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A Lesson Learned

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I've been an employee at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center for almost 10 years. Not long after I began working here, I learned about the well-woman exams given through the Cancer Prevention Center - a mammogram, a pap smear and a good ol' general going-over was included, along with the bonus of an official blue M. D. Anderson patient card. At that time, it seemed to me that this card might be a handy thing to have in my hip pocket - just in case, you know.

Really and truly, I never dreamed that it would be me who would become an "employee with cancer." Why on earth would something like that happen to a nice girl like me? I had no notion that it ever would, but sure enough, it did.

In truth, it wasn't that coveted blue card that got me in the doors of M. D. Anderson. It was just a simple call for an appointment. Rumor has it that it's impossible to become a patient in this cancer center, but I'm here to tell you that this isn't so.

If you have cancer, and I will always pray that this doesn't happen to you, M. D. Anderson is the place you want to be. M. D. Anderson is currently (and consistently) ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the No. 1 cancer center in the country - really in the world. M. D. Anderson knows all about cancer - the doctors, nurses and other staff here will give you the latest and greatest treatments available. Bottom line, you can count on M. D. Anderson.

Gail_Post2I must be honest, my cancer journey has definitely been paved by my many friends here at the institution. But, it's an entirely different experience to walk through the front doors of Clark Clinic as a patient versus as an employee.

I'll never forget the first time I did that. I was greeted by a volunteer who I loved. She threw her arms out wide to hug me and said, "Ohhhhhhhh, Gail." I walked a few steps forward and ran into my favorite UT policeman, James. "Miss Gail, what's this I've been hearing about you?" he asked. Then, the other person in the elevator on the ride up to the Brain and Spine Clinic was another friend. My family was astonished and couldn't believe that I knew all of these people. M. D. Anderson is a huge place, you see.

But, if you want to know the truth, M. D. Anderson is a warm, caring family. The folks here usually take care of you like one of their own. Like I said before, brain cancer was never something that I expected to happen to me, but it's been a great way to expand my list of loved ones.

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