My Day At MD Anderson

Texas Children's Hospital cows
Texas Children’s Hospital cows

Back in November of 2012, I spent a day at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. I was there, as a surrogate and to accompany the mom of a 4 month old boy. She, does not speak English very well, and needed me there to help her translate and understand what the various doctors were telling her about her son’s brain tumor.

The doctors ran a lot of tests and determined that the cancer was in a place in the boy’s brain that they could not risk operating. The doctors recommended a round of chemo, to see how the tumor would react etc.

6 months have passed since that day and I’m pleased to tell you that the tumor is reacting to the chemo, and is decreasing in size. The baby boy was suffering from side effects of the tumor and those have all decreased thanks to the chemo.

But, that’s not the point of this post.

The community at MD Anderson, the people that work there, the place itself, is the point of this post. Going there was one of the most positive experiences I’ve ever had.

You know how some companies talk about “creating a culture” or “creating a positive mindset” for their employees and the customers etc?

The people that run MD Anderson have either figured out how to create this culture thing, or they only hire people that believe in the mission of beating cancer and helping cancer patients and family members deal with the disease in a positive manner.

Until the time of this visit, I had never met anyone with active cancer. I’d met people that had had cancer, and their cancer was in remission, but I had never met people with the disease and actively fighting it. I’d also never met people in the medical and scientific front lines against the disease.

It was inspiring to meet people that were so dedicated to their cause and to their work.

Everyone, and I do mean every single one of the staff members, from the dude that valet parks your car, to the janitor, to the oncologist, are fully committed to beating cancer. I don’t know that there’s any other place like it anywhere on the planet. Judging by the number of foreign languages that I heard from other patients there getting treatment, I’m pretty sure that my assessment is true.

I’m glad to know that there is a place like MD Anderson and that they employ people fully committed to beating and stopping cancer.

It gives me hope.

I should mention, the cows in the picture, are from the Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, just down the street from MD Anderson. The TCH, is another place that has the whole culture thing dialed in, They’re just not at the same level as MDA.


Rafael is an aviation geek, a consumer advocate, a dad, a multiple personality blogger, a photographer, politically opinionated, a videographer and many other things as well.