On this blog I write almost entirely about the business of integrative medicine for FON, so you may not know that I am a longtime cancer survivor. In fact, my journey with malignant disease, which began 21 years ago, has shaped my life and career in the field of integrative healthcare.
(So … if you are expecting a business-oriented post, then please skip the rest of this piece.)
My long and unique narrative with cancer is now fairly well known and can be found here. In short, I was diagnosed with CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia) when I was just 28 (very young for CLL) and, notwithstanding a splenectomy to remove a very large organ full of leukemic cells, I have had no conventional interventions over the ensuing decades. I achieved clinical successes following a comprehensive integrative oncology protocol in 2003 (clinical remission), and then again in January of 2012, when I was declared to be a complete pathological remission by phenotype or morphology.
CLL is considered incurable. My academic oncologist is Lee Nadler, MD, dean for clinical and translational research at Harvard Medical School. My case has been well-chronicled through the Harvard Medical System. I sold my media and marketing company in 2009 to explore opportunities in integrative healthcare. FON was launched in 2006 as an integrative oncology research incubator, to explore whole systems research designs. This work follows the basic tenets of how I went about my personal program. And of course, there is the business and clinic development work for which FON specializes, to help grow clinics and centers of various sizes and types, and across disciplines.
Last fall I started doing talks at CME medical conferences and private talks at medical and cancer centers. Just a couple weeks back I spoke to physicians about professional burnout and self-efficacy—and how docs need to walk the talk in order to be best positioned to educate their patients on wellness and prevention.
But this weekend I will have reached the pinnacle of my nascent speaking career, because I have the opportunity and honor for the first time to speak directly to cancer patients—over 1500 cancer patients!—at Healing Journeys’ Cancer as a Turning Point. This incredible event (September 8 and 9, 2012), led by cancer survivor and Healing Journeys’ executive director, Jan Adrian, is being offered at no cost to survivors, family and friends in the greater Sacramento area. Check out the impressive program here.
For the very first time I have an opportunity to communicate to a large group of survivors the message of hope, self-efficacy, integrative oncology and gene modulation!
Hope to see you in Sacramento!