SHELLEY ELKAN

First post: Jul 24, 2022 Latest post: Dec 19, 2023
Welcome to our CaringBridge website.  We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place.  We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

I have a very rare cancer: Thymic  carcinoma.  There are typically fewer than 400 cases in the United States annually.   I found my cancer in a very Forrest Gump kind of way.  In March 2021, I had a CT chest scan to check on the health of my heart. The report said my heart was in great shape, but there was an incidental note that I had two small nodules in my lungs, most likely benign.  Fast forward to late April 2022.  I was having a normal office visit with my wonderful PCP, Dr. Shailaja Menon, when I asked to take a look at those nodules again.  A CT chest scan was ordered and in early May we got the results.  The nodules were the same but there was a large mass in my chest behind my breast bone.  So started my journey into the world of being a cancer patient. 

I am blessed to have been accepted as a patient at the number one Cancer Center in the US: MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston Texas.  It is truly an amazing, inspiring, and humbling place!  Nestled within downtown Houston there is a one square mile area called the Texas Medical Center (TMC).  Inside that one square mile is a place of magic, where miracles happen daily.

“The Texas Medical Center is the largest life sciences destination in the world.  With 106,000 employees, 61 institutions, and thousands of volunteers and patient visits, over 160,000 people visit Texas Medical Center each day.  Over the course of the year, the campus welcomes more than 7.2 million visitors.”  These visitors seek care from all over the world. 

On June 30, 2022 Ronnie and I flew to Houston to meet my medical team of doctors and nurses at MD Anderson.  I have a powerhouse team of doctors who are aggressively working towards curing my cancer.  They stated they are not just seeking to extend my life by a few months, but instead are working towards a cure.   While I know there are no guarantees, I certainly appreciate and applaud their attitude!
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