How I took charge of my disease: CAR T-cell therapy at Sheba Medical Center
By Sam Turel
It’s your health that’s on the line – don’t just leave it to others. Understand the issues, consider the options, seek professional advice, monitor your progress, and make well-informed decisions. Most importantly, select a top medical center that is experienced and reputed in treating your disease. For me, I decided Sheba Medical Center in Israel was the best place for treating my diffuse large b-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and it was the right decision.
I like to believe that I’m fully cured from cancer. I feel healthy, energetic and fit – and I try to think positive. Of course, there’s always fear of a relapse, but I firmly believe in the power of remaining mentally optimistic. Instead of focusing on fear of the future, I focus on fitness and relaxation. Meditation and prayers give me peace of mind, and a good healthy diet with regular exercise keeps me stress-free.
My approach to self-care is to rebuild and strengthen my immune system by eating well and exercising regularly. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, I am cautious of the risks and follow all hygiene protocols to stay safe. But I don’t feel inhibited – my positive attitude gives me the liberty and confidence to do whatever I wish. Of course, while I’d love to go skydiving or parasailing like I did when I was younger, my age gets in the way! I’d also love to take advantage of international travel, but the current environment is prohibitive, and I’m waiting for things to normalize.
I’ve learned a lot from my experiences with cancer, and I’d like to share some advice:
- Be positive. Accept your diagnosis, understand the issues and seek professional advice.
- Don’t leave your health to others. Be personally involved; monitor your progress at every stage and make well-informed decisions.
- Choose the right medical center or professional doctor that is experienced and reputed in your disease, not necessarily the doctor who is friends with your relative or neighbor.
- Before meeting with the doctor, prepare all your questions and concerns, and be ready to answer all the doctor’s questions truthfully.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions meticulously, and keep him advised of your condition at all times. It’s okay to seek second opinions, but discuss them openly and candidly with your doctor.
- Make sure you have adequate medical insurance to help with the financial expenses.