anita and Amy are our favorites. But we also wanted you to know that from the minute we walk into the building, the staff at the front desk to the nurses behind the scenes to the people who book our next appointment – each and every one – are not only unfailingly courteous, but good at what they do. I’ve had the opportunities to sit in the waiting room while he has been having his scans, and I’ve noticed that patients, including us, are never made to sit waiting for long. It really makes a difference to be treated well under the circumstances, and you all do an excellent job. You have a great team! Please know that all of your wonderful attitudes and the care you show your patients and their families are so appreciated.

Truly a Gifted Physician

Dr. Polowy – When Mom was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and an oncologist was needed it was a miracle that we were led to you. Our dear friend knew you from another friend of hers that you treated and highly recommended you to Mom. Mom was 89 years old when you started treating her and we all knew from the start that it was terminal but we were willing to do what you thought would be best to delay from closing off totally. Mom trusted you implicitly. The important thing is Mom loved Christmas and was super excited for this one knowing it would be her last. By giving her the infusion and steroids it kept her going and she had a great Christmas. We made candy and cookies and she sat at the table putting the icing on the cookies and decorating them with sprinkles to make them festive while we did the cooking. We took pictures all donned in our aprons and what happy memories we have of that day. Christmas morning she was super excited to open her gifts piled around her chair. She was always so thankful for everything she received and said “I don’t get depressed after Christmas is over. I get to use everything I got all year long!” However shortly thereafter, she started to go downhill quickly. I am so grateful to you for getting her into hospice where they could manage her intense pain and for allowing her to stay since I was told she would only be able to stay 3 days or so before having to move to assisted living. You have no idea what a difference your calls made to allow Mom to stay there. You were so supportive and cared for her in every way possible. You are truly a gifted physician that was called by God to care for those suffering from cancer. You not only treat them medically but show love and compassion to each person. Thanks for everything! You are truly awesome and we will always remember you.

Those Who Have the Most Impact

Dr. Kantala – Too often in today’s busy, hectic (and often stressful) world we sometimes forget to stop to thank those who have the most impact on our daily lives. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your terrific caring and concern in trying to help restore our lives where they should be. We truly appreciate all you are doing!

50th Celebration

Dr. Ono – I really don’t expect you to attend our 50th celebration, although you are more than welcome! I wanted to extend the invitation because without the grace of God and the expertise of my wonderful medical team, we would never have reached this milestone in our lives. May God continue to use you in bringing healing and hope in the lives of so many. God bless you are your family.

Love and Appreciate Each Staff Member at Ironwood

I want to express my gratitude for the compassion and kindness shown not only to my grandfather, but to all of my family. What a blessing everyone has been throughout my grandfathers battle. He constantly spoke of how wonderful everyone was that worked with him through radiation, scans, and chemotherapy. Thank you for making each day he spent at Ironwood the best it could be. He genuinely loved the staff that cared for him. No offense, but he really loved HIS nurses – as he called them – and Dr. Musci. We all love and appreciate each staff member at Ironwood! Thank you everyone for individually adding joy to the beautiful life my grandfather lived!

Thank All of You

The whole staff should be commended. Outstanding, helpful, knowledgeable, courteous and understanding. All deserve to be recognized. Thank all of you.

Last Day of Radiation

Dr. Ambrad was always very thorough and very kind. He is very compassionate and took his time with me every visit. The techs/nurses are always very helpful and kind.

I Have a Future Again

Dr. Ono: Following a diagnosis of stage IV bladder cancer, I found myself sitting in your office at Ironwood discussing the radiation program I was about to begin. I subsequently had the radiation treatment — together with weekly chemo sessions (Dr. Kantala) for the next several months. Very fortunately, the cancer has receded to the point where I’ve now had three straight negative scans. I feel like I have a future again. Thank you so much for your efforts on my behalf. I do not believe I would be enjoying this outcome if it were not for your very considerable medical skills.

Don’t Give Up on You

Myself and my family just have to let you know how grateful we are to you for your “style” but also the compassion you carry in your heart not only for my situation but all your other patients as well! Thank you! You care above and beyond what your oath requires. You make me want to keep fighting and believe me I have wanted to quit several times! I may not come out of this but I’ll know you did do everything in your power. Many doctor’s I’m sure don’t want to take the time when they know the patient’s time is limited – you know what I mean -and treatment is stopped. And with me we both know my time is shorter than some but you tell me “Don’t Give up on you”. So I’m not and it could all work out after all! May God Bless you Dr. Kantala and thank you again!

More Than We Could Have Ever Hoped For

I have never forgotten the compassion and sense of dedication we felt from you the first time we met with you in your office. I feel awful that I cannot remember each of the names of the girls upfront, the nurses, and my financial counselor, but please know that while I may not remember their names, I do remember their faces. More importantly, I remember how each and every single one of them touched our lives during that time, and I thank God for them as well. The girls you have upfront are AMAZING. Every time we walked in we were greeted with a smile and warmth that is indescribable. And our financial counselor was beyond wonderful. When we found out the cost of my husband’s treatment (at the time we were in the process of losing our home) we were devastated. She worked with us and really did all the work for us regarding the research and our insurance to find a way. She truly is an angel.

I want to tell you how incredible the nurses are. I think they actually spoiled us because now if we’re at a doctor’s office and we’re not treated with the same courtesy and respect, we are offended. They truly became family to us. They were always so welcoming to me, and even though I was healthy, they treated me with such care that you would have thought I was a patient. Please know that my gratitude for you and your staff has been in my heart each and every single day from the very first day we stepped foot in your office. Thank you for being more than we could have ever hoped for during a very uncertain time in our lives.

My Super Hero

Thank you very much for all you do. Words cannot express my gratitude You employ compassion and humor and have made this part of my journey so much easier. I appreciate how you listen and ask questions. Never in a hurry to end an appointment – that’s huge! We have a road ahead, but having you as my doctor I feel confident and strong. To me – you are my “Super Hero”.
Thank you again!

The Hug Pact

I enjoy each day knowing that I am blessed with the best doctor on earth! Dr. Dharia is meticulous, conscientious, and he speaks with such confidence. He is very thorough and I know I can feel free to ask any questions I may have. The parking is convenient, the office is clean, and all the staff are so friendly. We have a great doctor/patient relationship and have even formed a hug pact to help me live to be 105. Ironwood is my 2nd home and I live each day to the fullest knowing I am getting the best direction from Ironwood.

A Very Real Comfort Zone

Thank you so much for the Certificate of Achievement awarded to Dan for completing his Chemotherapy. It meant a great deal to Dan for many reasons; most importantly he knew he was not just a number but a real person who was about by the Chemotherapy personnel. Our special thanks to Jeni whose warmth, caring, sweet personality, professionalism and attention to detail during Dan’s weekly chemo bag changes made Dan feel very safe and comfortable in her care. Thanks Kelsey, who greeted us every week with her outgoing, friendly personality. With her ability to understand the inner workings of the chemo room she made her job seem effortless (which we know very well it is not) while providing a very real comfort zone for the patient. We do not want to forget to thank David who spoke with us during out Chemo counseling appointment prior to treatment. He also was very personable, thorough and articulate; addressing all of our questions and concerns in a caring way. Dan & I are truly grateful for all the positives and encouragement he received throughout a difficult 6 week cancer treatment period.

Helped Me Feel Human Again

I want to inform you that your Mesa facility is a cut above the rest! May God Bless ALL at the Mesa center, everyone has done 100%. Also I wish to thank you for the fresh coffee and water available at Mesa. I have to travel 1 hour from Casa Grande, and it sure was very nice to have a cup before my treatments. It just helped me feel human again.

A Difficult Journey but You Helped Me So Much

Thank you for your support and care for the past months. It’s been a difficult journey for me but you helped me so much along the way. I know you deal with dozens of patients like me day after day, yet you always make me feel special. Your knowledge and advice made me confident I was getting the best care possible. What is also remarkable is how everyone in the center is always willing to help or answer a question if it’s their “department” or not. No offense, but I know you understand when I say – I hope I don’t see you “under these circumstances” again. Keep up the good work you do, knowing that your efforts are greatly appreciated.

“The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread”

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your help with my husband while he was going through chemo and the clinical trials. You always went above and beyond. From the first moment we met you in the hospital two years ago, we both thought you were the greatest thing since sliced bread and thanked God for bringing you into our lives while we fought this deadly disease. You were so positive and we had so much hope every time we spoke to you or saw you in your office, and you always made us feel good. I want to thank you again for all that you have done for us and I will miss seeing you and wish only the best for you always.

That’s Right; I Used the Word “Enjoyed”

Despite an uneasy mindset when I first entered your center, from day 1 I have been so happy I was referred to you and your wonderful staff. What a tremendous and caring group of individuals you work with. Everyone that I came in contact with at Ironwood has always been so courteous, friendly, and caring.

Having said that my biggest praise is for the exceptional staff of nurses you have in the chemo room. What a special group of ladies. They are so professional, organized, personable and caring. I have sat there almost every Friday and watched these young ladies give so much genuine care to so many sick individuals. I have been in that room when there were only ten patients and I have been in there when the room was completely full and in both cases your nurses always are organized and take the time needed to take care of each patient. These ladies work like no team I have ever seen. No stress; always pleasant with the patients care in mind and there is always a smile or a humorous story to make the time there as pleasant as possible.

I just wanted to express to you how much I enjoyed this experience. That’s right; I used the word “enjoyed”. While the process of chemo is certainly nothing that one would describe as “enjoyable”, your wonderful staff has made this experience as painless as possible.
Thank you so much for all that you have done to get my life back to normal.

Cancer: An Unchosen Journey

We thought our sixty year love affair would never end, but when a doctor spoke the word “cancer” our life instantly changed.
Dr. Khanuja, my family and I thank you for your gentle care. Your dedicated effort gave us 22 months with Ann we would not have had otherwise and we appreciated your candor and expertise. To me, you seemed like someone one would value as a friend. Chemo, while not pleasant, was made better by the competent nurses there, all were great. My family and I are convinced that a better group of people than Ironwood could not have been found. You’re the best, and I thank you all again.

The News “No Cancer”

It is with a grateful heart that I’m writing to you today. My husband and I want you to know how happy we were to receive the news “No Cancer” on our most recent PET Scan. We are so glad you were the one to guide us through this last year’s journey. Regardless of the outcome we wouldn’t want to go on the journey without your guidance, knowledge, and compassion. Thank you so very much.

Compassionate and Thorough Care

The care here is hands down some of the greatest, compassionate and thorough care I’ve ever received. The treatment nurses are so professional and as helpful as possible.

God’s Representative on Earth

I need to write and say “Thank You” for all your great care during my illness! I always remember to thank my “God”, but fail to thank you his representative on Earth! Please forgive me for my negligence. Thank you, God bless you! See you in November for my 6 month “Cancer Check”.

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