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My Health Counts!

Dave's Story

“In January of 2007, I had a shoulder X-ray just for a sore shoulder, a stiff shoulder. And totally, by coincidence, the X-ray also showed a spot in my lung, which turned out to be kidney cancer that had spread all through my body. I had a giant hole in my thigh bone, which broke in May of that year. I had metastases in both lungs and in some muscles. I even had one growing out of my tongue by the time my treatment started.”

“I was just stunned. I have this vivid, multisensory recollection of sitting in my recliner in Nashua, New Hampshire, thinking, ‘What the heck? I don’t even feel sick. What am I supposed to do?’ I was so sick that the medium survival for my condition, according to the best evidence, was just twenty-four weeks, you know, five and a half months.”

“And if you think five and a half months into the future, that’s not a very long time to have be the end of your days. I faced saying good bye to my mother, saying good bye to my daughter and, not to mention, my wife. And then I got to work.”

“I’ve always been an activated online engaged person. Sometimes I say that I learned how to be an “e-patient” -- empowered, engaged, equipped, enabled – back on CompuServe on the desktop publishing forum when we people who were in the same boat talked about the problems we were having with desktop publishing software and compared notes. So using technology to find information and reaching out to others on the internet was the most natural thing in the world. My personality type is I’m going to find a way around it and so I looked for more information and more information and more information.”

 

 For more of Dave's Story and to read about others, click here.

Learn more at e-PatientDave.com and the Society for Participatory Medicine

Read Dave’s blog There’s Something in Your Lung: Five Years Ago Today

See Dave’s advice for patients

Watch Dave’s compelling TEDx Talk “Let Patients Help” (in the top half of most-watched TED talks of all time)

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Disclaimer: Information provided on the My Health Counts! pages of ThinkBright.org is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on these pages is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional.