A Return to Bristol Hospital

By Bristol Health

July 08, 2019

I am no stranger to Bristol Hospital, or the Bristol Hospital Cancer Care Center.

I was the only baby born at Bristol Hospital on Valentine’s Day in 1940. My wife of 49 years, Bonnie, was a breast cancer survivor who was treated in the Cancer Care Center for lung cancer before she passed away on January 2017.

Last winter my life took a turn, I began experiencing back pain that I assumed was from shoveling snow. In July, I went to see my son Scott and his family in Okinawa, Japan, where he is stationed as a colonel in the United States Air Force.

Upon my return home, the back pain got worse and I eventually had to go the Bristol Hospital emergency room. I immediately underwent a battery of tests and found that I was stricken with blood cancer, bone cancer and a small mass that was found in my stomach.

I started chemotherapy in August under the supervision of Dr. Driola Brahaj. I have been treated by many of the same nurses and caregivers who treated Bonnie. The nurses and all the staff are outstanding. From the second I walk into the lobby, everyone knows my name and they always extend a warm welcome. Dr. Brahaj is very encouraging and explains things to me in a very concise and easy to understand manner. I’m not a medical person. I had my own financial services company. I am a numbers guy. I’m usually here every Monday and Thursday for my treatments.

I also have to admit that I have been very lucky because there have been no real side effects from the chemo. In addition to the Cancer Center employees, there are the volunteers like Freddie. She never fails to stop and see every patient in the center to make sure all their needs are attended to.

I really admire how much she gives of her own time. I know it’s everyone’s job to do so—but they all make me feel very important. You are welcome here. The staff of the Bristol Hospital Cancer Care Center does everything to help me through this experience. I can’t complain about what has happened to me. I feel very fortunate to be cared for by this team.