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Denise Masterson, patient

The Future of Cancer Care Right Here

 

In December, Denise Masterson shared her perspective about how The Ghosh Center helped her change her diet to “reset her cancer clock.” We sat down with her recently to learn more about her experience with Dr. Ghosh and his team.

When were you first introduced to Dr. Ghosh?

Through my work as a nurse, I observed him years ago helping a patient who was very ill. I was struck by Dr. Ghosh’s manner. He was so matter of fact, while being gentle and compassionate.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, my family doctor asked me whom I wanted to see. At the time, I said didn’t know. Then my doctor asked “how about Dr. Ghosh?” I immediately said “YES.”

What would you like to share about your care?

When I got my first dose of chemo, I had a reaction. The team was on it. Dr. Ghosh told me that other doctors would have admitted me to the hospital, but his staff was able to handle my needs right in the clinic.

That’s been true ever since. The nurses work really well as a team to meet my needs. Once when I was sick and the office was closed, I was considering going to the hospital. Instead someone on the staff came in on the weekend to make sure I got antibiotics. Mindy, the nurse practitioner, is amazing. I see her every week and don’t want to see anyone else. She’s very positive and incredibly good at what she does. When I’m receiving chemotherapy, she always checks in.

What else stands out?

Even though I went to nursing school, I learned about the importance of diet at The Ghosh Center. When I first came here, I was on a low-fat diet because of cardiac issues. Dr. Ghosh and his team recommended changes that were best for my overall health, not just for my heart condition or my cancer diagnosis. Leesa, the health coach at The Ghosh Center, helped me make nutritional changes that addressed all of my needs. That’s something I don’t get from the hospital I go to for heart care.

This is the future of cancer care, and Dr. Ghosh is doing it here.

Have you taken advantage of The Ghosh Center’s financial assistance program?

I have – because they started the conversation. I have a high-deductible health plan where I’m required to pay the first $4,000 in expenses each year. Mike, who handles insurance for Dr. Ghosh, came to me and said “instead of your paying 100% for everything out-of-pocket until you meet your deductible, all we’re going to ask is that you pay a $25 co-pay at each visit until it’s met.” I cried. I knew financial assistance was available, but was too proud to ask for it.

Here’s another example. When the staff found out I was paying for a generic medication, Becki approached me to say she thought she could find a cheaper way to get the medication right at the clinic. And she did. In both cases, they came to me and made it happen.

What do you want others to know?

I don’t think the Cedar Rapids community is aware of what a diamond they have in Dr. Ghosh. As a nurse, I’ve seen how health care has changed in the area. The doctors’ offices are now owned by either Mercy or St. Luke’s. When you’re diagnosed with cancer, your doctor refers you to a specialist in one of those two hospitals. There are no referrals to an independent doctor like Dr. Ghosh. He chose not to take sides with either hospital, but to work on his own for the betterment of his patients.

Anything else?

I now work in health insurance and see what’s happening in other hospitals. The kind of care you get from The Ghosh Center only happens at the very best hospitals – places like MD Anderson and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The treatment, the therapies, the personal support – this is the future of cancer care, and Dr. Ghosh is doing it here.

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