2- My Story

My Thymoma:

I had recently moved to Tampa Bay Florida.  Living alone and working as MIS manager for a Pharmaceutical Company.  Did not know many people in Florida when I found out about my cancer.  I asked one of my buddies in California to arrange for my surgery at Stanford Univ.  Hospital!  As I was preparing to fly out, the President of the company, recommended  Dr. R. Drapkin  at FCCC! he considered him to be one of the best for the job! (and he was).  Once Dr. Drapkin examined me, he put the wheels in motion.  Made appointment with the Surgeons, Anesthesiologists, Radiologist, etc.  He considered Morton Plant Hospital as the best available in town. But I had to delayed  the operation for a few weeks so that I finish End-Of-The-Month processes at the Office and make sure the missing staff to come back from holidays.


Preparing for the Surgery:  Well I met the Surgeon who was going to  operate. The Assistant and  himself will explained all the steps.  First I would check in early in the morning, the nurses will prepare me, clean up the skin etc. then the Anesthesiologist will come and explain what will happen..  At that time I was so confused!  They wanted to open me up and cut out the tumor etc. Following that, they asked for my  insurance info. and got me to sign all sort of waivers… Gave me a package including special soap and sponge,  asked me to wash up with the soap before and show up at the Hospital for Surgery…

What Happened before the Surgery: Well they checked me in Cleaned up, connected all tubes & wires and after a couple of injections I was pretty relaxed about everything…

The Surgery was done mid-summer 1996 at Morton Plant Hospital. My family were living in Montreal and I did not let any of them to know (being Iranian they would over panic and start another revolution!)

I remember the first few days after surgery was tough. All medication, uncertainty of what has happened. I noticed they connected a Chest Tube which would drain all discharges out into a container.  I was always leaning on the left side to get as much liquid out so that it was washing all dead cells and malignancy out so that they do not settle somewhere else and  start to grow..

Anyway one of our close family friends who was living nearby came to visit talked to the doctors and looked very perturbed! They told him that during operation they had cut my phrenic nerve and my left diaphragm is paralyzed! He thought it was something serious and I had to calm him down that it was already damaged by the tumor and it is not such a big deal.

My buddy, Mahmood flew from San Francisco and checked me out of the hospital and drove me straight  to a strip club (Tanga Bar)! Gorgeous girls were siting on my lap while I was horrified that my stitches would break open and chest bones will pop out!  Anyway it was a cheerful day.  I was very wobbly as it was my first ever surgery and a major one.  Returned to work 3 weeks later.

Meanwhile I was searching on line and on the bulletin boards looking for information (Internet was not that big at that time)! I found one or 2 places and made a posting and got a sad message from another patient which was in his final days and unfortunately did not hear from him afterward.

Story of Sue was a breath of fresh air: It was a year later that I found out about Sue’s website. Sue was a young bubbly German girl who survived the ordeal and documented her case with a lot of information. She was recommending University of Indianapolis as the center of universe for Thymoma research.  I was sort of disappointed as they only working on Chemotherapy and cold not find too much success there.  I traveled to Indiana twice to check them out, but not much came out of it. Her website (Thymoma.de) disappeared a few years ago (that was my first motivation to resurrect this site)

I got married late 1997, moved back to Canada.   My daughter  was borne in 2002, I have been living in Toronto for all these years .

I was lucky with my family doctor (the best). She lined me up with the most remarkable specialists at the University Health Network (UHN).  I survived almost 11 surgical operations, 3-4 chemo Therapy, 3 Radiation Therapy and I can go on and on…,…