Published: June 24, 2008
Updated: Sept. 14, 2010
My mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 1991, but thankfully that tumor was benign, and was removed with surgery. In 2005, she was diagnosed with another brain tumor. At the age of 75, I was reluctant to let them operate on her brain again.
After talking with her family physician, Dr. Martin DeGraw, he referred us to Dr. Allan Friedman, the same physician who performed my mother’s surgery in 1991. I felt somewhat relieved after remembering the special care she had received 15 years earlier. After talking with Dr. Friedman and him remembering my mother from 15 years earlier, we agreed to have the surgery performed. The surgery was performed on November 28, 2005.
This time the tumor was malignant, but we did not know that until the surgery. After the surgery, Dr. Friedman explained that it was malignant but that he felt he’d removed the cancer with the tumor. Hearing the word “malignant,” I became upset and started crying. My family lives four hours way, which is not exactly a short ride. I called all the family members and told them the bad news, and we started preparing for the worst.
Not knowing how to tell my mother that the tumor was cancerous, I waited for Dr. Friedman the next day to find out if he had told her the bad news, or when I should tell her.
After crying all night the night before, can you believe how I felt when I saw Dr. Friedman the next day, and he reminded me that he had said that he felt as though he had removed all the cancer with the tumor? Because I was so upset after hearing the word “malignant” I didn’t hear the part about the cancer being removed. That was the first time in my life I was happy to retract a statement that I had made to my family.
I had to bring my mother back to see Dr. Friedman in six months, and it would be then that we’d know whether she would need chemotherapy or radiation. By the grace of God and Dr. Friedman, my mother did not need either. She was cancer-free.
I would like the world to know that Dr. Friedman is not just a rich person’s doctor -- he treats everyone as though they are special.
After hearing that he was the surgeon that operated on Senator Kennedy, I was bursting with joy to know that I’d had a chance to meet such a special person, who also saved my mother’s life not once, but twice.
Thank you very much, Dr. Friedman, and may God bless you and your family as he has blessed ours.