If I had to sum up "Cancer", I would call it an "adventure"...to say the least. Out of all the things a person may hear in their lifetime, the three words - "You have cancer" - will never leave my mind. Those words resonate differently for everyone and everyone will deal with it differently. I personally think that your doctor is a key element in how you handle the news.
Enter Dr. Carabulea - March17, 2007, I make a trip to Mission Hospital with a cardiac arrhythmia. A chest X-ray indicated that a "mass" in the middle of my chest had gotten larger. This same mass had been biopsied 2 years earlier and it was determined to be benign. Right after that episode, I began to notice a multitude of symptoms and within 2 weeks, I went to my primary care doctor for a wellness check. He called me the next day to tell me that I needed to come in and discuss my blood test...this couldn't be good. He expressed great concern in my symptoms and my white blood cell count. Right there in the exam room, he called Dr. Carabulea and set up my visit 2 days later. I didn't know Dr. Carabulea was an oncologist until I got to the door. Needless to say, the reality began to set in quickly that I might hear those awful words. The diagnosis was Stage 4, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
Dr. Carabulea was the perfect type of doctor for me. Very calm and extremely knowledgeable, he humored me by answering all of my questions. Being a person that needs to read about things, he helped me work through what was good information and what was not so accurate based on what I had read on the Internet. He figured out quickly how to "manage" me, and believe me, I needed it. My first chemo treatment was at San Clemente Hospital and the nurse had worked with him for years. Still getting to know my doctor, Nurse Linda, did nothing but rave about him and his level of care for his patients. Considering my first chemo treatment was on 20 days after my initial visit, these words were extremely comforting. The next 5 treatments were actually administered by Dr. "C", in his office...I found this unusual, in a good way.
Over the next 6 months, we became family. He called me at home, on my cell phone, where ever he had to in order to find me...no small feat. He took care of me like I was family and I can't tell you what a wonderful feeling that is in a very uncertain time. He never flinched if I had a stupid question and always keep me completely up to speed on my progress. And when I did something stupid, like not tell him when I was running a fever, he knew exactly how to manage this situation...he called my wife!
I don't have words to express the fondness that I have for Dr. Carabulea...as a doctor...as a professional...and most of all, a person. If you are a patient or trying to find a doctor in a difficult time, you couldn't be in better hands.
Jim Taczy - Cancer Survivor and feeling great! Thank you Dr. C!
"Today, we continue to put all our trust in Dr. Carabulea, a doctor on the cutting edge of his medical field combined with the gentle demeanor of a family physician that is hard to find these days."